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Vodafone Smart 4 Power review: A cheap 4G phone with a big screen

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MSRP: $299.00

The Good The Vodafone Smart 4 Power has 4G, doesn't cost the Earth and its screen is big enough for you to enjoy videos on the move.

The Bad Its screen is low resolution, navigating around the Android interface can be sluggish, the camera doesn't impress and it's not exactly pretty either.

The Bottom Line If your main concerns are fast 4G data speeds, a big screen for video and a cheap price, the Vodafone Smart 4 Power is worth a look. Its low-res screen, poor camera and slow interface mean your money could be better spent elsewhere, however.

Visit for details.

6.0 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 6
  • Performance 6

Review Sections

If you crave a 4G phone, but can't afford a top-end handset like the Samsung Galaxy S5 as well as a pricey new data contract, cast your eyes over Vodafone's pair of more affordable 4G phones. The Smart 4 Power is a 5-inch Android KitKat device that you can pick up only from Vodafone for £175 on pay as you go.

If that's a bit rich, you can plump for the 4.7-inch Smart 4 Turbo , which you can snag for £135. Both phones come with Android 4.4.2 KitKat, quad-core processors, 5-megapixel cameras, 4GB of on-board storage and microSD card slots. They can only be purchased from one of Vodafone's physical shops.

Design

There's no mistaking that the Power comes from the same family as the Turbo as they're clad in identical grey jackets. That's not much of a positive, however, as I thought the Turbo looked intensely dull and the Power isn't much better.

The back is a plain expanse of rubberised grey plastic, although slight physical tweaks such as a more rounded corners, a slightly slimmer body and less angled edges help the Power look marginally more premium. Which is lucky, given that it costs more.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It's 141mm long and 71mm wide, making it a little big to use in one hand, although its 162g weight means it should sit fairly unnoticed in your pocket. Its reasonably chunky proportions help make the phone feel more sturdy and the rubberised back does a good job of shaking off knocks and bumps -- although drop it hard on concrete and that screen will surely shatter like any top-end phone.

The phone comes with 4GB of built-in storage, which won't last long. It has a microSD card slot, giving more space for music and videos, and you can move some apps across as well -- although you do have to install them to your phone first, so you'll have to have some spare room to begin with.

Display

The Power's 5-inch display has a 960x540-pixel resolution, which results in a pixel density of 220 pixels per inch. That's very much at the bottom of what I'd expect, even on a budget phone. The Motorola Moto G 's 4.5-inch screen has a 720p display with 326ppi -- and can be picked up for roughly the same money as the Power.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It actually has almost the same pixel density as the 4.5-inch Turbo, although the Power's display is better quality. It's a tad brighter, has better colours, seems slightly less reflective and has better viewing angles, making it much more pleasant to use than its little brother. It's no match for the Moto G still -- which is crisp and vivid -- but it's significantly bigger, which will come in handy if you want to watch video on the move.

Android KitKat software

The phone arrives running Android 4.4.2 KitKat, which is the most recent major release. KitKat is now on version 4.4.4, so it's not the absolute latest version, but it's recent enough for a budget phone. Vodafone has done very little to the interface, so it's almost stock Android. You'll have the various home screens to fill up with apps and widgets, along with the app tray for any icons you don't want immediate access to. The stock Android camera app is on board, as well as the Chrome browser and Android gallery.

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