Vodafone Smart 4 Power review

Smart may be stretching it a bit

Vodafone Smart 4 Power review
Smart and power? We're not so sure.

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As the 4G connection is one of the main selling points of the Vodafone Smart 4 Power, it's going to be used a lot for browsing the web, over 4G, 3G and wireless networks.

It comes with two web browsers, Google Chrome and a native app. Both perform fine, though my preference is for Chrome.

Web pages were delivered quickly and the larger screen size meant that reading text-heavy website was comfortable. Though I lamented the lower resolution earlier in this reviey, for websites I found it actually worked in the Smart 4 Power's favour.

Because of the big screen and lower resolution, text was large and easy to read, it meant I didn't have to zoom in on websites to read them, like I have with smartphones with higher resolutions.

Vodafone clearly wants the Smart 4 Power to be a smartphone you use to surf the internet regardless of where you are, and in this regard I think it's done very well.

Vodafone Smart 4 Power review

Making and receiving calls is also fine, with the phone app providing a big dial pad for typing in numbers. Again, the large screen helps make this a good choice of phone for people who have trouble viewing and using phones with smaller screens and higher resolutions.

It would have been nice to have more accessibility options to help people who have trouble seeing use the phone, as the big screen is a real benefit here.

Call quality is perfectly acceptable, and though it falls short of the clarity found in more expensive phones such as the Xperia Z3, it's fine for a handset of this price.

Text messages are handled by Android's default Messaging app, so everything is handled as expected. The 5-inch screen size of the Smart 4 Power can be either a blessing or a curse here, depending on how comfortable you are typing on a large screen.

Vodafone Smart 4 Power review

The Vodafone Smart 4 Power handles the essentials fine, but didn't blow me away

It makes the keys large and easy to hit, but I did find I was stretching my fingers a bit more than usual when typing one-handed. When typing with two hands, the larger screen (and therefore keyboard) helps make sure your fingers aren't knocking into each other.

I'm a fast typist and was pleased to see that the keyboard kept up with my furious key presses, smoothly correcting any spelling errors or typos as I went along.

Media and games are increasingly seen as essential to the smartphone experience. As far as watching videos goes on the Smart 4 Power, while the increased screen size is nice, the low resolution of 540 x 960 pixels means you're not going to bask in the glory of full HD.

Vodafone Smart 4 Power review

Video playback was pretty disappointing, with both the low resolution and juddery playback marring the viewing experience. Sadly I can't recommend the Smart 4 Power for watching films, which means its nice big screen goes to waste here.

Music playback is handled by Google Play Music, with the sound quality being solid, but not mind blowing.

Regardless of the type of media you'd want to play on the Vodafone Smart 4 Power, you'll want to invest in a memory card, as the Smart 4 Power's paltry 4GB of internal space will fill up very quickly.

With Android 4.4 installed you have access to Google Play Store and a huge range of apps and games.

Again, you're going to be limited to how many apps and games you install because of the low internal memory, however you may need to lay off some of the more intensive games due to the relatively weak specifications of the Smart 4 Power.


The Vodafone Smart 4 Power features a main camera with a 5 megapixel sensor. I wasn't expecting much considering the price of the handset, and though the photos taken with the Smart 4 Power were acceptable, they lacked sharpness and clarity.

This meant that certain details were lost. Colour reproduction was OK, but some snaps did appear washed out.

What I did like about the Smart 4 Power's camera was how fast it managed to take photos, with barely a pause from when I pressed the screen to the image being captured. A dedicated camera button on the body would have made it much more useful for taking quick shots.

Vodafone Smart 4 Power review

A front-facing VGA camera is also present, though the low quality of the camera leads to blurred looking shots, so you'll want to look elsewhere if you're a fan of taking selfies.

The Smart 4 Power's rear camera can also capture 720p video. It does the job fine, though even at 720p resolution the footage suffers from the same lack of sharpness as the still photos.

If you want a cheap smartphone that can take the odd short video to put up on Facebook or YouTube, then you might not mind the Smart 4 Power's lack of finesse when it comes to image quality. if you're looking for a camera that can capture once in a lifetime events, you'd be much better looking elsewhere.

Camera samples

Vodafone Smart 4 Power review

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Vodafone Smart 4 Power review

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Vodafone SMart 4 Power review

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Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops in our best laptops guide - and since joining TechRadar in 2014, he's reviewed over 250 laptops and computing accessories personally.