Vodafone and Orange launch low-cost smartphones

Vodafone has launched a self-branded £70 smartphone in a bid to appeal to consumers who are currently priced out of the “smartphone revolution”.

The Vodafone Smart II handset (pictured) runs on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and has a chipset manufactured by chipmaker Broadcom, with an 832MHz processor and 512MB of RAM.

It has a 3.2-in HVGA capacitive touchscreen, which supports 64 million colours, supports 3G HSDPA and wifi connectivity, has a 3.2-megapixel camera and uses AGPS technology for accurate mapping and navigation functions.

According to Vodafone, the handset has “twice the processing power of the most expensive and sought-after smartphones available three years ago”.

The Smart II will be available across Vodafone markets and partner markets this summer and will be priced under €99, launching first in the UK priced at £70.

“The Smart II is one of the most important devices we have ever introduced,” said Patrick Chomet, group terminals director. “We believe the Smart II could represent a tipping point in the evolution of the market, bringing a new wave of consumers to the supermobile world for the first time.”

Rival Orange has also unveiled its own Intel-based smartphone for the UK, which will be priced at £200 on a PAYG tariff.

The San Diego handset was manufactured by Chinese firm Gigabyte and runs on Intel’s single-core Atom Z2460 processor. It will go on sale on June 6 in the UK and will be released in France shortly after.

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