The Orange San Francisco (ZTE Blade rebranded)

I’ve just returned to the 21st Century and finally own a new smart phone.  By new, I mean a phone that was first released back in September 2010, but it’s new to me.   It’s better than the last smart phone I had which was an inherited T-Mobile G1, that finally gave up the ghost early last year, when the battery managed to last less than 30 minutes once uplugged.  That was originally running the first edition of the Android OS.

The ZTE Blade was/is considered one of, if not the best, in its price range for Android phones.  With a 480 x 800 pixels, 3.5 inches display, and 512mb of internal RAM.  The only problem appeared to be that it was available exclusively to the Orange network, under the name “San Francisco.”

So, the version I got was a branded Orange San Francisco via Ebay, albeit unlocked so that I could use my existing T-Mobile sim in it.  The problem was that while device is pretty decent, it comes loaded with lots of immoveable Orange apps.  This would be an annoyance even if I was actually with Orange, but the fact that half of the apps required an Orange sim, not to mention the problems I had with connecting to the internet without WIFI, meant this phone was not quite what I wanted it to be.

CyanogenMod7 – Teh awesome

So, I did what most geeks do to their phones in this situation and rooted it, before installing CyanogenMod7 on it, by following these handy instructions.  After the initial worry that I’d invalidate and brick my phone and waste the money, it turned out I had nothing to worry about.  Upon rebooting, I now have a device that at first glance appears to be stable, and has enough power for my requirements right now.

I’ve never been one for playing lots of games on my Smart Phones, I tend to use it for slow paced strategy, but mostly just for keeping in touch with the world via News, Email, Twitter, Facebook, and productivity apps like syncing with gdocs, to-do lists and a calendar,  and being able to send snapshot photos to my blog gallery.

Now I can do all this again, I’m a happy geek.

I’ll probably do a quick blog post on the apps I use most at a later date.

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