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An Introduction to the Orange San Francisco / ZTE Blade / ZTE Libra U-V880

What's all the hype about?

The Orange San Francisco is a full featured Android Smartphone developed by ZTE, a mobile company based in China. The phone is also known as the ZTE Blade and ZTE Libra U-V880 in some parts of Europe and China. Several other European carriers sell the phone as a rebranded device, taking a similar approach to Orange in the UK.

Orange San Francisco / ZTE Blade
The Orange San Francisco / ZTE Blade in Grey and White

The low price point is a major selling point for the phone, with reviews comparing the device to alternatives that cost up to five times the price, such as the Samsung Galaxy S, HTC Desire and Google Nexus One.

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS (SatNav) and FM radio is included as standard with all versions of the phone.

The Orange San Francisco is sold with a 3.2 megapixel camera and 512 MB RAM. However, the device is produced in several other variations for other carriers. For example, the phone is sold in Germany with a 5.0 megapixel camera, and sold in Greece with half the memory at only 256 MB RAM.

When the phone was first launched, it was produced with an OLED screen – a new screen panel technology that offers far superior colour reproduction with deeper blacks. However, due to a production shortage by Samsung, the phone is now produced with a TFT (LCD) screen. Recently, Samsung opened several new factories to keep up with the demand for OLED screens, so it is possible that the OLED screen will return to the Orange San Francisco / ZTE Blade in the future. Both screen types have their advantages and disadvantages, however picture reproduction is considered better on OLED screens. You can see a visual comparison here.

In the UK, the phone ships with Android 2.1. Currently, Orange to do not ship with any later versions of android, or offer an upgrade. However, a few mobile carriers in other countries do ship the phone with an official version of Android 2.3. Using these Android 2.3 builds, it is possible to get a stable, clean, fully functional version of Android 2.3 via Custom ROMs on all versions of the phone, including the Orange San Francisco. Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, is possible through an aftermarket ROM known as CyanogenMod 9

The phone is can be purchased in grey and is exclusively available in white from Orange UK.


Want to learn how to install the most stable, Android 2.3 custom ROM from scratch? Check out our guide on how to install custom ROMs on the Orange San Francisco / ZTE Blade / ZTE Libra U-V880 from scratch.


Make Orange (ZTE)
Model San Francisco (Blade)
Operating System Android 2.1 (2.2 in some countries)
Dimensions 116 x 56.5 x 11.8 mm
Weight 110g
Screen Size 480 x 800 px, 3.5 in (89 mm)
Touchscreen Capacitive Touchscreen
Talk Time 4 Hours
Standby 192 Hours
Keyboard Touchscreen Keyboard
Camera 3.2 megapixel (5.0 in some countries)
Camera Flash No
Video Recorder Yes
Video Calling No
MP3 Player Yes
Video Player Yes
FM Radio Yes
3.55mm Headphone Jack Yes
Coverage Quad Band
3G Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
Processor Qualcomm MSM 7227 600MHz processor
Graphics Adreno 200
Memory 512 MB RAM
Internal Storage 150 MB
External Storage microSD card upto 32GB (2GB microSD card included)
USB Yes, microUSB
Email Yes
Push Email Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Browser Yes, full HTML
Apps 100,000 +
Multitasking Yes