As you would expect, the 845 has most of the connectivity bases covered with support for HSDPA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth plus an integrated GPS receiver that worked a treat with both the Google Maps and Google Navigation applications that are pre-installed. Vodafone hasn’t said what processor the phone uses, but we’d guess it’s running at around the 500MHz mark. The processor is backed up by 128MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM, plus there’s a microSD card slot for adding extra storage space. While we wouldn’t exactly describe the phone as slow, it’s certainly not the fastest Android handset we’ve come across. For instance, there are noticeably long pauses as it loads applications and some slow down when you’ve got a few apps running in the background.
The 845’s 3-megapixel camera is certainly not the best we’ve come across either, but its performance is pretty much in line with what we’d expect from a budget smartphone. The bad news is that it doesn’t have a flash and so often struggles with indoor shots. However, on the positive side it does have auto-focus and it’s quick to capture snaps as there’s very little shutter lag. Naturally, the camera can also shoot video and you can choose between high and low quality modes. However, even on the high quality mode there’s a lot of tearing if you do a fast pan.
When it comes to music the 845 uses the standard Android music player, which is no bad thing as it provides a quick and easy way to browse your tunes. The phone also has a standard headphone jack, although it is rather annoyingly located on the bottom of the phone rather than the top where it would have been more convenient. And while the supplied headphones sound a bit on the tinny side, once you swap them for a decent set of cans you’ll find that the sound quality from the headphone jack is actually pretty beefy. There’s an FM tuner too, should you wish to catch up with Chris Moyles or check out Ian Camfield on XFM. Multimedia features are rounded out by the standard Android YouTube player as well as the Vodafone music store where you can buy and download music directly on the phone.
Sometimes budget handsets can be a bit hit and miss in the call quality department, but we have no such complaints with the 845. It performed flawlessly during our test period. The earpiece is easily loud enough to be heard in noisy bars and the mic delivers crisp, clear audio. The phone’s 1,200mAh battery was no slouch either, as we found we could get just over two days out of it for calls and a mixture of surfing over 3G and Wi-Fi.
The 845 is certainly not an unappealing handset. It’s priced very competitively, looks quite stylish for a budget smartphone and comes with a reasonably recent version of Android. However, the small, low resolution screen compromises its usability for browsing and at times it can feel a tad sluggish to use. As a result, we think the Samsung Galaxy Portal on 3 (with Android V2.1) or even the T-mobile Pulse, which both have better screens, may be a better bet for those after a budget Android phone.
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