The first Intel smartphone will launch in the UK on 6 June. The Orange San Diego will be an Android phone, and be exclusively available from Orange UK, Intel and Orange announced today. Here's full details of the first Intel smartphone launch.
The Orange San Diego matters - to Intel in particular
Previously code-named the Orange 'Santa Clara', this Android smartphone is the first such handset to be powered by Intel's Atom processor, available in the UK. Most smartphones use ARM chips, although there's an Intel chip in this smartphone launched in India, for example.
Orange San Diego: UK price and UK availability
The Orange San Diego will be available for £199 on Orange Pay As You Go, with a free monthly allowance of 250Mb of mobile data per month for 12 months. On contract it will cost from £15.50 a month for 50 any network call minutes, 50 texts, as well as 100MB of mobile data a month, Orange said. It will launch on 6 June.
Orange San Diego: features and specs
The San Diego is powered by the Intel Atom Z2460 processor. In terms of connectivity it supports HSPA+ with the Intel XMM 6260 Platform.
Orange and Intel are touting the Sand Diego's HD voice and HD video capabilities. If you have sufficient network capability, and are calling another Orange San Diego handset, for instance, you can enjoy high-def voice calling. The san Diego also includes an 8Mp camera that sports a burst capture mode allowing it to take 10 pictures in under a second, Orange said.
The San Diego features HD video viewing and 1080p video capture, with image stabilisation and HDMI out. A 4in capacitive touchscreen display, A-GPS and Bluetooth 2.1 round out the Orange San Diego's feature list.
Orange San Diego: why it matters
The launch of the first Intel smartphone in Europe is arguably more important for Intel than it is for Orange. The latter is getting a feature-rich smartphone, with a partner who has undoubtably taken on much of the research and development work, and who is motivated to make this product work. Orange will benefit from the extra interest and marketing the first Intel smartphone will attract, and may even find it gets customers who are curious to see how an Intel smartphone works out.
For Intel the success of the San Diego is critical. As personal computer users increasingly opt for mobile devices, Intel's dominance of the laptop and desktop PC market could become meaningless. ARM first cornered and now dominates the processor market for tablets and smartphones, and Intel must demonstrate that it can compete.
Key areas to watch out for will be battery life, performance and heat: can Intel shrink down its technologies to produce portable performance without draining the battery or generating excess heat. Also, in order to allow Android apps written for ARM to run on Intel hardware, the company is having to run a conversion process. So app performance will also be key.
Our editors spent some time with the Orange San Diego earlier today, and will be posting an Orange San Diego review later on. See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?
Orange San Diego: what they said
Speaking about the San Diego launch, Orange's Paul Jevons said: "We're proud to be working with such an exciting partner as Intel, and offering our customers the first Orange Intel powered smartphone on the market.
"The San Diego is a great addition to our own-branded device portfolio, and is testament to our heritage in offering consumers great value innovation."
Intel's Mike Bell said: "The new Intel-based smartphone exemplifies Orange's focus on delivering a well executed product to its users, from the quality and feel of industrial design to the overall software and applications experience."
Orange San Diego: pictures
The back of the Orange San Diego, showing off the 8Mp camera
Orange San Diego from the top, with the 3.5mm jack and on/off button clearly visible
And here it is in all its glory: the first Intel smartphone in the UK