Orange Hollywood Review: Released in 2012, the Orange Hollywood was a continuation of Orange’s own-brand releases. Naming these phones must have been a challenge. Vodafone used a variety of numbers, which meant little to customers. Orange instead chose to name their handsets after various cities in the world. Further, Orange paired with Chinese manufacturer ZTE to manufacture their phones. This is not entirely obvious until you look behind the battery. The Hollywood could be said to be an upgrade on previous QWERTY handsets (the Orange Rio).
The Hollywood design makes it pretty clear what Orange are after. Targeting the better-known Blackberry devices, at a much lower price. The look of the phone is very reminiscent of a lower Blackberry model such as the Blackberry 8520. A very similar feature is the touch navigation button. In some ways the phone surpasses it in terms of basic specification. The most notable addition is the dual input method of touchscreen and keypad. This dual combo was not seen on the Blackberry Curves at the time (although it was on the higher end Bold series).
With the price set low, it is clear that the spec of the phone was not going to be top end. Clearly aimed at a younger market, the phone did squeeze in features that were likely to appeal. The phone comes pre-loaded with Facebook and Twitter apps for social media. The phone also can be used for entertainment, with Wi-Fi and a microSD card slot included for playing media. The camera was also a notch above the base models, featuring a 3.2MP resolution.
Many of the own-brand phones had quite limited success, but nevertheless were well stocked by the shops. As for this type of handset, much like the Blackberry phones they were imitating they died out. Most other own-brand handsets after this were touchscreen-based.
Orange Hollywood Review: Pros
The phone came at a very low price. It was definitely one of the cheaper ways to own this type of phone.
The touchscreen made navigation much easier and combined with the keypad and optical track pad, it was quick to use.
The phone was well suited for media: microSD card player, Bluetooth and WiFi for audio. On the visual side, a 3.2MP camera was slightly better than average for the budget phone.
The keypad was pretty comfortable for typing. A slight raised edge to the buttons helped when typing at speed.
Orange Hollywood Review: Cons
The touchscreen was of the resistive type: not as smooth as multi-touch. There was also a relatively low resolution of 320 x 400.
The phone lacked 3G support, making it slow to transfer data when used outside of Wi-Fi.
Whilst the camera resolution was fine, there was no flash or other image enhancement tools.
The operating system was proprietary ZTE with an Orange skin. Whilst several applications were pre-installed, it lacked the expandability of Android or Blackberry phones.
Current Prospects and Future Pricing
Own-brand, generic phones are perhaps some of the least popular on the market. In some situations they may have no takers at all. The Hollywood is no exception to this and it can be picked up extremely cheaply. It is probably unlikely to be that memorable going forward.
Where can I get one?
Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.