Vodafone’s Smart Ultra 7 has some tough competition. The higher low range phones are seriously stepping up their game when it comes to value and quality for the money. The Ultra 7 has its work cut out for it.

Looking around the device. The front has the forward facing camera complete with a LED flash. A nice addition for the selfie lover, however, I can’t imagine too many selfie lovers looking at this phone, save for some kids who are being treated to a phone from the folks.

The right side has some textured buttons, s feature I think more phone should try. you know what you are pressing and are never looking for the buttons.

On the bottom are a speaker grill, an off centre microUSB charger port and a microphone hole. You can also see an incision for ripping the back.

The top has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone. Nothing more.

As mentioned earlier, the back of the case is removable to get to the NON-replaceable battery, however, the MicroSD card is hidden under the back plate.

Now Vodafone’s back with the Smart Ultra 7 costs £130 from Vodafone as a Pay As You Go option, and this hasn’t really changed much since it’s launch in June 2016. Several phones have popped up between then and down that have offered more for the same price. However, Vodafone is keeping it simple here with average results across the board when others might push to have a better camera at the expense of performance.

The Ultra 7 has a generous 5.5 inch 1,920×1,080 resolution display. It’s a fine display with good colour depth and nothing that mars the experience. Whilst it’s not as dazzling as some of the superior phones on the market, it more than does it’s job.

Below the screen are some capacitive buttons. A tactile button sits between and, oddly, has a symbol to help find it. Haven’t quite found if this is terribly useful and can’t quite work out a reason for it’s inclusion. The lumination times out after five seconds making.

An octa-core 2.0GHz MediaTek MT6755 processor is in play here and things tick over quite nicely. Games run well, multitasking isn’t a hassle and whilst there is some heat from the back of the device under load there isn’t really anything to be concerned with. The processor is supported by 2GB of RAM and this only helps with a smooth experience. Admittedly 2GB is the minimum a phone should have right now, Android performs well when there isn’t a heavy overlay. Both AnTuTu and Geekbench were happy enough, if not setting the world alight.

Keeping it going through the day is a 2,960mAh battery and this is a little light for the power user. An intense day will see this device dead by dinner. If you are a power user you will need a power bank later in the day.

The 13-megapixel camera is a little disappointing. Outdoors the camera struggled with idyllic conditions and the output was fairly dark. Some shots of the river Lagan don’t do the day justice as they sun was splitting the skies.

Switching to the HDR function seems to brighten the picture however it adds a fuzz to the picture more than anything.

As with the rest of the camera, the video function to totally serviceable. Nothing really shock aside from some decent sound recording

The Smart Ultra 7 is a difficult phone to recommend. Whilst it isn’t bad, it feels a little expensive for what you get now. The price hasn’t dropped enough to keep it relevant. There are much better options for the money.

In saying that this is a phone that is consistently average. Nothing excels but nothing really disappoints and that makes it and that makes for an unusual recommendation. You are not going to go wrong with this device but you are not going to be excited by it.