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The first thing you notice when unboxing the Vodafone Smart 4 mini is that it’s, well, not that mini. With a 4-inch display and dimensions of 12cm by 6.4cm, Vodafone’s entry-level smartphone is comparable to the size of many high-end devices. The iPhone 5C for example, is just 4mm taller and a couple of millimetres thinner.
Running on Android 4.2.2, with a 1.3Ghz dual core chip, and sporting a not-too-shabby 3.2 megapixel camera with video functionality, the Smart 4 comes with all the standard bits ’n pieces you’d expect: a USB cable and charger, slot for a 32GB MicroSD and black headphones that do their job just fine. You’re looking at around 11 hours of talk-time when on 3G from the 1400mAh battery.
Connectivity-wise you have Wi-Fi direct, tethering GPS and a nifty wireless FM radio for those must-check-on-the-cricket-score moments.
So far so good then, but it’s when you start unlocking the power of Google that things heat up. With more than one million Android apps downloadable from the Google Play Store as well as eBooks, music and movies, all your entertainment is collated in one place. Your social media needs have also been catered for with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube preloaded – all you need to do is sign into your accounts – and web-surfing is enabled by Chrome, our favourite browser.
Also preloaded are Vodacom apps like My Vodacom, Vlive, as well as 3D maps – all of which are easily accessible direct from your lockscreen.
We particularly liked the gesture typing that reacts smoothly to your finger and vibrates to let you know you’ve typed a letter, which is useful in noisy environments. Other cool features are the ability to mute the phone by simply turning it over, the speed with which the screen rotates and the swipe down on the home screen to access your notifications – again comparable to the experience on much more expensive phones.
The overall impression is that as a low-end, relatively inexpensive smartphone, the Vodafone Smart 4 mini does a perfectly good job and at its low price point (from R79 per month on uChoose Flexi 50), should be attractive not only to new smartphone users, but for those who want smart functionality but aren’t bothered with needing to own the coolest-looking, newest, big-name brand devices.
If you simply need a phone to make calls to your mom, browse the web, stay in touch via social media, snap the odd pic of your cat and enjoy the power of the Google Play platform, there may be many consumers who ask, why spend more when you can go mini 4?
|Dimensions||121.6mm x 64.4mm x 12.3mm|
|Screen||4-inch WVGA TFT, 400 x 800 pixels|
|Platform (OS)||Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean|
|Memory||4GB, expandable to 32GB|