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# 175378 26-Jun-2015 15:23
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Introducing the best smartphone in NZ for under $300 - the Vodafone Smart ultra.

http://vodafone.co.nz/smartultra

http://vodafone.co.nz/smartultraprepay

 

  • 5.5" 1080p IPS display
  • 13MP camera
  • 5MP front camera with smile detection
  • 1.5GHz Octa core Snapdragon 615
  • 2GB RAM
  • 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
  • 16GB internal storage + Micro SD slot (Supports exFAT)
  • Double tap to wake
  • Full app permissions manager
  • Cat4 4G up to 150Mbps
  • Home button doubles as a notification light
  • Made by ZTE
  • Is seven flavours of awesome

$299 outright, or $0 on a $39 plan.

Smart ultra is not network locked.

Sample photography: https://goo.gl/photos/vfo7rsv5ggtJ1SRF7

Promo video: http://vodafone.co.nz/smartultravideo

This has been my daily driver for the last ~6 weeks. Battery life is exceptionally good, I consistently get ~6.5hrs screen on.

Any questions or requests, let me know.

 - Nik




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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  # 1332180 26-Jun-2015 15:24
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Band 28 support?

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  # 1332181 26-Jun-2015 15:26
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Eating Moto G for breakfast!

 
 
 
 




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  # 1332184 26-Jun-2015 15:30

johnr: Band 28 support?


No - these are produced at such reasonable prices because they're made for the European market, which doesn't use band 28.

Hopefully we'll have that on board next year.

Only other thing to be aware of is no 5GHz WiFi.

macuser: Eating Moto G for breakfast!


When the first gen Moto G popped up for ~$300, it was easily the best deal on the market. Now...not so much.




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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  # 1332217 26-Jun-2015 16:09
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Any heating issues? 1.5GHz Snapdragon 615 is version 1 isn't it? version 2 is 1.7GHz from my understanding which suppose to remedy heating issues, but apparently heating issues still present, but not as bad as v1.

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  # 1332220 26-Jun-2015 16:12
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macuser: Eating Moto G for breakfast!


Is it dual SIM though??  The Moto G is..




Regards,

Old3eyes




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  # 1332246 26-Jun-2015 16:22

540trickzter: Any heating issues? 1.5GHz Snapdragon 615 is version 1 isn't it? version 2 is 1.7GHz from my understanding which suppose to remedy heating issues, but apparently heating issues still present, but not as bad as v1.


Now this is interesting, as until a few weeks ago I'd heard absolutely nothing about 615 overheating. Researched it after seeing some comments about 615 on reddit - 810 is of course infamous for overheating with its A57 cores, but 615 is entirely A53, as is Snapdragon 410. Heat issues seem limited to the Xiaomi Mi4i and the 810 bandwagon effect. I believe it's the second gen of 615 that's clocked at 1.5GHz rather than the first gen.

While the Xiaomi Mi4i did receive a patch for heat issues, and I've anecdotally heard of the HTC Desire 820 getting warm under load, I have had no such issues with Smart ultra out of any of the 15 units I've spent time with, including preproduction hardware, and there were no mentions of this in the initial hardware evaluation throughout Vodafone Group globally. I've benchmarked ultra extensively, played demanding games, shot 1080p video, used it in the sun, dropped it, speed tested it, and really put it through its paces. No heat issues here.




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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  # 1332254 26-Jun-2015 16:29
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Nik.  Have you had a play with the  Xiaomi Mi4i  Yet??




Regards,

Old3eyes


 
 
 
 




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  # 1332259 26-Jun-2015 16:41

old3eyes:

Is it dual SIM though??  The Moto G is..


Vodafone as a whole doesn't sell dual SIM handsets - defeats the purpose of operator-branded phones. :)

The 4G Moto G units are not dual SIM, though.

old3eyes: Nik.  Have you had a play with the  Xiaomi Mi4i  Yet??


Nope. I spend time with every handset Vodafone NZ ranges (And a number that we don't), but Xiaomi has a very small presence in NZ - accessories in PBTech et cetera - so I haven't tinkered with any of their recent kit myself. MIUI was good fun a few years back.




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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  # 1335153 1-Jul-2015 16:13
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Would you consider this an upgrade from the Samsung S4?

