In an attempt to please the masses, Vodafone has started selling the affordable and app-friendly 845. Designed and made by Huawei, the 845 is a frill-less Android handset that boasts a touchscreen and a 3.2-megapixel camera. On paper it sounds good but we took it out on the road to see how it performed in real life.
What we like
It’s hard to find a small smartphone so we were glad to see how pocket-friendy the 845 was when we first took it out of its box. You can stuff it in a pocket easily and it won’t make you look like a show-off when you place it on a table.
The 845’s build quality is high compared to other ‘budget’ phones. It’s no iPhone 4 but it feels solid and it’s not ugly. The touchscreen and buttons are laid out well and there’s even a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom so you can use your own headphones.
What we don’t like
We wanted to tell you how great it is that the 845 runs Android 2.1 (Eclair) but the OS is let down by a poor touchscreen and slow processor. Unlike the HTC Desire or iPhone 4, the 845 boasts a resistive display that could do with a stylus.
Trying to navigate through menus of browse the web was like trying to swim in treacle at times. You can almost hear Android weep as it tries to display various widgets and apps without great success.
As if the poor touchscreen didn’t upset us enough, the 3.2-megapixel camera took lacklustre photos that could have come from a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) camera. Don’t even think about taking pictures at night – there’s no flash.
If you’re not prepared to pay a lot for a phone then you can’t expect a lot but the Vodafone 845 really did disappoint us. If only it had a better screen we wouldn’t have found it so bad. Buying a ‘budget’ smartphone shouldn’t mean buying something that doesn’t work well.