The battle between Vodafone and EE in the United Kingdom, with respect to offering mid-range low-cost 4G-enabled smartphones in the country, just got more intensive. Vodafone has now launched and released the Smart Ultra 6 handset that not only comes 4G-enabled but also runs Google's more recent Android 5.1 operating platform straight out of the box.
Vodafone's latest Smart Ultra 6 competes directly with EE's recent Harrier that is also Android Lollipop-driven and is 4G-LTE compatible.
Pricing details and where to buy
The Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 costs £125 on the carrier's pay-as-you-go tariff plan. Buyers also get to choose Vodafone's pay monthly plan that offers the smartphone free and on data bundles with a starting price of £17.
For customers not opting for Vodafone's pay-as-you-go scheme, the handset's price reaches a sub £100 level.
EE's Harrier smartphone is priced at an almost identical £100, and the device costs £200 on pay-as-you-go. This handset can also be owned for free and at data bundles starting from £19. The amount of 4G-LTE data offered is said to be comparatively more than the 4G-LTE data offered by Vodafone for users of the Smart Ultra 6.
However, the technical specifications of Vodafone's Smart Ultra 6 seem to make the handset a much more value-for-money device than EE' Harrier.
Prospective buyers can check out Vodafone's e-Shop to buy the Smart Ultra 6 smartphone.
Technical specifications of Vodafone Smart Ultra 6
The USP of the Smart Ultra 6 is undoubtedly its 4G-LTE compatibility and Android 5.1 OS. Vodafone claims that the Smart Ultra 6 is "incredibly powerful" in every area; however this claim would have to be put under multiple real-world tests.
The Smart Ultra 6 packs in above-average tech-specs that do well to complement its £125 price tag. The smartphone features a fairly large 5.5in full HD display and has dimensions of 154 x 77 x 8.35 mm.
As described above, Vodafone's Smart Ultra 6 runs Android 5.1 (Lollipop) operating platform straight out of the box; and the handset is driven by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8939 processor.
A 13MP rear camera that supports 4x digital Zoom and LED flash also adorns the Smart Ultra 6 smartphone. It also has a 5MP front-facing camera.
Besides, the phone has 2GB RAM onboard with 16GB of internal storage area that is expandable further with the help of a microSD card.
In terms of connectivity, users get 4G-LTE, HSPA, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and microUSB.
The handset is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery which should provide a sufficient amount of talktime on a single charge.
"When it comes to phones, we look at the specific design trends that are considered hallmarks of a premium device – things like thinness, a metallic feel to the handset, or a thin bezel around the display. Think about your TV at home: if you have a thin frame around the screen it looks very modern, but if you have a thick frame around the screen it looks like it's from the 80s," states Vodafone, in an official blog post.
At this point in time, it is worth noting that EE's Harrier runs on the older Google Android 5.0 (Lollipop) platform and features fairly similar tech-specs as that of Vodafone's Smart Ultra 6. But the latter's Android 5.1 OS could just about turn the tide (of budget smartphone buyers) in its favour.