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While messaging wasn't great (worryingly, for a social networking phone) at least the internet browser was a decent effort.
We'll get the major gripe out the way first - Vodafone's My Web (which is where you use the Vodafone 360 internet home page to choose web widgets to show your favourite content on the mobile browser's landing screen) didn't work on our device, simply stating that it wasn't compatible with our handset.
This is fairly worrying given the Samsung H1 is supposed to be one of the phones that display the My Web service better than any – however, we've spoken to Vodafone at length about this, and they have confirmed to us it's a one off instance with the service just starting up – so other customers shouldn't have the same problems.
And with that out the way, it's nice to be able to say that the responsive touchscreen works well with the internet browser.
There are two main features we like the most, the first being a 'hold-to-zoom' function, where a brief tap or swipe on the screen will bring up a +/- icon on the left-hand side, which you can grab to resize the screen.
It takes a little getting used to the first few times you use it, as it's pretty sensitive – but once that's done it's a cinch to do.
Also, Samsung has whacked its one-touch zoom option on there – simply hold your finger down on the screen and you can re-size. We've never been convinced of the efficiency of this system, but at least it's a lot less sensitive than the same option on the Samsung i8910HD.
And when using this method, you can press the screen again to bring up a mini window, like those seen on the contacts menu. This allows you to send the URL in a message or email, and also to open it in a new window too, which is pretty nice.
Another feature we appreciated was the way links, when you attempt to press one, would hover above the screen in much larger font, so you made sure you struck it correctly. It might be annoying having to click twice, but when you're trying to hit a certain hyperlink in the middle of many, this is a godsend.
Spinning the phone into landscape isn't the greatest experience however, with the phone taking a while to shudder and realign everything.
Most of the other necessities are there too – double tapping to zoom, the ability to save pages to look at when offline or can't be bothered to look them up again.
And one of the best things: history either arranged in a list view when in portrait mode (with a little thumbnail next to each one) or in a larger thumbnail mode when using landscape.
We're not saying that Vodafone and Samsung have re-invented the internet browser on a mobile phone here, and we would have liked to see pinch and zoom, because it's the most efficient way of doing it in our opinion.
But overall, the browser works well without being spectacular, and that's all we're looking for in phones like this.
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Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.
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