Sunday 28 December 2014

High tech or budget? Amazon Fire and Vodafone Smart 4

Published 28/06/2014 | 02:30

AT&T Mobility president and CEO Ralph de la Vega discusses the Fire Phone, Amazon.com's first smartphone (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
AT&T Mobility president and CEO Ralph de la Vega discusses the Fire Phone, Amazon.com's first smartphone (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Amazon Fire phone Price: €475

Rating: **

Amazon doesn't sell its tablets directly in Ireland. Yet there are plenty who go and get one while on holidays (usually in the US). These people may be tempted to try the same with Amazon's newest product, the Fire smartphone. Anyone who does will almost certainly be disappointed.

The phone matches much of the specifications of its main rivals, with a quad-core processor, plenty of memory and lots of online storage. It has a nice, clear 4.7-inch screen, too. But that's where the appeal ends: the only thing Amazon is offering after that is a rather flimsy 3D feature, some barcode-scanning technology and a few other gimmicky tidbits. Meanwhile, its main focus is supposed to be encouraging you to buy more stuff on Amazon.

If you're heading to the States on holidays or for business and purchase one of these now, you're a fool: they'll probably be half price by Christmas time.

Smart choice of phone on a tight budget

Vodafone Smart 4

Price: €80

Rating: ***

What's the cheapest decent smartphone you can get?

Nokia would have a shout for that title, with its Lumia 520. Huawei would also merit a mention with the G510. But if money is really too tight to mention, Vodafone's Smart 4 is definitely worth a look.

It is unusual for two reasons. First, it has a large(ish) 4.5-inch screen (but which is non-HD). Second, it comes with the very latest version of Android (4.4 'KitKat').

It's plasticky, to be sure, and its 5-megapixel camera is so-so. But for €80 all-in, this isn't a bad deal. (Vodafone also has a 4-inch version called the 'Smart 4 mini' for €20 less, but this has lower specifications and isn't worth the saving.)

Irish Independent

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