Vodafone Smart 4 Max review

A 4G-ready smartphone at a friendly price

Vodafone Smart 4 Max review

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Generally carrier branded handsets fill me with a sense of dread, but they're improving across the board and the Vodafone Smart 4 Max is testament to that.

It's far from the perfect smartphone, but the big red network now has a range of handsets all at attractively low prices.

We liked

The Vodafone Smart 4 Max offers a lot of phone for your money in a physical sense. It's big, well built, and it has a couple of components you might not expect to see in a budget offering.

Its 13-megapixel camera is one such component, and it can capture some reasonable images in the right conditions. NFC is another welcome addition.

I also appreciate the stock Android experience, even if it is an older version of Google's mobile OS.

We disliked

There's no getting away from it, the Vodafone Smart 4 Max is a very big device. It will legitimately put a lot of people off with its unwieldy width, length and weight.

It's also disappointing how poor the general performance is, with annoyingly frequent (if slight) stutters in both general navigation and specific apps and functions.

While its 6-inch display is big and relatively clear, its 720p resolution simply feels inadequate, giving the extra screen space the feeling of being poorly optimised.

Finally, the camera, while better than many budget offerings, is inconsistent and unreliable.


Vodafone's latest smartphone would appear to represent an improvement for the range. It's a solidly built phablet with a 13-megapixel camera and stock Android, all for just £125.

However, when you get down to the details it's found a little wanting. The screen may be big, but that extra space suffers from an inadequate resolution.

Similarly, the camera is a little too unpredictable for its own good, and the phone's general performance is disappointingly sluggish.

All in all, it's a decent budget offering, but one that ultimately feels somehow less than the sum of its parts, despite the appealing price.

First reviewed: April 2015

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