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Best Cheap Mobile Phones and Budget Smartphones 2016

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Smart Ultra 12

8 / 10

Reviewed by Joe Roberts

01 July 2016

Vodafone Smart Ultra 7

Read full Vodafone Smart Ultra 7 review

A real challenger to the Moto G

Key features

    •    5.5-inch 1080p screen?
    •    Locked to Vodafone?
    •    13MP/8MP cameras?
    •    Clean version of Android?

Network-branded phones have really improved recently, and Vodafone is spearheading this push. It’s got three of them currently, with the Smart Prime 7 sitting below £100 and the Smart Platinum 7 making a push for the flagships. But it’s the Smart Ultra 7 that has the best of both worlds.

For £135 you get a seriously capable phone, with a 5.5-inch 1080p display and a 2,950 mAh battery that’ll easily make it through the day.

Under the plastic shell is a MediaTek CPU, paired with 2GB RAM, that gets the job done. Performance is improved thanks to the use of an almost stock version of Android 6.0.1. There are a few apps preinstalled from Vodafone, like a custom Messenger that lets you reply to texts online, which is actually very useful.

The 13MP rear facing camera takes good pictures in daylight, though we found colours a tad muted and there was a lot of processing going on. Budget phones still haven’t quite managed to get fantastic cameras. The 8MP front-facing camera isn’t very good at all, especially when the sun goes down.

The only other major downside is that you’ll have to already be on, or willing to switch to, Vodafone as your service provider.

At time of review the Vodafone Smart Ultra 7 was available for £135.

Our Score:

8

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