Vodafone 845 in-depth review -

Look and feel

The compact 845 has a demure charm to it – it certainly doesn’t feel or look like a bargain phone.

Ease of use

Android is a highly intuitive operating system and this phone has extra details, like plentiful home screens, that make it stand out from the crowd.

Features

For the price, this phone is very well-specced, providing you can put up with a resistive touch-screen.

Performance

For the most part the phone is responsive, though sometimes it’s not as speedy as you’d like.

Battery life

You’ll need to charge the 845 daily, but you won’t worry about it letting you down during the day.

 Vodafone 845 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:59:08 PM

4

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Great price, subtle looks and decent interface

Cons:

Decidedly average camera and unimpressive touch-screen

Vodafone’s new own brand phone, the 845, is light, dinky and has a small screen – just 2.8 inches. If you want a phone that won’t stretch your pocket (in both senses), this petite, affordable handset is worth a look.

Since it’s a touch-screen, that’s most of the front of the phone accounted for. This is an Android phone, version 2.1, the one that introduced those eye-catching, battery draining animated wallpapers to beguile our eyes. And there are multiple home screens: Vodafone had tricked the 845 out with seven screens. Actually, it’s more than that. Grab hold of an icon on any screen and drag it upwards and a new row of seven screens is created. In all, you can have scores of screens, though finding what you’re looking for may take some time. Still, it’s a neat addition that we haven’t seen before.

The phone has five buttons: Send and End call buttons, of course, a menu button and a combined back and home key. The fifth is an efficient touchpad to navigate between menus and home screens.

Resistive touch-screen

The small display doesn’t have multi-touch because this is a resistive touch-screen, the cheaper, pressure-sensitive kind. You can see at a glance that it’s not high-resolution. Resistive screens keep down costs, and there are other benefits, like the fact that you can use it when you’re wearing gloves, or via a stylus. Because you have to press that little bit harder, though, it’s easy with resistive screens to go astray by launching an icon as you’re trying to navigate past and that’s certainly the case here.

If you press the touchpad, the display shows the home pages as a grid of thumbnails, which stretch off screen. This is a nice touch, though not as cute as HTC’s Sense interface, which shows seven screens at the same time. Vodafone’s other customisations include icons for contacts, email and more in recognisable Vodafone red livery. Not to mention a Vodafone red highlight colour that you’ll see every time a confirm/cancel button appears.

Of course, as this is an Android phone, you can configure each screen as you wish. Vodafone has helpfully put some widgets in place for you, including a weather item which – like the weather element in HTC’s phones – tells you what to expect outside. It also has a decent analogue clock – unlike some earlier versions found in Android.

 

Text input on a touch-screen can sometimes be tricky, especially with a screen as small as this. There’s a bunch of keyboards available: one is Android’s standard version while the other three are variants of Touch pal, though we’d recommend sticking with Android’s as it’s far easier to type on. Switching input methods is done by a long press on a text area. This is surprisingly unintuitive for Android, but thankfully it’s described in the manual.

Snap away

On the back of the phone is a 3.2-megapixel camera, which isn’t the highest resolution possible, and since there’s no flash it’s predictably not at its best in low light situations.

The 845 also has an FM radio built in and along with Bluetooth there’s Wi-Fi and GPS – not bad for a budget phone. In fact, apart from the resistive screen, there’s not much here that tells you this is such an affordable handset.

Conclusion

The Vodafone 845 is a decent stab at an Android phone and it’s been delivered at a great price. But the biggest let down is the resistive touch-screen, which requires a firm press and a little patience to make it work. The rest of the phone has very decent specifications, a neatly customised edition of Android 2.1 and attractive styling.