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Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 review: Camera

The 16Mp camera is decent, but the overall experience does give away the phone’s lower price where other aspects like its screen and build quality reflect its premium leanings. The camera app includes an array of different modes that we have come to expect from our smartphones, from slo-mo to macro, HDR to panorama. It’s pleasant to use even if the end results aren’t the best available. Check out our in depth tests of the best smartphone cameras of 2016

Photos contain good levels of detail but are grainier on closer inspection than that which we have seen on the likes of the LG G5 or Samsung Galaxy S7. Those are higher end phones in terms of hardware specs and price, however this fact conversely once again highlights the advantages of the Smart Platinum 7's excellent price point as the camera is above average.

The Platinum’s design also incorporates a dedicated camera button, something we always welcome – you simply double click it to launch the camera app. One niggle is that the camera button is on the top left hand edge, so using the camera right handed as the phone dictates means it’s hard not to cover the lens with your right hand. We prefer designs where such buttons are on the bottom right as you look at the phone portrait, as opposed to top left.

Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 review: Software and apps

The Platinum runs Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 right out the box, and we were impressed with the ease of the set up. Vodafone has opted for nigh-on stock Android here, so it’s Google all the way. We were easily able to transfer our entire existing Android phone’s apps, contacts and data over to the Platinum via Wi-Fi and NFC thanks to excellent set up instructions, and were using it within minutes – bear in mind things are a tad trickier if you are moving from iOS to Android. Here’s our guide on how to wrestle that beast

There is the option to turn on little pop ups that guide you through the use of your phone on first-time tasks. These could be handy if you are new to Android but we found them annoying. It is the only example here where Vodafone patronise the user – in the past, many operator branded phones have made the mistake of coaching people through the phone at all times. It’s nice to see that Vodafone have largely abandoned the incorrect assumption that those who buy these phones are completely tech illiterate, but still included relatively subtle prompts for those that need help. 

The choice to use stock Android makes the phone feel like a Nexus device, which is no bad thing. The only signs of dreaded operator bloatware are in the apps Vodafone politely cajoles you into downloading/using/ignoring. They aren’t as intrusive as we had feared, letting you easily uninstall what you don’t want. We ended up using the SMS app Message+ rather than the standard messaging app, as it adds useful multimedia options. 

The home screen is a blank canvas for you to customise, and apps run slick with the hardware. The fingerprint sensor software integrates with apps you might expect to use it, like banking apps and the Play Store. However, we found it a tad frustrating to use given its position on the rear of the phone. It does work, but the button is fairly small and doesn’t protrude, so sometimes if your finger isn’t flush with it, it won’t read it properly. We still prefer using such sensors when they are on the front or edges of devices. 

Specs

Vodafone Smart Platinum 7: Specs

  • GSM / HSPA / LTE Announced 2016 June Available. Released 2016, June Dimensions 154 x 75.7 x 7 mm Weight 155 g Dual SIM AMOLED capacitive touchscreen Size 5.5 inches 1440 x 2560 pixels (~534 ppi pixel density) Android OS, v6.0.1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 CPU Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A72 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 GPU Adreno 510 Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB Internal 32 GB, 3 GB RAM Primary 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, LED flash Secondary 8 MP, 1080p, LED flash 3.5mm jack Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE NFC USB microUSB v2.0 Sensors Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Fast battery charging: 50% in 30 min (Quick Charge 3.0) Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery