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Vodafone 858 Smart

Vodafone is set to step up the price war for Android budget blowers, with a new branded smartphone, the 858 Smart, that costs just €90 (about £79) without a contract.

The bargain priced kit, manufactured by Huawei but with the Big V’s logo slapped on the front, is the second such effort from the network giant and is being billed as a spiritual successor to the 845 smartie that released last year.

Standout features include a compact 2.8-inch touchscreen with 320 x 240 resolution, a two-megapixel camera with zoom, a none-too-shabby 528MHz Qualcomm processor, with 130MB of RAM and an SD card slot for up to 32GB of storage capacity.

And all of this weighs just 100 grams, so it’s a pretty pocketable device. It also supports custom battery covers so you can still rock it with your leopard skin outfit if you really want to.

Elsewhere, there’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi onboard, which is a welcome addition to a handset that’s cheap as chips and something we’d definitely like to see becoming a standard what with free Wi-Fi hotspots becoming commonplace around the country.

More importantly, it runs on the semi-latest, Android 2.2, AKA Froyo iteration of Android, which means it’s not some relic from Android’s less-than-glamourous beginnings. It may not be the shiny new Gingerbread, but Froyo is nothing to scoff at that at this price point.

The 858 Smart will be available to purchase in the UK, Germany and Italy in early summer.

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