Vodafone Smart Tab 4G – taking on Tesco in the tablet stakes

Smart_Tab_4G_Jerry_front-resized

Vodafone launched its own-brand 4G smartphones in July of this year and now it’s looking to muscle in on the burgeoning 4G tablet market as well. The Smart Tab 4G with its 8-inch screen is of course an updated version of the existing Smart Tab 4, but don’t write it off as just the same old device on a faster network.

Let’s take a look at what’s different. Most noticeable is the Smart Tab 4G’s HD display but there are changes under the skin too. For a start there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad core CPU in place of the MediaTek in the earlier machine. As mobile site Mobot says:

“We’re admittedly pleasantly surprised that the 3G model’s MediaTek processor is gone, too, the Vodafone Smart Tab 4G instead adopting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset.”

In addition the back camera is up from 2MP to 5MP. Otherwise the size, weight, battery and Android 4.4 are the same as the earlier model.

The pricing of the Smart Tab 4G also looks attractive, if you choose to buy the device to use on pay-as-you go it’ll cost £125 up front – that’s £4 less than the Wi-Fi only Tesco Hudl 2 though the Hudl has a slightly faster processor and more RAM. On a 1GB 4G contract it’s around £17 a month after a £29 initial payment. As Wired says, “Costing only £125, the Vodafone Smart Tab 4G is a veritable bargain, but is aimed squarely at competing with other smaller tablets in this price range. “

PC Advisor makes the point that:

“Rather than aiming for tech-heads these devices look to be marketed at less tech-savvy consumers, allowing children and old people easy, unintimidating access to tablet technology.”

Trusted Reviews notes that the Smart Tab’s processor is slower than the Hudl’s,

“The Smart Tab pairs this 8-inch HD display with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor tucked away inside. It’s worth noting that the Hudl 2 trumps this with its 1.83GHz Intel Atom chip.”

Trusted Reviews is, however, impressed by the tablet’s style, “It’s not a bad looking device either, sporting a svelte 7.9mm profile, slimmed-down front bezels, and a donut-dodging weight of just 309g.” Wired though is rather less smitten, “…while Vodafone hasn’t spent any time at all jazzing up what is a very plain and basic black plastic design, it’s easy to forgive thanks to the tablet’s price.”

Smart_Tab_4G_Jerry_back_20angle-resized

To sum up, as Vodafone’s Connected Devices Portfolio manager Jason Smith points out on the company’s blog, “You don’t see many devices of this quality at this price point.” Mr Smith may be slightly biased, however, if you want a reasonably priced tablet but don’t want to be restricted to sitting at home on your own Wi-Fi or seeking out hotspots, the Smart Tab 4G looks like an attractive proposition.