Hands on with Orange UK’s New York at Mobile Asia Congress 2008
Orange UK has taken the concept of custom-made phones to another level by introducing this handset, the Orange New York, along with the Orange Chicago and Orange Tokyo. It doesn’t come with the latest whiz-bang features, and in fact it’s actually a low-end phone in terms of specs, but it builds on simplicity, speed, and reliability in trying to get the consumer’s attention. Let me show you how.
The Orange New York handset we managed to play with here at Mobile Asia Congress 2008 was dressed in white, and let me be the first to say, its apparent cleanliness was very refreshing. In a time when a lot of phones are weirdly designed, the aesthetics of this one is a sight for sore eyes. It’s not exactly eye candy, but it’s clean and looks very well put together.
The design of the Orange New York was done by Orange, but outsourced to a mobile phone maker for production. Here are some of the Orange New York’s features:
- 2 Megapixel camera
- 4 x digital zoom
- active slide
- Bluetooth technology
- external memory MicroSD
- FM Radio
- GSM quad band
- internal memory 64MB
- Java™ capable
- Orange Music Player
- Orange World
- pop3/imap4 email
- speaker phone
- USB compatible
The keys on the alphanumeric keypad were evenly spaced, and felt very good to touch. An ample amount of backlighting makes sure a user will never make a wrong key press. And if a user does make a wrong key press, it won’t be a problem, unlike with other phones such as the T-Mobile G1 which once had a problem with “accidental” user inputs on its keypad.
Like a “true-to-life” portable music player, the Orange New York also features dedicated music keys on one of its sides, as well as a camera shutter key for snapping shots. These come in handy often if you’re a heavy multimedia consumer, which is actually the type of user that Orange is trying to target with this phone.
Round the back, there’s a hole for the 2-megapixel camera, and a vanity mirror for good measure. Again, it might not look like much on the outside, but well, that’s because it really is not much. It’s a rather basic phone with a speedy user-interface and what’s more, great integration with Microsoft’s Live services.
The Orange New York is already available in the UK for £49.99 or about $75 USD. See a video of it in action embedded below.