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Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 unboxing and hands-on review

Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 unboxing: Vodafone’s follow-up to 2016’s Smart Ultra 6 takes things up a gear with a 2K screen and a metal and glass body. We got one in for an unboxing.

At a glance

Screen size 5.5-inches
Screen resolution WQHD (1440×2560)
Weight 155 grams
OS Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Rear camera 16-megapixel
Front camera 8-megapixels
Processor 1.2GHz/1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 652
Memory 3GB RAM
Storage 32GB. Expandable via microSD up to 128GB
Battery 3000mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0

On first impressions, Vodafone isn’t messing around with the Smart Platinum 7. Even the box pulls away from the conventional raw cardboard finish, opting for a more silver (dare we say, platinum) hue. On the back, you’re given an overview of the impressive performance locked away inside the phone too.

Lift off the lid and you’re presented with the handset itself. What’s immediately apparent is the heightened level of fit and finish on display. The Smart Ultra 6 was a great affordable flagship for £125 (on PAYG), but the plastic build doesn’t compare to the premium design work employed by Vodafone’s new top dog.

Not unlike handsets such as the Galaxy S7 and Sony Xperia Z5, the Platinum 7 is more of a flagship in the true sense of the word. A metal frame and knurled hardware controls skirt the edges of the phone, whilst the front and back of the device are coated in pillowed 2.5D Gorilla Glass. It looks and feels like a top-tier current-generation smartphone and whilst it certainly draws inspiration from other popular devices, it has a unique look all its own.

Back to the box and underneath the phone lies a paper wallet, containing the phone’s Quick Start guide and warranty information as well as a SIM tray removal tool. The final layer is a smaller card container, which features a USB travel adapter, USB to microUSB (although USB Type C would have been nice) lead and a pair of attractive looking silver and black in-ear headphones with additional buds for different ears shapes and sizes.

The star attraction boasts a stunning 5.5-inch WQHD AMOLED display that looks as though it’s purpose-built for enjoying video, whilst on the back you’ll find a fingerprint sensor, sitting underneath a 16-megepixel primary camera. Much like the Sony Xperia X, the Platinum 7 is a flagship, despite not packing the beefiest chipset around, but the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor and the 3GB of RAM supporting will undoubtedly offer enough oomph for the majority of users in the majority of use cases.

With such an attractive screen and plenty of power under the hood, Vodafone has also promised an own-brand VR headset accessory that the phone will be able to slot into. It’s a little early in the year to be classed as a Google VR Daydream-ready device, but we’ve reached out to the carrier for confirmation on this one.

The Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 is now on sale for £300 on Pay As You Go or on a recommended £28-a-month contract, which includes 1GB of 4G+ data (the phone also supports Cat 6 LTE with speeds of up 300Mbps).

We’re mightily impressed with the introduction the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 has given us, and now we’re curious to see whether it truly is a flagship capable of taking on the big names.

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