For people who want the complete power of Android in their pocket, but also want to be able to bang out text messages, emails, and Facebook status updates in the blink of an eye, the market hasn’t really provided a solution to best suit their needs. Orange UK is looking to fix that with the introduction of the Barcelona. Packing a 2.6 inch touch screen with what we’re going to assume to be a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels, the Barcelona runs Android 2.2, has a 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, an FM radio, and it’ll even do HD Voice, so if you’re calling someone on the Orange network who also has an HD Voice capable handset then you can expect CD quality audio. It’ll be free on contract, and while the price on pay-as-you-go hasn’t been mentioned, considering that this is an Orange branded handset we expect it to be cheap as chips.
HTC recently launched something similar to the Barcelona called the ChaCha. It’s on Three UK for £249, which sounds like a lot, but for that amount of dough you get an improved 5 megapixel camera and a bump up to Android 2.3, the latest version as of today. Over on the other side of the pond there’s the Samsung Replenish on Sprint; it’s got a 2.8 inch screen, but it sadly has a resolution of just 240 x 320 pixels. The folks at Engadget recently published their review of the Replenish and gave it a 5 out of 10, citing poor build quality and slow processor.
Finding a smartphone these days that also packs a decent QWERTY keyboard is difficult, unless you go for a BlackBerry that is, but seriously, why has there been a lack of Android devices with something that comes close to resembling a useful keyboard?