A great budget Android smartphone with limitless home screen customisation, the 845 has all the features of a more expensive smartphone - except a larger screen
Android 2.1, 2.8in 240×320 display
The Vodafone 845 is a budget Android phone available free on contract for £20 per month. It comes with a heavily customised version of Android 2.1, so it can handle multiple Google accounts and has improvements to the camera application that older versions of the OS lack. Despite its small size, the 845 still has room for GPS, WiFi, a 3.2-megapixel camera and an FM radio.
As usual with a carrier-specific phone, the 845 has its fair share of Vodafone branding, although thankfully it’s limited to four icons for the four Vodafone apps. These include re-skinned Contacts and Email apps, the Music Shop, and a My Web icon that’s basically a link Vodafone’s home page.
Android 2.1 comes with five home screens that you can flick through from side to side. With the 845, if you drag an icon to the border of the existing home screens, a new home screen is created. In effect, you can create an unlimited number of rows and columns to fit all the icons and widgets you want.
Vodafone has bundled a copy of Documents To Go, an office document viewer, as well as a File Manager and a couple of small utilities, but it hasn’t made a serious attempt at social aggregation. The contacts app doesn’t merge contacts between various services, and is prone to accepting duplicates.
The 845 feels tough, but won’t turn any heads. Its optical touchpad is useful, although we felt it could have been placed further from the adjoining keys, as we sometimes activated it by mistake. The touchscreen is resistive and so requires a bit more pressure, and as a result we didn’t feel it was as responsive as others. The camera takes acceptable snaps for Facebook, but low light quality is poor and there’s no flash.
As a budget Android phone, the 845 stands out for having the latest version of the operating system, but despite a host of great features, it’s no match for the Samsung Galaxy Portal with its 3.2in AMOLED capacitive touchscreen.
|Main display size
|CCD effective megapixels
|Video recording format
|Bluetooth, USB, WiFi
|Memory card support
|Memory card included
|GSM 900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
|Microsoft Office compatibility
|Audio format support
|MP3, WAV, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA
|Video playback formats
|MP4, H.263, H.264
|headset, data cable, charger
|Tested battery life (MP3 playback)
|Price on contract
|£20-per-month, 18-month contract