In today’s article we will review Vodaphone’s ultra-budget solution Smart Prime 6 – this is an under $100 phone (it’s currently priced at ~$90). As you could expect, the Smart Prime 6 is not a best performer or a looker, it’s unremarkable in mostly every way but for those shopping at the bottom end of the market it’s worth shortlisting. The design is solid and not bad-looking, the battery life is good and it comes with Lollipop so despite the shortcomings in a lot of aspects, there’s still market for it.
We’re at a time in smartphone evolution when budget phones are actually not all that and that means you can save yourself some money without ending up with a real clunker of a handset. The Smart Prime 6 is pretty much the cheapest way to get 4G today and you get a 5-inch 720 x 1280 pixel display, 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and Android 5.0 Lollipop too. The camera is 8-megapixel shooter and there’s a 2-megapixel model on the front. 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage (expandable via memory card) round out the key specs.
Design and features
The Vodafone Smart Prime 6 is well constructed and feels comfortable to hold. The back panel is gray plastic and the metaling trim around the screen adds a touch of class to the otherwise simple and boring design. The screen is somewhat disappointing – not really sharp or bright but it is usabl, although you may need to use it on full brightness most of the time.
Button and port positions are standard, with a headphone socket on top and the microUSB connector underneath. The back is removable, but the battery isn’t – flipping off the case lets you get the memory card and SIM card slots.
Maybe the best thing about this phone besides the price is that it comes with Lollipop – it feels so polished that you could almost be fooled that you’re using a much better phone. Otherwise, the performance is not brilliant – you get a 1.2GHz CPU but it works well enough. Trying to scroll down complex websites does occasionally give a noticeable lag when using the phone.
If used to a normal extent – a bit of texting, a bit of web browsing, a couple of YouTube videos and several calls for 2 days straight the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 leaves the battery at 75% which is much more than we expected. We believe that if you’re a heavy user, the Smart Prime 6 can get you through a whole day. With a low-powered CPU and a so-so screen, you’d expect battery life to be decent, but nevertheless it’s good to know that the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 can stay juiced for a very respectable length of time.
As a phone that sticks to the basics, the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 actually does them rather well – calls, texts and web browsing are all neatly taken care of. The stock apps for these essential functions remain largely unchanged from their stock versions with the exception of the Messenger app for SMS that has been given a red color. The keyboard is very much stock Lollipop, too.
The 8-megapixel doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, and the photos taken by the phone are pretty underwhelming, with details getting blurred and noisy. The phone struggles particularly with low light, and though there is an HDR mode to try to lighten up shadows and darken highlights it’s not particularly refined. The full HD video clips are fine, too. As with budget phones as a whole, we’ve now reached a stage where any mobile is going to be at least passable in the camera department, and that’s exactly what this is.
The Vodafone Smart Prime 6 is an under-powered, ultra-cheap phone that still gives you 4G and Android Lollipop. The screen is a bit of a let-down, though it’s good enough for the money you’re paying. Some extra brightness and resolution would certainly be welcome. The battery is surprisingly strong and can get you through a whole day with heavy use, so this is really more than you can expect for less than $100. The camera, which despite a decent interface and fast operation produces pictures that are very average. If you want great shots you’ll need to carry a separate camera with you.
Dimensions: 121.6 x 64.4 x 11.8 mm (4.79 x 2.54 x 0.46 in)