Vodafone Smart Tab N8 review

4G tablets don’t get much cheaper than this

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Battery life

  • 6 hour battery life for movies and gaming
  • Micro USB charging but no fast charge

A few parts of the Vodafone Smart Tab N8 are real baseline elements, with battery life being another weak link compared to the competition.

It has a 4,600mAh cell, which is giant for a phone, but this isn’t a phone. The Lenovo Tab 2 A10-30, for example, has a 7,000mAh battery.

Playing a 90-minute movie at maximum brightness takes 25% off the battery, suggesting it will last just six hours. The Amazon Fire HD 8 for comparison dropped just 17% in the same test.

Half an hour of Real Racing 3 lops 9% off the battery, which points to 5.5 hours of gaming off a charge. This is actually a much better result than we see with video, suggesting the issue is really power management, as gaming stamina should be much lower than that of video, not just a little lower.

We see this sort of effect throughout the Vodafone Smart Tab N8. The CPU doesn’t seem to scale well, making the battery drain quicker than we’d like with light tasks. Battery level also seems to drip down quicker than we’d like in standby.


  • Poor 5MP rear camera
  • Basic 2MP selfie camera
  • Slow but reasonably effective HDR mode

The Vodafone Smart Tab N8 has the kind of camera array that you see in budget tablets because these things must have two cameras. It might as well be the law. There’s no mandate for ‘good cameras’, though.

There’s a 5MP camera on the back and a 2MP one on the front. Neither has a flash.

The rear camera doesn’t even have autofocus, making it impossible to take true close-ups. In just about every respect this is a very weak camera.

Shooting speed is a little slow, and when you switch to HDR the speed drops even further. You need to stay still for a couple of seconds to avoid ghosting in your HDR shots.

Like other low-end 5MP cameras, the Vodafone Smart Tab N8’s photos have very limited detail, they don’t hold up well when you zoom in, at all.

Night shots look dark or noisy, or both, and the low-quality lens tends to smear strong light sources.

Use HDR for a well-lit daylight shot, though, and the Vodafone Smart Tab N8 can take the odd passable pic.

Around the front the 2MP camera is another low-end piece of hardware. However, it can reproduce skin tones reasonably. Ish. And it gives the kids something to play with.

Camera samples

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.