A lack of truly standout features means the follow up to the popular Smart Ultra 6 comes up short.
Good specs for the price, impressive screen (to a point), uncluttered Android experience
Cheap design, poor camera performance and viewing angles, Vodafone only
Display: 5.5in Full HD 1,920x1,080 pixels, 401ppi
Processor: Mediatek MT6755M
Operating system: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Cameras: Rear 13MP, LED flash
Front 5MP LED flash
The Smart Ultra 7 could outsmart its rivals by combining decent internals with outstanding value. After all, the Smart Ultra 6 was praised by tech tastemakers up and down the land in 2015, so it seems feasible that Vodafone can pull it off successfully again. Let's take a look.
The Smart Ultra 7 is a bit like a bigger Galaxy S2 (remember that!?) complete with textured back, only with cheaper materials. There's no luxurious brushed metal or Gorilla Glass, just an all-plastic case that adds to the fairly non-descript appearance.
It's bigger than the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 at 152.2x78.1x8.7mm but weighs a none too heavy 150g. Despite the fair asking price it doesn't feel cheap, and it sits comfortably in the hand, although that 5.5in screen almost nudges it into phablet territory.
The big central button on the front doesn't hide a fingerprint scanner, but functions as a Home key. Either side are two capacitive buttons that light up when pressed, but we can't shake the feeling that they appear tacky.
Power and volume controls live on the handset's right side decorated in a fake textured metal. On the bottom you'll find a USB 2.0 port and the phone's speaker enclosure. Sadly the speakers fail to reach the dizzy heights of those booming front-facing units on the pricier Smart Platinum 7.
The handset is available in Satin Charcoal or Aluminium Silver.
Performance and hardware
Peering inside we find a MediaTek MT6755M CPU with four 1.8GHz and four 1GHz cores, backed with 2GB of RAM. The MediaTek chip also goes by another name, the Helio P10. You might know that as the brains behind the formidable Oppo F1 Plus, except that the Oppo uses faster clock speeds.
The Smart Ultra 7 scored 799 (single-core) and 3,022 (multi-core) in our Geekbench 3 tests. This compares favourably with the Moto G4, which returned 713 and 2,947. It also beats the Obi Worldphone MV1 and Wileyfox Spark. So far, so good.
As previously noted there's no fingerprint scanner like on its Smart Platinum 7 brother or NFC support.