Vodafone Smart 4 Mini review

Smart about price, not so smart on the features

Vodafone Smart 4 Mini review
Skrimping on features to save you money

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The Vodafone Smart 4 Mini uses Google's older Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system and anyone with a bit of familiarity with smartphones will have no trouble navigating around the handset.

You're given five homescreens to fill with apps and widgets which, due to the 4-inch screen size, will fill up quickly.

Vodafone Smart 4 Mini review

Similarly, typing out a text message or email with the on screen keyboard, especially in portrait mode, won't be easy for anyone with large fingers.

The Vodafone Smart 4 Mini uses the standard Android keyboard but the screen size means it's particularly compact.

As mentioned earlier, performance is reflective of the 1.3GHz processor and 512MB of RAM so when you swipe between the homescreens or enter the app drawer, it's not as fluid and quick as more expensive Android phones like the Sony Xperia Z2 or the Huawei Ascend P7.

Loading a web site over the 3G connection took a couple of seconds and rotating the screen from portrait to landscape also lags a little longer than on more powerful handsets.

Apart from the aforementioned Vodafone apps, there's also very little on the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini in terms of bloatware.

Vodafone Smart 4 Mini review

Google's Android OS hasn't been given any extra tweaks or skins although the usual Google Apps – Youtube, Drive, Google+ etc, are all here. Vodafone has preinstalled Twitter and Facebook but has otherwise left well enough alone.

One strange decision though is to include both the default Android browser and Chrome on the handset. Both programs offer tabbed browsing and the ability to import favourite sites, bookmarks and the option to save pages for offline browsing. So having them both here seems like a real waste of space.

The Vodafone Smart 4 Mini posted a GeekBench 3 score of 581, which is about standard for a dual-core processor at this level. For comparison, the recently released Blade Q Mini, which costs £60, posted a GeekBench 3 score of only 468.

The main usages for a phone at this price point are casual browsing, posting to social networking sites and the standard calling and messaging features. And, thankfully, none of these are too tricky or too demanding for the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini.