Vodafone Smart 2 review

Vodafone follows up its original Smart with an updated Android handset

Vodafone Smart 2 review
The Vodafone Smart 2 runs Android 2.3.5 in a little 3.2-inch touchscreen handset

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The internet access on the Vodafone Smart 2 is assisted by 802.11n Wi-Fi support when you are near a network and 3G - the original Vodafone Smart only runs to b and g internet connections, which means things can be a little slower.

Vodafone Smart 2 review

We found that pages resolved quite quickly when they were mobile formatted, but slower when we went over to the full site. Mobile sites were also easier to read on the smartphone's small screen - remember it measures just 3.2 inches and delivers 480 x 320 pixels.

Taking the TechRadar site as an example, it was just a few seconds before we were in to the mobile formatted site, and this looks fine on the handset.

But it took 50 seconds to resolve the full site over Wi-Fi, and of course it wasn't possible to read anything much until we zoomed in.

Zooming is a little tricky in full page views, because it can be hard not to accidentally tap on a link you didn't mean to. Text reflow is also a bit iffy - it doesn't always work and we often found we needed to do a little pinching to tweak text to make it readable.

What we saw here in terms of speed and readability was far better than on the original Smart, but still not a patch on a handset with a better resolution screen. We know that people looking at the Vodafone Smart 2 are going to be on a budget, but it's still hard to recommend this handset for web fans.

Maps and apps

Vodafone has decided that Google Play on its own isn't good enough for the discerning customer, so it adds its own AppSelect application. The idea is that via this, Vodafone cherry picks the best apps so you don't have to trawl through Google's app store.

Vodafone Smart 2 review

We've already noted Vodafone's apps. Among these there's a notifications widget that brings together email, Gmail and SMS notifications and links you into your contacts. We also like the little weather widget that, when tapped, gives you forecast information from AccuWeather. It's not as fancy as some, but it does an efficient job.

MobiSystem Office Suite is here too, and this can be used to read Microsoft Office-compatible files. Vodafone also includes its own clock, which has a stopwatch and alarms.

It isn't a particularly expansive range of pre-loaded apps, but Google Play has plenty on offer to download.

As for maps, the ubiquitous Google Maps makes its presence felt, and of course there is GPS to help it to get a lock when you are out and about. It performed well for us, and the GPS managed to get a lock on our location fairly quickly, even when we were sitting indoors by a window.

However, the small screen size and poor outdoors visibility made using Google Maps for our usual guidance on walking trips rather difficult.