Vodafone has a small range of own branded handsets and some of them are on its Pay As You Talk tariff. Currently the most expensive PAYT handset is the Vodafone 725 which costs £50.
It is a nice enough looker with a design that belies that £50 price. The black shiny front fascia is mirrored on the backplate and while it will gather grease and grime from your fingers it won’t do so quite so voraciously as many handsets I’ve seen. Yes, you’ll find yourself cleaning it with your clothing, but no, that won’t need to be an obsessive activity.
This candybar mobile phone is quite small and neat at 108mm tall, 47.6mm wide and 14.5mm thick, and it weights an acceptable 110g. I like the general design and usability of the buttons. The number pad buttons are rounded so that each one is easily differentiated with a fingertip. The Call and End buttons are similarly shaped, and have silver upper and lower edges that mimic the D-Pad frame. The centre of the D-pad looks like a roller but in fact it is just a push-button. All these keys offer superb return and are very tactile.
The softmenu keys, cancel key and a shortcut to the phone’s messaging software are less than great. They sit flush to the casing and are just that little bit more fiddly to use than the rest. It’s not a disaster, but compared to the high usability level of the other keys it is annoying. As for the rest of the design, that silver flashing continues as two strips on the outside of the long edges of the phone and appears again on the back as a flash of colour.
The screen measures 2.2 inches diagonally and it fared well indoors but became difficult to see outside in bright sunlight. This is a pity for a phone which handles so well.
There are some rather nice little plinks and plonks that sound as you press keys to move around this handset. They can be a bit embarrassing if you are in a public place, though. To turn them down or off requires recourse to the settings menu so it isn’t easy to switch in and out of noise-free operation.
The Vodafone 725 is a tri-band GSM handset with 3G and there is a front-facing camera for video-calling. I’m not sure that Pay As You Talk customers are really going to want to get into video calling, but if you can afford to the option is here.
The phone plays music and there is a 3.5mm headset jack on the bottom edge of the casing right next to the mini USB power and PC connecting jack. The provided headset is OK although not great sounding, but at least with that ubiquitous 3.5mm jack you can use a better set of headphones.
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