Vodafone announces Smart, cheap droid on pre-paid plan : New gizmos, Gadgets gazette Blog

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vodafone announces Smart, cheap droid on pre-paid plan

Affordable, carrier-branded smartphones are about the easiest way to jump onto the smartphone bandwagon. Vodafone has a new offering coming, the Vodafone Smart, that they hope will bolster their smartphone sales, which already make up 40% of the phones they sell in Europe.

The Vodafone 858 Smart runs Android 2.2 Froyo and promises the full Android experience. It’s not a high-powered device by any measure – it’s powered by a Qualcomm MSM7225 chipset. Vodafone didn’t specify clock speed, though that sort of chipset has its CPU typically running at 528MHz.

The Smart has a 2.8” QVGA capacitive touchscreen (bummer!) and a 2MP camera. The phone is 3G-enabled with 3.6Mbps HSPA though it only has one 3G band (which is enough for Vodafone’s needs). Also in the connectivity department, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and A-GPS. The Vodafone 858 Smart supports microSD cards up to 32GB.

The 858 Smart is fairly compact, measuring 12.6mm thick and weighing 104 grams.

The Vodafone 858 Smart will be available in early summer, on a pre-paid data plan (no details on other available plans yet) for about €90 (£80). That certainly sounds expensive as Orange, for instance, has the much more capable San Francisco for only £99.

The phone will be available in the UK, Germany and Italy first and other Vodafone countries later. The phone comes preloaded with Vodafone Music and an app to top up your account.

It will initially launch in black and white color versions, but others will be available afterwards and users will even be able to personalize their phone with custom graphic designs.

In case you were wondering, the Vodafone 858 Smart is based on the Huawei U8160.

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