A budget smartphone isn’t anything new, but the word budget has always been attached to a limited device that cuts costs in every corner. It’s not like there haven’t been mid-range devices with decent price tags, but we must say Vodafone’s Smart Prime 6 was quite the shocker. So much so we had to get a hold of one to review, so a big thanks to Vodafone for sending one out.
The specs include a 5-inch 720p IPS display. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 chipset with quad-core CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz and 1GB of RAM. Storage is 8GB with a MicroSD slot for expanding and camera is an 8MP on the back and 2MP on the front. lastly we have a 2,500mAh, 4G connectivity and the device is running Android 5.
While not the most interesting specs compared to today’s flagships, they really hit the mark with the €89.99 price tag. That’s right folks. This device is only €89.99 with pay as you go. Probably the most outstanding aspect of the device itself. So we’re already impressed.
Let’s dive right in and take a look at the device itself.
The Vodafone Smart Prime 6
The design is fairly straight forward and has a typical layout with the volume buttons and power button located on the right side of the device. The headphone jack is on the top and the MicroUSB is on the bottom. The left side is completely clear.
The phone weighs 155g and is 9 mm thin. On the back is the camera sensor and LED flash. The back cover is removable, but only to add a MicroSD card, the battery itself not user removable.
Thankfully Vodafone have kept a pretty clean and vanilla Android UI. The device does include some Vodafone apps, which considering it’s a Vodafone phone is no surprise and not an issue.
Again, straight forward and clean, exactly what we love to see. If users want to use a third party launcher, they can do so just as with any Android phone before it. The UI is also as smooth as most flagship devices, and even multi-tasking loads quicker than expected.
The camera is very straight forward. Photos and Videos have separate modes and settings, but thankfully navigation is simple. Photos include options for panorama, Manual, HDR, Sports, and Night. Users can also control the size of the photos, but are limited to Small, Medium, and Large. lastly we have a timer control.
Video options include Full HD, HD, and Normal, and users can decide if they want to record sound..
Okay, so the camera while only 8MP is still pretty solid considering the sub €100 price tag. It also supports HDR photos, which we must admit was something of a shock. Below are photos taking with HDR off and the again with it turned on. HDR mode takes multiple shots and different exposure in extremely rapid succession – the photos are then combined for a more balanced shot, and undercuts any over/under exposure issues.
The HDR mode is one of the most impressive aspects we have seen with this device. Where standard photos suffered some serious under exposure in bright scenes, the HDR performed amaizingly and brought so much detail into view. This is some awesome stuff to be seeing from a phone this cheap.
The Smart Prime 6 sports full 1080 video recording, so we took videos to show of the quality.
The snapdragon 410 is not set to break any records, but instead provide solid performance and efficiency for budget device. Thankfully it does just that. We didn’t notice any serous lag or slowness through out our review. We’re continually impressed by the Smart Prime 6. Here are the benchmark numbers for you to enjoy below.
|3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited||2558|
|Geekbench 3 Single-Core||469|
|Geekbench 3 Multi-Core||1408|
|Vellamo Browser (Chrome)||1928|
It’s time to see how long this budget device lasts. The Smart Prime 6 includes a 2,500mAh battery. We also have 4g connectivity, which is thankfully working in our area, and with that we included it our daily use.
|Phone Calls||20-30 Minutes|
|Text message/Chat/Emails||Throughout the day(checking) and 20-30 sent|
|Video recording||20-30 Minutes|
|Internet browsing||Throughout the day(around 30-40 minutes total)|
|Connectivity||WiFi and 4G; mostly 4G|
Our battery tests goes for around a 12 hour period, and we use the device as we would with medium-heavy usage in mind. Above is what we aim to do throughout the day.
The Smart Prime 6 lasted through the period with over 30-percent left. Impressive results indeed. Being a lower powered device, we expected it to perform closely with flagship devices with larger batteries, and it has done just that.
So the device will easily get you throughout the day, with some left over. Some small changes, including lowering the brightness, we can definitely see this being a 2 day device on a single charge.
When we typically break down a smartphone review, we hold a certain standard behind the scene. Most of our smartphone reviews have been of flagship devices that typically offer the best hardware available at the time. This is a whole other ball game. The Vodafone Prime 6 offers users a substantial smartphone experience for a really low price. So low in fact, we were shocked to read the included specs.
It is conclusion time and like always we are going to break down the wrap up into a few sections. This is Design, Display, Camera, Performance and then overall. This has done well in the past and gives you an idea on how we feel about the different aspects of the device.
Costs obviously have to be kept down, and the design is a simplistic plastic housing. There is a removable back cover, but this only provides access to the included MicroSD and Sim slots. The device is pretty slim at just 9mm thick. It’s not going to blow anyone away, but at the same time, it doesn’t disappoint and the phone feels solid and well built.
The 5-inch 720p IPS display is another stand out feature for a budget smartphone. Being a IPS display, we have great viewing angles, but we also have a very decent level of brightness. We’re fairly impressed with the display and it’s just another notch on a list of specs that make this budget phone all that more impressive.
The Smart Prime 6 includes an 8MP camera with LED flash. The camera on its own is nothing spectacular, and provides a somewhat okay performance. However, the HDR mode is really impressive and brings a lot more detail into every shot by providing a more balanced photo. Since normal photos had some balance issues, it’s great that the phone includes HDR capabilities. Performance is better than we expected, and mostly the HDR is the devices savoir.
The Vodafone Smart Prime 6 includes a Snapdragon 410 chipset with quad cre cpu clocked at 1.2GHz. Our benchmarks show we’re getting around halve the performance from current flagships. The numerical benchmarks may be low, but performance was excellent. Throughout are entire review we we got a fast, smooth and overall excellent performance out of the device. Not just impressive, but really shows that even budget phones can knock it out of the park.
We are down right over the moon with the Vodafone Smart Prime 6. This phone is manufactured by Alcatel, but is branded specifically for Vodafone. There have been cheap phones on the market before, but this really covers the bases extremely well. It offers a very good IPS display, decent camera with HDR and excellent performance. This also goes with the simple design, latest version of Android and 4g networking.
It’s hard to fault something that does a lot of the same things that other phones do for quadruple the price. Vodafone have nailed it with this smartphone and to be honest, it would have been a good deal at twice the price, seriously.
This device doesn’t just put pressure on other budget devices, but really pushed the mid-range and flagship arena as well – those devices are going to have to step up their game if they want their price tags to stay so high. To think you could buy 4-5 of these phones for the same money as a current flagship, really tells you something.
We of courses 110-percent recommend the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 to anyone looking for a great smartphone without the high price tag. This phone really has a lot to offer, and we hope the €99 pricetag doesn’t put people off, this phone is mostly a flagship from just 2-3 years ago.
A big thanks to Vodafone for sending out the Smart Prime 6 for review. The current price of the device is €99 at any Vodafone retail store or online at Vodafone.ie