Review: Vodafone Smart Ultra 6

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Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (11)

We recently took a look at Vodafone’s sub 100 euro smartphone and were truly shocked to see such a solid device for a price that low. Vodafone quickly trampled over that with the launch of the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6. The specs include a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display, Octa-core processor and 4G support. The most important factor here is the cost with the price tag set at €175. This is pretty mind blowing, since we’re dealing with mostly top notch spec’s. We’re already seriously impressed.

It’s time to get this review rolling. Below are the main specs and after that we take a look at the phone itself.

  • Android 5.0.1 Lollipop
  • 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS display
  • Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615
  • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Adreno 405
  • 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • 5 MP front facing camera
  • 16GB Storage with MicroSD slot
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, v4.0, A2DP,
  • FM radio
  • 154 x 77 x 8.4 mm, 159 g
  • 3000 mAh battery

The Vodafone Smart Ultra 6

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (10)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (9)   Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (1)

The design is very similar to the Smart Prime 6, but the MicroUSB is now centered, and we no longer have a removable back cover. The Nano sim slot and MicroSD slot are now located on the sides of the device and are accessible using an included metal pin.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (6)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (8) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (7)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (5)

 

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (2) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 (3)

Much like the Smart Prime 6, Vodafone had to keep the costs down as much as possible, but the design is still very solid with the device being both slim and lightweight.

The UI

Thankfully Vodafone have kept a pretty clean and vanilla Android UI. The device does include some Vodafone apps, which considering it’s a Vodafone phone is no surprise and not an issue.

Vodafone Smart Prime 6 UI (1) Vodafone Smart Prime 6 UI (2) Vodafone Smart Prime 6 UI (3)

Vodafone Smart Prime 6 UI (4) Vodafone Smart Prime 6 UI (5) Vodafone Smart Prime 6 UI (7)

Again, straight forward and clean, exactly what we love to see. If users want to use a third party launcher, they can do so just as with any Android phone before it. The UI is also as smooth as most flagship devices, and even multi-tasking loads quicker than expected.

Camera UI

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Camera UI (6) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Camera UI (4)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Camera UI (3)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Camera UI (7)   Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Camera UI (2)

The included camera app is surprisingly well built and offers a decent array of included modes and level of control with the manual mode. The layout does have some issues, with options and title information staying in portrait, even though most users will use the camera in landscape.

Photos

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (3) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (5)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (2) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (2)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (1) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (1)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (5) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (3)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (4) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (4)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (7) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (7)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (6) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (6)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (9) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (9)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (8) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (8)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (10) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (10)

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo Normal (11) Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 Photo HDR (11)

Pretty solid quality, but we can see some balance issues when using HDR. but the standard performance and balance is fairly solid and typical of a standard 13MP camera.

Videos

Benchmarks

Most flagship devices will offer insane performance that mostly goes far beyond what is necessary for the function of the device, but there still are some important aspects of performance and it’s nice to know your device is up for the challenge of the future.

The Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 includes an Octa-Core processor which offers fantastic performance throughout the UI and application of the devices. The benchmarks below also shows you shouldn’t be running into any issues with most applications. Another impressive fact for this €175 euro device.

3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited 7790
Antutu 5 26531
Geekbench 3 Single-Core 647
Geekbench 3 Multi-Core 2143
Vellamo Metal 900
Vellamo Multicore 1040
Vellamo Browser (Chrome) 2188
PC Mark2884

Gameplay Performance

An easier way to determine performance is for some heavy gameplay. We have done the same test on every flagship device to launch over the years, so let’s see how the Smart Ultra 6 from Vodafone fairs with the top games on Android.

GTA San Andreas had some hiccups on max settings, but other than that, performance was epic. Both dead trigger 2 and Modern Combat 5 played and looked beautifully. GTA mostly looked the same even with the lowered settings, and was more than enjoyable. We have seent he same issue with other flagship device in the past, with GTA almost being the Crysis of the mobile world.

This device continues to impress.

Battery life

Being a large device, it only makes sense to see a decent size battery inside, and thankfully Vodafone included a nice 3,000mAh battery.

