Review: Vodafone Smart Turbo 7

The Vodafone Smart Turbo 7 is the latest phone in the Vodafone line up. Coming in at £50 it sits in the lower end of the line. So let’s see what we think about it.

So once again I would like to thank Vodafone for kindly sending me out a unit to review.

Specs

As usual let’s get the specs out the way.

  • 5 inch 420×854 IPS LCD display
  • Android 6.0.1
  • Mediatek MTK6735M
  • 8GB storage
  • 1GB RAM
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • 5MP rear camera – 2592×1944 720p
  • 2MP front camera
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • NFC
  • MicroUSB
  • 2000mAh battery

Unboxing

So it’s pretty much like every other Vodafone branded device really. Opening the box reveals the device itself. Pull out the phone and you find all the paperwork. Then pull out the lid and you’ll find all you accessories. So let’s cover that. In the box you get a MicroUSB cable, a cheap pair of earbuds and a power brick which again is an EU brick. I don’t understand why Vodafone give you a UK plug with some devices and an EU plug for others. Whilst it is not a problem for me I imagine that it could be for some.

Device Tour

Let’s take a look around the device. Starting round the front of the device you earpiece screen and the capacitive buttons. Flipping on over to the right hand side of the device you’ll find nothing. Heading up to the top you find the 3.5mm headphone jack. Heading over to the left side of the phone you’ll find the volume rocker and power button. At the bottom of the device you’ll find the microUSB port and the microphone. Finally at the back of the device you’ll find the camera and the LED flash. As well as various Vodafone branding with a recurring pattern design. Which isn’t actually that bad of a design.

Software

Software is pretty simple here. In fact all it is stock Android (Android Marshmallow) with a few tweaks added by Vodafone. These tweaks are supposed to help but it may be just me but all it is a pain. It essentially just gives a simple mode and detailed tips. That’s it. I’m glad that’s all it is, and I’m glad of the fact you can turn off if you want to see the tips when you are setting the device up.

Camera

The camera is what you would expect really. In some of the close up shots you can clearly see where it is trying. In all fairness this would be fine if you were in an accident and need a couple of pictures with some fair amount of detail for insurance purposes. When you to take shots that have more subjects in them the camera does a poor job. It just struggles and it quite often just washes the colour out. As previously mentioned it would do for insurance purposes. You could possibly get a few decent snaps of your pets or possibly young children. Whatever it is don’t expect high quality photos.

Now I’m not a selfie person so I only took the one as well as a bizarre pink thing I had lying around. As you can tell from the selfie I took it wasn’t great. However it is only a 2MP camera so when you put it like that it isn’t actually that bad. It however won’t be any good for them selfie whores.  

Video Sample

When it comes to video the first thing the Turbo does is to zoom in as soon as you record. Both on the front and on the rear camera. Whilst not a turn off it certainly is considered a nuisance. Moving on to the quality, now the rear 5MP camera records at 720p. The quality isn’t the greatest, but again it brings me back to my earlier point about being fine for certain use cases. The front camera is certainly a different story. I wouldn’t use it at all, ever. I know it is a 2MP camera but it’s awful. You could get a quick Skype call in but that would be about it.

Display

The display ain’t that half that bad. It’s a 5 inch 420×854 IPS LCD display and it isn’t that bad considering the resolution. The viewing angles are just fine. I mean there’s isn’t much more to say here. It’s just a basic IPS display. Though my unit’s display brightness wouldn’t change when you dragged the brightness slider around, I did turn off auto brightness but it stayed on. This does seem to be an issue with only my unit. But in all honesty it was perfectly fine for this level of device.   

Battery, Benchmarks and Performance

As you could probably guess from the fact it has a small battery and very low specs, the battery life is amazing. As you can see from the screenshots the battery lasted me all day with plenty of battery left. This was moderate use, but this is what I expected.

In the GeekBench app the Turbo 7 did a pretty good job all things considering. It walked out with a 432 in the single-core score as well as a 1197 multi-core score. In the latest GeekBench update (GeekBench 4) they added a render script test. The Turbo got a score of 615 here. 

