Priced at just £50, the 725 is an own-brand handset from Vodafone that's aiming to tempt you with the double whammy of a low price tag and an impressive range of features. But has Vodafone done enough with the 725 to persuade you from plumping for a higher-profile handset from the likes of Sony Ericsson and Nokia? It's available now direct from Vodafone.
The 725 is a fairly conservative-looking silver handset, but its traditional candybar form factor has been jazzed up with rounded edges and a black band running down either side of the handset, which nicely frames the glossy fascia. The black version has a silver band.
The keypad has largish keys, so you don't have to have the fingers of a small child to be able to get up to a decent texting speed. As well as the central d-pad for moving through the menus there's a pair of soft keys directly beneath the screen. Like most handsets sold by Vodafone these days, it comes with the company's traditional theme, so the icons and graphics look instantly familiar and the traditional grid layout of the menu system makes it a cinch to get to grips with.
The 725 is a 3G handset, so you'll have no problems downloading music tracks or video clips from Vodafone's Live service at a decent speed. There are also twin cameras mounted on the front and rear so you can use it for video calling too, although this will be of little use to most pay as you go users.
Vodafone has kitted out the handset with an MP3 player and as the phone supports A2DP Bluetooth, you can listen to tunes wirelessly on a stereo headset or beam the music to a wireless speaker kit such as the Logitech Pure-Fi Mobile. There's no headphone socket at all though, not even a proprietary one.
Call quality was very good, with the built-in speaker sounding crisp and clear in both normal and speakerphone modes. Battery life isn't half bad for a budget phone either. You can expect to get around 3 hours 30 minutes talk time from it, and it'll tick over on standby for around 14 days.
Like many budget handsets, the 725 has a below-par camera that's only capable of capturing 2-megapixel images. Even without the resolution issue, the camera isn't great because colours tend to look washed-out and colours bleed into each other somewhat. It also lacks a flash, so shots down your dingy local boozer will just descend into a sea of black.
The phone's music player is also very basic in comparison to the ones found on handsets offered by Sony Ericsson and Nokia. For example, it doesn't support some common formats, such as WMA. The limited 20MB of memory also means you'll have to invest in a microSD card if you want to store more than couple of tunes.
The 725 is not the most advanced phone in the world. Certainly its camera could be better and its music player is a tad basic. For the price, however, it offers a good range of features and it is very easy to use. As such we think it's a good budget buy.
Edited by Nick Hide