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Vodafone Vodafone 360 review

Barry de la Rosa
22 Dec 2009
Vodafone Vodafone 360
Our Rating 
Free on £40-per-month, 18-month contract

Despite great hardware and contact aggregation, the H1's LiMo operating system doesn't have the application support of its rivals.

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Specifications

proprietary, 3.5in 480x800 display

Vodafone's new 360 service, which consists of mobile software and a website, aggregates your instant messaging, social networking and email accounts, just like HTC's Sense and Motorola's Motoblur software. Currently it works with only two Vodafone-branded handsets, of which the H1 is one, but the company plans to roll it out to other handsets soon.

The H1 is solidly built, with an attractive design, and is available in black or silver. There are three buttons under the touchscreen to access the phone dialler, contacts screen and applications screen. We would have appreciated a few more buttons, such as a back control, to help speed up navigation around the menus, although the screen uses a capacitive touch sensor, which we found both smooth and responsive.

Samsung's AMOLED screens are fantastic, and the H1's is no exception. It's bright and vibrantly coloured, and the high resolution of 480x800 pixels means images look crisp and detailed. Pictures from the built-in camera were sharp, but colour accuracy was a little disappointing.

The H1 runs LiMo, a mobile version of the Linux operating system, which is extremely similar to Android. Unfortunately, it's not quite as popular with developers: the list of Best Rated Apps in Vodafone's Shop includes quizzes, city guides and magazines, although a To-Do list could prove useful.

The 360 service will aggregate contacts from Windows Live, Google and Facebook. There are problems receiving Google Mail at the moment, even though Google contacts are correctly imported. Vodafone is aware of this, but it wasn't fixed as we went to press. Despite the welcome addition of country-specific webmail services such as BT Internet, Tiscali and Sky, other popular services such as Twitter and MySpace aren't included, and there's no integration with photo-sharing sites such as Flickr or Picasa.

The 360 service provides backup for the data on your phone, including all your contacts. You can upload photos to it from your handset, although they aren't stored at the full resolution. If you lose your phone, you can track its location on the site from a PC. You can also send free SMS messages to other 360 users.

As well as the 360 website, the phone comes with PC software that can synchronise contacts and calendar with Outlook, and includes photo and video viewers, plus a video converter for playing your content on the H1. You can also choose to connect your phone as a mass storage device, if you're comfortable moving files manually.

Expanding the idea of social aggregation to include a web portal is a bold move by Vodafone, and the 360 service, despite some bugs, is a success. However, at present there aren't enough apps to make the H1 an attractive device. HTC's Hero is better value.

Details

Price£0
Rating***

Hardware

Main display size3.5in
Native resolution480x800
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels5-megapixel
FlashLED
Video recording format3GP
ConnectivityBluetooth, WiFi, USB
GPSyes
Internal memory16384MB
Memory card supportmicroSDHC
Memory card included0MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 2100
Wireless dataEDGE, HSDPA
Size116x58x13mm
Weight134g

Features

Operating systemproprietary
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord/Excel/PowerPoint/PDF viewers
Email clientPOP3/IMAP
FM Radioyes
Web BrowserOpera Mini
Accessoriesheadset, USB data cable, mains adapter
Talk time6.7 hours
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)20h 37m

Buying Information

Price on contractFree on £40-per-month, 18-month contract
SIM-free supplierN/A
Contract/prepay supplierwww.vodafone.co.uk
Detailswww.vodafone.co.uk

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