Conclusion

So to conclude, yes the Turbo 7 is a nice phone and at the price I can’t see how you could go wrong. You can clearly see where it sits in Vodafone’s line up. The battery life is amazing and that is due to the specs. One thing I did do was turn all the animations down to 0.5x to get a comfortable animation speed. The whole issue that I had with the brightness settings wasn’t really a big issue though it could be an issue for some but it’s not a deal breaker for me. That 8GB of internal storage isn’t that great but it does have a microSD card slot. The cameras are ok at best but what do you expect for £39. At this price you are looking a “dumb” phones.

Taking all of that into consideration would I recommend it? Yes, at £39 you can’t go wrong with it. That’s all can say I can say to wrap it really. It’s a budget phone and you get what you pay for. If there is anything else you wish to know or you’ve brought one let us know us tell us what you think.

Vodafone Smart Turbo 7

£39
7.8

Build Quality

8.0/10

Performance

7.0/10

Camera

6.0/10

Battery

9.0/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Great battery
  • Fairly snappy

Cons

  • Camera washes colours out
  • Manual brightness dosen't work

About Chris Wallace

Techie, Gamer, Biker

28 comments

  1. Thanks for posting no-nonsense advice. My battery seems to be running out in no time with almost non-use but at least I have a good starting point if I take it into the shop to discuss.

  2. Battery stats are way off, have had 2 though work. Runs out quick when any processing power needed and takes 4 hours to charge

    • Seems to be a coomon fault at the minuite. At the time they were what I was getting. If you don’t mind me asking how long was it after you got the device did you notice the battery stats dind’t match mine? I’m unsure why, maybe there was a software update after I send mine back.

  3. When someone is calling me I have no way to answer the call as nothing is showing On The screen. Only know I have a call when it rings. No caller ID shown or any way to answer the call ?????? Cannot answer my phone when it rings please help. Only few weeks old, used to have a circle on the front for you to swipe but it has disappeared ???? Need help

    • I would try resetting the device. If all else fails then head into a store and and see what they can do. Being only a few weeks old with faults seems rather odd.

    • Hi,
      Same problem here with my wife’s Vodafone Smart 4. RAM amount on these phones is just too short for anything. You have to reset the phone every week to keep it clean enough to be able to place and answer calls. Soon enough you will see the clock not being updated and the alarms not ringing.

  4. Mine does not ring at all .I tried to set the ringing tone but not working neither does it vibrate.I don’t know whattodo.

  5. I had this phone as a present 2 weeks ago, still do not know how it works

  6. How do you answer the phone when I press the button it does not work

  7. I bought this handset a month ago & I find it is by far the worst phone I’ve had, ever!
    Calls & texts are what you’d expect from any phone, however just forget using any apps like whatsapp, facebook or ebay; all of which don’t just suffer from constant lag but actually cut out & hang during use.
    I use an app called ‘Call blocker Pro’ (paid version) which has worked without fault on previous handsets, HTC, Blackberry Priv etc., but on this ‘Smart?’ ‘Turbo?’ the app just gets turned off randomly.
    I don’t know how or why this should be & it’s annoying to have calls coming through which have previously been blocked.
    Even Vodafones app takes 2-3 minutes to load.
    The battery life is also appalling, at best 5 or maybe 7 hours of use before needing what seems an unnecessarily long time to charge. Having turned off all notifications except calls & texts & absolutely no background usage by anything.
    I just feel Vodafone are cynically laughing all the way to the bank having just seemingly thrown & few bits together & called it a handset; safe in the knowledge that the sheer size of their company make most complaints just water off a ducks back.
    There are a good many very cheaply produced & priced Chinese import phones which leave this offering from Vodafone as effective as two tin cans & a piece of string & I imagine the Chinese who made this handset for Vodafone are scratching their heads in wonder.

    • David,

      Don’t forget the price point here. Everything we tried seemed to work without too much hassle but it’s not a mid-ranger. It will have it’s limitations, however I’m surprised at the ones you found when we did not.

  8. £35? They charged me £45 in the Vodafone shop plus £10 for the SIM card I didn’t need, so £55.
    Can anyone tell me how to turn off the torchlight please? Not sure how it came on. Think when I swiped.

