Vodafone Smart Speed 6 review

It's a silver surfer's dream machine

Vodafone Smart speed 6

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The quad-core 1GHz ARM processor and 1GB of RAM mean performance that's more Sunday driver than boy racer. Geekbench 3 scores of 1378 and 487 for multi-core and single core performance are strong enough, though, matching the similarly-priced EE Rook and falling not far short of the Huawei Ascend G7.

Vodafone Smart speed 6 review

The Vodafone Smart speed 6 will run pretty much any game you want.

Movie playback is fine, with the screen doing a good job of reproducing subtle shades and gradients. Even games are handled with relative ease. Real Racing 3 won't run at a super-smooth frame rate and curved lines are a little jagged, but it does run – and well enough to be properly enjoyable.

Sound is impressive on all fronts, from in-game audio to music streaming and MP3 playback, particularly with headphones. There's none of that annoying background hiss that you often find on cheaper devices that use inexpensive audio components.

Battery life is nothing to write home about, but nothing that'll draw complaint, either – I wrung a couple of days out of it under average conditions. Streaming a 90-minute YouTube movie over Wi-Fi sucked up just over 32% of the battery life, dropping from 99% at the start to 67% at the end.

The Vodafone Smart Speed 6 experience as a whole is just as pleasant – this smartphone really does live up to its name. There's no noticeable lag when navigating the user interface, when waking it up or switching from app to app; it just goes to show how flexible Lollipop is on lower-end smartphones when paired with the right components.


The primary camera is actually the only aspect of the Vodafone Smart Speed 6 that gives away its budget background.

My expectations weren't high to begin with, limited as this camera is by its 5-megapixel sensor, although as the Apple iPhone routinely shows, high megapixel counts aren't everything. The Vodafone Smart speed 6 isn't capable of any fancy image processing to make up for the resolution shortfall, though.

Outdoor shots appeared slightly underexposed when using the normal photo mode, or washed out and overexposed when shooting in HDR mode.

The results indoors are marginally better than outdoors – the flash is useful for lighting subjects at close range, and the camera coped with low light conditions far better than it did brighter ones.

Whatever the setting, though, images are grainy, and anything in the picture that's a metre or so away from the lens loses definition.

Geo-tagging and the HDR mode are the only extra bells you get on the imaging front. There's no macro mode and no spot focusing, no facility to capture raw images or any other indulgence.

You can record video at 1280 x 720, though, producing pretty smooth footage that suffers from the same slight underexposure that dogged the still pictures. Digital image stabilisation is available if your hand isn't as steady as once was.

Vodafone Smart speed 6 review

Colour reproduction is decent, but shoot anything further than a metre away and pictures lose definition.

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Vodafone Smart speed 6 review

The fixed focus can make shots a gamble, as it's difficult to see on the smartphone's screen what's in focus and what isn't.

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Vodafone Smart speed 6 review

The camera performs better indoors rather than out, with shallower depths of field and better light balance.

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Vodafone Smart speed 6 review

Despite the lack of definition, there's very little compression noise present in the captured images.

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