Vodafone Smart 2 Review
The Vodafone Smart 2 is a new and improved version of its predecessor, the original Vodafone Smart Android phone and a decent enough effort has been made to enhance the previous version with a larger, higher resolution screen and better technical specifications including a better camera and a faster CPU. It sounds good but it’s worth knowing that it is possible to get phones with similar or even superior specifications for a comparable price.
The plastic handset is a solid robust model which is study and will certainly survive being dropped and chucked about a bit which makes it a perfect handset for kids, especially as it has a compact 3.2 inch display which makes it great for little hands! It has a two part battery cover and it’s possible to completely remove the surrounding plastic cover as well. Its simple design features a power key, a volume button and a dedicated camera button around the outside of the handset with a headphone connector and micro-USB at the bottom end. Simple, but has all the basic things that you need.
Thankfully the screen is much larger on the Smart 2, a real bonus as it was pretty small on the original, and the res is much higher at 320x480. The touch screen is very responsive and has two-point multi-touch so you can pinch the screen to zoom in and out with ease. However, the colours are a bit bland and you do need to be looking at the screen straight on rather than at an angle to be able to view it properly. The size of the screen, although bigger than the Smart, proves to be a bit tricky to type on useless you have very small fingers as you won’t have much room on the virtual keyboard, even though it does feature Swype text input.
There’s no impressive state of the art processor on the Smart 2, just a single core 832MHz CPU that limits its features and means that some apps and games will have difficulty running. There’s about 130 MB of storage internally, and you can add a 2 GB microSD card, but it still doesn’t add up to much and so you’ll have to be selective with your download choices.
There’s no Ice Cream Sandwich OS to be seen either. The Smart 2 runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and, whilst it isn’t very up to date, it runs reasonably and can do the job fine if you’re not too fussy about speed and slickness. Most importantly you can access Google Play so you can download apps, games and widgets and connect to your Google account and social media.
On the Vodafone interface there are several widget for you to choose from, some of which are very well designed and user friendly. You would think that as the Smart 2 is running a basic OS with a low power processor that the battery life would last for an impressive amount of time, but unfortunately it does disappoint. It lasts (with moderate use) only about 8 hours, not even enough to really make it successfully through the day.
On paper the camera on the Smart 2 is better than on the Smart, but it hasn’t really improved much. The photos are over exposed and colours are either washed out or unnatural which makes the snaps a bit disappointing. Similarly the video recording function is pretty basic- fine for the odd short clips, but certainly not good enough to be used as your main video recorder.
If you’re looking for a bargain phone on Android and aren’t looking for a contract then the Vodafone Smart could be for you as you can buy it on pay as you go for just £70. It’s offered exclusively by Vodafone.
It’s good that Vodafone have learnt from the Smart and are moving in the right direction with the Smart 2, but it’s still far from a quality smartphone. However, for the very reasonable price you can’t really moan too much and it is dependable and robust.