France Telecom's Orange introduced its new Intel-running smartphone, code-named Santa Clara, at the 2012 Mobile World Congress show.
Santa Clara is the code name
of carrier Orange's new self-branded smartphone, the first to run the new Intel
Atom Medfield processor. As promised, Orange, a division of France Telecom, introduced
the phone Feb. 27 at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona.
The Santa Clara phoneits
real name is not known or perhaps not determined yetwill go on sale in France
and the United Kingdom this summer. While pricing wasn't shared, Orange has indicated
that the phone is part of a strategy to lure its more reluctant customers over
to smartphones. Right now, about 50 percent of its customer base is still using
In addition to its 1.6GHz
Intel Atom Z2460 processor, the Santa Clara comes with a 4-inch, 1,024 by 600
display and an 8-megapixel camera with the ability to shoot 1,080p video, a
rapid-fire feature that takes 10 photos in a second, to make sure users get the
right shot, and, through a video app, a sort of 360-degree view. Users can tilt
and pan and pull and push the video for a better look around.
Orange TV, Orange Gestures,
Daily Motion and other Orange services will also be on boardalong with Android
4.0, which the Intel chip is said to play very nicely with.
calls the Santa Clara light
to the point of feeling flimsy and overall rather "unremarkable," except
for that processor. In hands-on tests, the phone reportedly zips through apps
and from one function to the next without a hitch. "It's a pretty insane
phone on the brand-new processor," gushed the site's reviewer in a video.
"Basically, everything on this phone just happens instantly."
Patrick Remy, Orange's vice
president of devices, has told Bloomberg
"We are very happy about the way it came out. We really wanted to bring in
this high-performance, high-speed element."
element" will likely be the difference between Intel getting through the
door of the smartphone market and becoming a true competitor able to compete
against Qualcomm, currently the largest producer of chips for phones.
announced in January
that Motorola Mobility and Lenovo will each start
using its new processors in their phones this year. Motorola phones have
traditionally run Texas Instruments processors. At the Consumer Electronics
Show in January, Intel CEO Paul Otellini took the stage with Motorola CEO
Sanjay Jha, telling show-goers, "We expect the combination of our
companies to break new ground and bring the very best of computing capabilities
to smartphones and tablets."
Also at CES, Lenovo showed
off the K800, an Android 4.0-running smartphone with the Intel Medfield
technology inside. The phone reportedly felt heavy on the hardware end but
snappy on the software side.
Orange, as the first mobile
operator to use the new Intel chips, is "getting an exclusive,"
according to the Bloomberg report, which added that Orange's aim is to have its
self-branded phones account for 20 percent of sales, up from 2011's 15
While fast-growing Chinese
brands ZTE and Huawei, as well as Alcatel-Lucent, all manufacture devices for
Orange, the Santa Clara was made by lesser-known brand Gigabyte Technology.
In a Feb. 27 statement,
Intel additionally announced that Indian handset company Lava will launch the
XOLO smartphone, the first Intel technology-based smartphone to arrive in India's