Vodafone announced the Smart III today, a new low-end Android smartphone running version 4.1 firmware (Jelly Bean) for less than £99 ($150 USD) in the United Kingdom.
There’s a 1 GHz single-core ARM A9 processor and 512 MB of RAM, which should be just enough for handling most modern apps in the Google Play store. Everything is thrown up on a 4-inch WVGA touchscreen, at a resolution of 480×800 (233 ppi). It’s a far cry from the 1080p displays found in the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, but it should serviceable for those looking to buy their first smartphone.
The Smart III comes with 4GB of internal storage, although there’s a microSD slot for up to 32GB of additional space. It’s also equipped with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, which isn’t bad for a low-end Android device. It can also shoot video at 720p and 30 frames per second, which should be fine for a quick clip on YouTube or Facebook.
The device weights just 136 grams and comes in at 10.9mm thick, which is about right for a smartphone of this size.
The Smart III is exclusive to Vodafone in the UK and there’s no word of a wider release at this point. CNET reports that the device is being made by Alcatel, who is known for producing a plethora of low-end Android smartphones at competitive price-points.
Consumers can pick up the Smart III for £95 as a pay-as-you-go handset, or grab it for free as part of a £13 per month two-year contract. It follows the Smart II, which was launched last year for £70 on pay-as-you-go but only came with Android version 2.3 (Gingerbread). Ouch.
If you know someone who’s looking to buy their first smartphone and wants to spend as little money as possible, you could do the worse than the Smart III in the UK.