  9. Iv had this phone a week now and in that time its switched its self off and took a day to come back on then twice its got that hot it’s burnt my finger…. Not good its goin bk…

  10. I got my first turbo 7 in January after fully charging the battery I started to use when the battery got to about 60% the phone would not let me switch it on until I charged for 5mins or so. I took it into shop and it was sent off for repair only to find it had the same fault a new battery was put in and the same happened again. 3 trips to the shop and sent off for repair same fault. I then got a replacement phone, the same phone, this one was exactly the same about 60% and unable to switch on. I have a spare smart phone and this lasts for at least 3 days without charge. am I doing something wrong

    • From what your saying you drum to be doing everything fine. The phone appears to having problems ageing. I’ve nit used the device since I reviewed it. All I can suggest is going back to the store and they should sort it. Which you are doing. If you get any updates please let me know

  11. The buttons on the side of the phone are far too easy to press during normal use. I’m constantly locking the screen mid-usage which is very annoying.

    Other than that I’m pretty impressed at what you get for your cash.

    I have requested a network unlocking code from VF so I can use it on another network. Fingers crossed.

    The only other issue is figuring out how to completely debrand it (vodafone splash screen during log on – no thanks) and then i’ll be happy.

    • As I recall I didn’t have an this issue. But rather hitting the volume down instead of lock button. Somthing that I quickly got used too. Though the new Vodafone Smart N8 seems to suffer the same problem. I dont think it helps as the buttons don’t have a differernt feel to them.

  12. got it in december. Everything working fine but recently bttery drains fast esp on Wi-Fi. Like the selfie fuctions. Internal memory not large enough for apps.. But loving the phone. Not as good as my htc vigro though in terms of camera for instnce

  13. Jackson Mullins

    Out of all 5 VERY low budget phones I have used since 2013, the turbo 7 is the absolute worst.

    Small battery is a common thing and it’s removable so I’ll let that slide.

    First and foremost, the screen keeps glitching, must be the sweat from my hands but it’s still dreadful even if I wiped the screen and even with the most precise touch, the keyboard glitches so bad it’s like someone banged their head on the keyboard a couple of times.

    Speaking of screens………… really? 480p resolution?? This makes the Emoji Movie look like a masterpiece.

    The processing is so bad, it refused to open Snapchat and the specs are way below the requirements to OPEN Pokemon Go.

    The 8GB internal storage is common for low budget phone users but the system ate nearly ALL the memory, Google Play keeps notifying me that the phone has not enough storage space so I had to use APKs. I’ve moved all the files and the apps once but it wouldn’t run properly on external storage, so there’s no hope.

    Vodafone became my wow factor in the past but now I no longer trust them anymore. And on top of that, DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE SMART E8. It’s a huge embarrassment to the Smart Turbo 7 regarding the specs and benchmarks, It’s like taking a dump and slap in the Vodafone logo and potato camera. Not even the fingerprint scanner on the Smart N8 can regain my trust and respect, it’s all gone. I’d rather switch to Spark (NZ Carrier). And speaking of New Zealand, they sponsor the worst Rugby League team ever (Warriors), they’re like a pile of jackass running in the field.

    Sorry if I sounded angry and ruthless in this comment but I had to get this out of my chest. Luckily I found the Galaxy J3 on special so I’ll get that for my birthday next week, so I found hope.

  14. I was wondering can you block numbers using this phone, also I don’t know when I have had a call nothing comes up on the display is this normal does anyone know

  15. The big button lowers the ring volume when pressed accidentally during a call. From then on I don’t hear any ring tone. From time to time, when an inward call fails, I get a massive explosive sound in my ear, it’s so loud and has happened 5 times (at random) I am now having to visit my audiologist – after each such event I can not hear from the ear for about 30 minutes. Vodafone store here (in NZ) can’t fix the problem, but then they couldn’t turn of the torch either !!! Trouble is I am 70 years too old for this heap of junk and it’s not a good look asking 7 year-old kids on the street for help.

  16. Thanks for your straigh forward advice. Best I,ve seen so far!! What phone cd you recommend with a good quality camera, better features and a good battery life. I previously had a Samsung galaxy s4 zoom which took fantastic photos. Need to upgrade now……..and can,t find something similar. Want something affordable. Pls help!!!!!(there is so many choices and i don,t know which one to choose)

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