Two of the biggest networks have gone to war. It’s not about tariffs or data, but it’s about budget smartphones. In one corner we have the Vodafone Smart and the other the Orange Stockholm, both are Android smartphones, with touchscreens and apps that cost £75 and £79.99 respectively on pay as you go. But which should you go for?
Orange Stockholm Vs Vodafone Smart: Design and build
Considering both handsets are based on the Huawei U9160, so in terms of dimensions and weight they are near identical, although the Stockholm’s battery compartment embraces the body a bit more.
Controls are slightly different though. The Smart has touch sensitive Home, Menu, Back and Search buttons, while the Stockholm has three, with a large solid home button at the bottom, which we prefer.
The Stockholm is available in Black or White, but Vodafone has gone one better with the Smart; offering customistable covers either using a selection of pre-set templates or by uploading a photo at for around £11 from a special website.
Orange Stockholm Vs Vodafone Smart: Connectivity and Storage
There’s 130Mb internal memory on the Smart and 120Mb on the Stockholm, although both can be expanded using a microSD slot.
Orange Stockholm Vs Vodafone Smart: Android
Both phones run Android 2.2 Froyo. The Stockholm is on version 2.2.2 and the Smart is on version 2.2.1, although the later update was a bug fix.
The Stockholm has a customised Orange skin, which brings a few differences, namely a selection of Orange widgets and apps of varying degrees of interest. Signal Boost enhances your signal by connecting to your home WiFi network, there’s also Orange Wednesdays and Back-up.
However it’s hard to see why you’d use the App Shop and Orange Maps above Android Market and Google Maps though. And unfortunately you can’t delete either of them.
The Smart’s interface is more vanilla Android, although there are still some useful Vodafone shortcuts such as Prepay and (unlike the Stockholm) Vodafone’s music portal Music Shop and Shop, which frustratingly only works over WiFi.
Elsewhere static controls on the homescreen’s are slightly different, the Stockholm has menu, messaging, phone and contact features along the bottom, while the Smart has phone, menu and internet keys. The Stockholm has five homescreens and the Smart has four, all of which can be customised as necessary.
Orange Stockholm Vs Vodafone Smart: Screen
At 2.8-inches both phones share the same screen size and resolution of 320×240, however the Stockholm supports multitouch, so you can pinch to zoom, which is a major advantage when browsing.
A nice boost is Orange Gestures that enables you to quickly open applications by drawing symbols on the screen.
We turned the brightness up both handsets and while fine detail on the Smart is slightly sharper – particularly text – it’s noticeably darker. Colours however seem brighter and bolder looking at the colours on the Recombu logo the Smart seems more accurate. Off-angle viewing is pretty much identical on both phones.
Orange Stockholm Vs Vodafone Smart: Camera
The Smart includes a 2-megapixel camera, while the Stockholm has a 3.2-megapixel camera. The interface is exactly the same and both let you select the quality, apply five filters and select the white balance using five presets.
Tap the on-screen button to take a picture, the Smart has a quicker shutter making it better for action shows, however the screen is darker, which makes it harder to see fine detail.
Neither phone captures amazing photographs. Check out our test shots below (both pictures were shot with all features set to automatic). In our dark/light test shot the Smart produces a far more accurate colours,but seems very soft. The Stockholm produces a strange orange glow which wasn’t there and shadow detail looks over processed and soft. In our second test shot, the shots look more evenly match
Orange Stockholm Vs Vodafone Smart: Keyboard
Both mobile phones offer slightly different keyboards, the Stockholm includes the standard Android offering, both include TouchPal, but the Smart has a later version with options such as Spellcheck along with a Larger key option. Predictive text works is effective on both, although the small screen size means neither phone is ideal for prolonged typing though.
Orange Stockholm Vs Vodafone Smart: Verdict
The Orange Stockholm and Vodafone Smart offer a lot of features for comparatively little outlay, including WiFi and 3G and respectable build. Neither has a fantastic camera or is particularly powerful, but neither are features you’d expect at this price.
It’s a real shame the Stockholm has so many Orange-centric apps to bloat it, many people will prefer the more natural Android experience of the Smart and the ability to customise covers.
Ultimately it comes down to usability and with it’s support for multitouch when browsing the Stockholm feels slicker to use.