Being vodafones flagship, I hope support and updates are good



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  # 1335164 1-Jul-2015 16:38

Yabanize: Would you consider this an upgrade from the Samsung S4?

Being vodafones flagship, I hope support and updates are good


Over the i9505, sure, for the battery life and larger screen alone. I'm still using this as my daily driver and I don't think I'll be changing that for a while, it does everything I need it to better than any other single phone I have on hand.

Smart ultra does not support the 850MHz 3G band, however, so is not suitable for anyone on Spark or Skinny.

Local support should be good. Updates depend on Vodafone Group and the lifecycle of the device. Realistically, it's a $300 phone, so probably won't see as many platform upgrades (Android version bumps) as a $1000 phone, but will see a few maintenance releases (Bugfixes/security patches - I'm testing one right now).




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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  # 1335167 1-Jul-2015 16:39
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Looks pretty good spec, are these available at most Vodafone retail outlets yet? If not, any idea when they are expected?

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  # 1335170 1-Jul-2015 16:43
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NikT:
Yabanize: Would you consider this an upgrade from the Samsung S4?

Being vodafones flagship, I hope support and updates are good


Over the i9505, sure, for the battery life and larger screen alone. I'm still using this as my daily driver and I don't think I'll be changing that for a while, it does everything I need it to better than any other single phone I have on hand.

Smart ultra does not support the 850MHz 3G band, however, so is not suitable for anyone on Spark or Skinny.

Local support should be good. Updates depend on Vodafone Group and the lifecycle of the device. Realistically, it's a $300 phone, so probably won't see as many platform upgrades (Android version bumps) as a $1000 phone, but will see a few maintenance releases (Bugfixes/security patches - I'm testing one right now).


You usually use a Note 4 yeah? You don't feel any reason to go back to it. Wow

Yeah true, I would hope for it to see M though

Wonder if there will be any custom roms, but being stock android there isn't much need to use one. As long as it can be rooted

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  # 1335172 1-Jul-2015 16:45
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Will the SIM from my Galaxy S3 go straight in to one of these or will I need to get a different one?







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  # 1335223 1-Jul-2015 17:16

Inphinity: Looks pretty good spec, are these available at most Vodafone retail outlets yet? If not, any idea when they are expected?


Smart ultra should be available from all Vodafone stores now.

Brumfondl: Will the SIM from my Galaxy S3 go straight in to one of these or will I need to get a different one?


Ultra takes a nano SIM, so you'll need a new one. SIM swaps are free for all existing customers at any Vodafone store, or you can get a blank SIM in the new triple form factor (Mini/micro/nano) and SIM swap yourself using My Vodafone on desktop or mobile.

Yabanize:

You usually use a Note 4 yeah? You don't feel any reason to go back to it. Wow

Yeah true, I would hope for it to see M though

Wonder if there will be any custom roms, but being stock android there isn't much need to use one. As long as it can be rooted


Suspect we'll see 5.1, wouldn't bet on M - but that said, M's best feature is available out of the box. Permissions management is one of the chief reasons I'm happily using ultra over the Note 4. Haven't heard anything about platform updates at this stage mind you, this is just going from the last few generations of VBDs (Vodafone Branded Devices), which have been a different value proposition.

It's a very vanilla build with a few additional goodies baked in, like double tap to wake, the notification light home button, and the permissions manager. Similar in a sense to what Moto does rather than Nexus style, and I'm glad to have the additional functionality over Google's builds.

ZTE will be making the kernel source available of course, so custom kernels should be a possibility. With specs like this, I'd love to see a few custom ROMs. Will likely root one of my samples for testing once we have a full software package in house to reflash with.

As for the Note 4, my daily driver was the iPhone 6 Plus prior to ultra. Note 4 didn't have the battery life I was looking for. 6 Plus certainly did, but my preference is Android and iOS doesn't work with my Sony Smartwatch 3. I just wanted a 6 Plus running Lollipop. And here it is...for $299.




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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  # 1335240 1-Jul-2015 17:50
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I'm amazed. 

Yeah I know the past but these seem like a different class of devices.

Lack of updates is a big thing for me, My S4 was 4.2 jellybean, 4.3 jellybean, 4.4 kitkat and now 5.0 lollipop, with minor updates in between..

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