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Vodafone 858 Smart review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 75
inc VAT

Although it's well priced, the Smart's screen is cramped, its processor is slow and it lacks storage space for apps. Samsung's Galaxy Fit is better value


Android 2.2, 2.8in 240×320 display

Sadly, touch-sensitive shortcut keys are becoming more prevalent on handsets – gone is the handy optical trackpad/button from the 845. Instead, you get touch-sensitive controls for the four common Android functions – Home, Menu, Back and Search. The phone is lightweight and completely cased in plastic, but feels well made.

Vodafone 858 Smart Side

Thankfully, Vodafone has resisted customising the operating system to excess, and you’ll only find a couple of Vodafone apps installed. There’s a Music Shop, which lets you listen to 30 second clips and buy a selection of pop tracks for 99p each, and a separate Shop app with a selection of apps – but we couldn’t see much advantage in using this instead of the Android Market. The only really useful extra app is the Vodafone PAYG Manager, which lets you check your balance and top up with a voucher.

Vodafone 858 Smart Top

Vodafone has also installed a few 3rd-party apps, including a file manager, office document viewer and a keyboard app called Touchpal, which replaces the standard Android keyboard. Its only advantage seems to be that it takes up slightly less vertical space, but it wasn’t as easy to use as the native keyboard.

You can design your own customised back cover for the Smart for about £12, which may appeal to teenagers after their first smartphone. Busy adults, though, will find its small screen, limited app space and under-powered processor frustrating. If you’d like a phone on prepay, the Samsung Galaxy Fit feels faster and has a larger screen, and is well worth the extra £25.

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Price £75
Rating ***


Main display size 2.8in
Native resolution 240×320
Second Display No
CCD effective megapixels 2.0-megapixel
Video recording format 3GP
Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB
GPS yes
Internal memory 130MB
Memory card support microSD
Memory card included 0MB
Operating frequencies GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 850/1900/2100
Wireless data EDGE, HSPA
Size 106x56x12mm
Weight 100g


Operating system Android 2.2
Microsoft Office compatibility Word/Excel/PowerPoint/PDF viewers
Email client POP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format support AAC+, MP3, WMA
Video playback formats MP4, H.263, H.264
FM Radio yes
Web Browser Webkit
Accessories headset, data cable, charger
Talk time 4.5 hours
Standby time 15.8 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 19h 20m

Buying Information

Price on contract N/A
Prepay price £75
SIM-free supplier N/A
Contract/prepay supplier

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