Our test aims for medium-to-heavy usage within a 12 hour period with different tasks done throughout the day. The idea here is to use the device as intended and determine an approximate performance users can expect from the phone over a similar day usage.

Phone Calls20-30 Minutes
Text message/Chat/EmailsThroughout the day(checking) and 20-30 sent
Photos10-20
Video recording20-30 Minutes
Internet browsingThroughout the day(around 30-40 minutes total)
Gaming30 Minutes
YouTube/Netflix30-40 Minutes
ConnectivityWiFi and 4G; mostly 4G
Screen Brightness50-percent

Color us impressed. At the end of the day we had over 35-percent battery left, which is higher than expected. We can easily see 2 days usage with the device with gaming being dropped and brightness being lowed slightly. 30-percent brightness was more than ample, but we use 50-percent for all of our tests. Again, we’re impressed and the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 seems like it’s hitting all the right targets.

Conclusion

It’s time to wrap up the review. Below is a breakdown of different categories with Design, Display, Camera, Performance and finally Overall.

Design

The price aspect of this device of course comes with some serious conditions, and design is definitely going to be one. While plastic designs are considered lesser when it comes to premium design, when their done right, can still offer a nice experience.

Vodafone kept the device slim and light, considering it is a 5.5-inch device. The device feels great in hand, and doesn’t once feel cheap in anyway. It’s definretly a well built device and we commend Vodafone for being able to do that on a device at such a low price point.

Display

Easly the most stand out feature on paper. The sub €200 device offers a 1080p IPS display, something we have never seen before from any manufacturer. Even Apple are only now offering a 1080p IPS display on their iPhone 6+.

The screen is bright, has great colours, and look fantastic. Exactly what you would expected from a 1080p IPS display. Vodafone didn’t manage to get a hold of some B grade displays on the cheap, they put a solid performing IPS display into their device that is sure to impress.

Camera

Probably the only feature that doesn’t blow us away . The 13MP is a solid performer, but we are still spoiled by the insane performance that Samsung, Sony and others offer with their flagships.

The images are clear, with great detail, but again, the performance is not on the same level you would get from a true flagship device from this or even last year. Again, at this price point, we doubt anyone would be shocked, and performance is in no way bad, but there are some balance issues with the HDR mode, that were’t present with the smart prime 6, so not expected with bigger sibling.

Performance

The Snapdragon  chipset is set to give you great performance , We didn’t experience any lag or issues throughout UI performance, as thankfully Vodafone offer a pretty clean Android UI and nothing gets it the way of the smooth performance.

Gaming shows us the Smart Ultra 6 can easily handle the top games. GTA showed some low FPS, but a quick change from max to high settings gave us much smoother performance with barely a drop in quality. We have seen GTA with issues on other devices with max settings, even with a €500+ pricetags.

So basically you shouldn’t expect anything other than top performance out of the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 smartphone. We checked again, this phone really is only €175.

Overall

If you haven’t already guessed it. We absolutely love the Smart Ultra 6. Vodafone have done some real magic here and to be honest, this really is a game changer. If a network itself can offer a device of this level for a this price, it really should put the big manufacturers on notice to bring something new to the table, or at least offer more affordable devices with similar specs.

1080p IPS display, Octa-Core processor, 4G networking, MicroSD slot and great battery life are all available for €175. Last year a phone like this would have set you back over €500. Bar the camera’s less than spectacular performance, we have zero negativity for this device, and even then, we’re stretching about the camera.

Now we have had phones with better displays, performance, and design, but none at anywhere near this pricetag. We can’t even think of a device that costs double that would really do much more than this.

The Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 no doubt gets a gold award and we definitely recommend it to anyone look for a great full featured high end smartphone for under €200.

Geektech.ie Gold Award

A big thanks to Vodafone for sending out the Smart Ultra 6 for review. The current price of the device is €175 at any Vodafone retail store or online at Vodafone.ie

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  • Kamila

    Hi just wondering does this phone get all the new app updates? like the snapchat face detection and video stuff?