Vodafone Smart Tab 4

Vodafone has unveiled its 8in Smart Tab 4 budget Android tablet, which costs just £125 on PAYG, or on tariffs starting at £16 per month. Also see: Best budget tablets 2014

Compared to rival small-screen Android tablets such as the 4G-toting £199 EE Eagle, amazing-value £199 Google Nexus 7 and circa-£160 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, the Smart Tab 4 doesn't have the best-looking spec on paper. Until you consider that it's considerably cheaper than the competition when purchased on a PAYG basis, and 3G connectivity is included at this price.

The Vodafone Smart Tab 4 features an 8in (1280x800) IPS panel, and runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2 (with an update to 4.4 KitKat promised) on a 1.2GHz MediaTek quad-core processor, paired with 1GB of RAM. There's 8GB of internal storage, plus support for microSDXC, which lets you bolt on an extra 64GB.

Connectivity stretches to 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G, HSPA+ and Bluetooth 4.0. The Vodafone Smart Tab 4 has a front-facing webcam (0.3Mp) for video chat, plus a basic 2Mp rear camera. Inside its 209x122.8x7.99mm, 328g chassis is a 4,060mAh battery pack.

Vodafone Smart Tab 4 vs EE Eagle: Pricing

Vodafone's £125 Smart Tab 4 comes in significantly cheaper than the £199 EE Eagle (expected 28 May) when bought on a PAYG basis. However, when purchased with a contract the faster (both in terms of processing power and download speeds) EE Eagle is the cheaper tablet.

The EE Eagle can be had for £15 per month with 2GB of 4G data, with an upfront charge of £49. That works out at £409. The Smart Tab 4, meanwhile, is £16 per month with a £79 upfront charge - that's a total of £463 - and the data included in the plan is just 1GB and of the 3G variety. To use 4G data on the Smart Tab 4 you must pay £30 per month with an upfront charge of £29 (total cost £749), although 10GB is included in the plan.

You might also be interested in news of an upcoming updated Tesco Hudl budget tablet.