Vodafone 1210

Want a Blackberry, but can't stretch the business budget to afford one? Vodafone's 1210 might suit your needs, but you'll need to put up with a lot of compromises along the way.


6.3
CNET Rating
6.6
User Rating

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Design
The Vodafone 1210 is a remarkably plain looking smartphone that measures in at 110 x 46 x 18 mm and weighs 105 grams. The 1210 is dominated by its 240x320 pixel display screen. Underneath the screen sits four control buttons; two for selection, one back button and a home button. Further down is a five-way joystick selector that's very similar to those found on many Sony Ericsson models and small dialling buttons. Vodafone sells the 1210 as its "house brand" solution for businesses who want blackberry-style email-aware smartphones, but don't want the price tag associated with such devices. That doesn't stop Vodafone from selling Blackberry units; it's just that this particular unit is the no-frills entry-level model. As a no-frills substitute, it's thus perhaps not suprising that the 1210 is somewhat on the plain side. For those who crave such detail, it's actually an OEM phone produced by Asus for Vodafone.

Features
The 1210 is a 3G capable phone running the Windows Mobile 5.0 platform. Unlike many other Mobile 5.0 phones, however, the 1210 doesn't feature the cut-down Office suite and Internet Explorer. Instead, Vodafone has opted for the no-frills variants of those options; ClearVue for the Office reading capabilities and Opera for Web browsing. As it's a business mobile, there is no integrated camera. Onboard storage comes in the form of 64MB of memory, along with a MicroSD card slot, which hides under the battery. The practical upshot of that is that if you want to add storage, you may as well buy a really big MicroSD card, as you won't be able to access it easily once you've slotted it in and you'll have to power down the phone every time you do so.

Performance
As a regular phone, the 1210 performed quite well. Vodafone rates it for up to 3 hours GSM talktime (4 hours UTMS) with a standby time of up to 300 hours. That jibed well with our tests, where the 1210 lasted eight days between recharges on moderate usage. We hit a typical problem that we have with joystick phone controls with the 1210, which often misinterpreted a "down" press as a "select" press, and vice versa.

As an business phone, however, things were a little more murky. Opera itself ran well and did as good a job at rendering complex pages -- in some cases much better -- than competing Internet Explorer or Blackberry Browser alternatives. Likewise, if you're just scanning a document, the ClearVue solutions work quite well. It's when you come to data entry -- such as the email component that the 1210 sells itself on -- that things get much trickier. There's just no good way to do that via a regular phone keypad. The closest we've seen to a good solution comes in the form of the Blackberry Pearl and its semi-predictive keypress method. The 1210 has none of that and you're left slap-bang in the realm of TXT-speak, which isn't really suitable for most business purposes outside of certain youth-branded markets. Even simple things like setting up POP email accounts -- the 1210 supports POP, Windows Mobile Email and Blackberry Mail -- is rather tiresome due to the number of repetitive keypresses involved.

With any budget item there are compromises to be accepted and the Vodafone 1210 arguably falls on the wrong side of those compromises. It's a perfectly usable phone, good for browsing and checking work documents, but when it comes to anything more than just reading your email, it's just too fiddly to be genuinely worthwhile.



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JeepCub
6
Rating
 

JeepCub posted a review   

The Good:A neat package for an 'everyday' handset user who would like a bit of extra added punch. A good alternative to the fully fledged PDA handsets.

The Bad:This is my only issue; I purchased the handset unlocked but branded as Vodafone. This model is not listed on my home network's support page to 'sms' the gprs settings and I am unfortunately contracted to a Reseller with my SIM. My Reseller bluntly said "if your handset model istn't listed on the Optus website then we can't help you". Asus being the manufacturer doesn't acknowledge the model at all. If I was able to use the internet browsing function, I'd rate this as a 9 out of 10

If anyone knows of a way to solve this - I'd be extremely grateful.

Apart from one issue I rate this handset quite well. For what it is, the functionality is hard to beat.

Shiraz
10
Rating
 

Shiraz posted a review   

The Good:Cheap - Reliable - Great contacts options - great microSD card option to store gigabytes of music to listen to on the go!

The Bad:is a bit slow here and there, but no major problems what so ever.

I paid $150 for this from Vodafone - run out stock. for the price, the phone is fantastic. considering any other prepaid phone is roughly the same, for the price this tops it all.

Peter Ellis
2
Rating
 

Peter Ellis posted a review   

The Good:Not too many after playing with the 6120 custom

The Bad:Bad repair service, phone keeps failing.
I was happy to move on

To follow on from my previous comments of this disaster of a phone, after almost 3 months of it being returned for repairs, Vodafone have finally offered a credit on it.
My choice is the Nokia 6120C which out performs the 1210 by light years.

Gabi T
7
Rating
 

Gabi T posted a review   

The Good:Smartphone. easy to find contacts if you have 1000. easy to get your emails.
You can charge with any miniusb cable, from usb ports

The Bad:One of the mediocre smartphone.
Bad battery life (daily charge)

Just good, not excelent.

bizbloke
8
Rating
 

bizbloke posted a review   

The Good:size, battery life, bang for buck

The Bad:no WLAN but for the price who cares, the big thing is no protective case. Vodafone really need to get there act together on the case.

I have had my 1210 for four weeks now and think it is brilliant for the price. At almost half the price of other candy bar smartphones the only thing it is missing is some sort of WLAN connection.

It absolutely beats my last phone the Blackberry 7100, which was not just unreliable but the scroll wheel sucks. I cannot understand Crackberry at all I think the Blackberry is a pain in the proverbial.

If you want to do a lot of email buy a big device, If you want a bit of urgent email and a neat package buy the 1210

bizbloke
8
Rating
 

bizbloke posted a review   

The Good:size, battery life, bang for buck

The Bad:no WLAN but for the price who cares, the big thing is no protective case. Vodafone really need to get there act together on the case.

I have had my 1210 for four weeks now and think it is brilliant for the price. At almost half the price of other candy bar smartphones the only thing it is missing is some sort of WLAN connection.

It absolutely beats my last phone the Blackberry 7100, which was not just unreliable but the scroll wheel sucks. I cannot understand Crackberry at all I think the Blackberry is a pain in the proverbial.

If you want to do a lot of email buy a big device, If you want a bit of urgent email and a neat package buy the 1210

John_
5
Rating
 

John_ posted a review   

The Good:Battery does last for a long time.
Fairly good operating system.

The Bad:Expensive for what's given.
Joystick is a hassle.

This phone is pretty average, it does have some great features but if you're looking for a smart phone this definitely isn't the one you're looking for.




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User Reviews / Comments  Vodafone 1210

  • JeepCub

    JeepCub

    Rating6

    "Apart from one issue I rate this handset quite well. For what it is, the functionality is hard to beat."

  • Shiraz

    Shiraz

    Rating10

    "I paid $150 for this from Vodafone - run out stock. for the price, the phone is fantastic. considering any other prepaid phone is roughly the same, for the price this tops it all. "

  • Peter Ellis

    Peter Ellis

    Rating2

    "To follow on from my previous comments of this disaster of a phone, after almost 3 months of it being returned for repairs, Vodafone have finally offered a credit on it.
    My choice is the Nok..."

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