We chat to Vodafone's Christoph Richtsteig about how Vodafone creates high-spec, top-of-the range devices, but at a fraction of the price to the customer...
If you’ve dropped into one of our stores, or browsed the digital shelves of vodafone.co.uk recently, you’ll have noticed a few new devices at some eye-catching prices. That’s because we’ve been busy building a new line-up of our own brand smartphones and tablets, and the latest range more than hold their own, Pound for Pound.
To find out what’s involved in creating high-performance devices at such compelling prices, we’ve been chatting to Christoph Richtsteig – Vodafone’s Global Portfolio Manager. We’ve quizzed him about the latest devices, how they’re designed, and what it means for the world of smartphones…
Vodafone’s latest devices
“The Smart first 6 is really designed for those who are more used to ‘candy bar’ feature phones – an older style phone with physical buttons,” explains Christoph, “to give them the opportunity to explore the potential of smartphone connectivity.
“Simplicity is key here, so we’ve really taken that to an extreme both inside the phone and out. The user experience is deliberately based on helping people to make the transition from feature phone to smartphone as seamless as possible, by giving you quick access to all your essential features – like calling, texting and the internet – straight from the home screen.
“If you haven’t had a smartphone before, this is the perfect first choice.”
“We also identified screen-size as an important factor for those using a touchscreen phone for the first time,” he adds. “The display is the same size as the iPhone 5 – it’s a 4-inch device, which gives you space to work with without being overwhelming. If you haven’t had a smartphone before, this is the perfect first choice.”
Vodafone Smart 6 range
Looking for more information on Vodafone’s latest device range? Click the link below for all the specs…
So that’s the story behind the Vodafone Smart first 6 , but what about our more powerful devices from the new Smart 6 range – the Smart prime 6 and the Smart Tab prime 6?
“The approach was very different,” Christoph explains, “We wanted to create a device like the Google Nexus 5, with great all-round performance, high-end spec and a really affordable price. Similarly for the Smart Tab prime 6, we really felt we could build a device that was comparable with more expensive devices on the market.
“The Smart prime 6 for example has a sleek design that comes in at 8.9mm – the same as the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the Nexus, and the HD screen has a similar number of pixels per inch for the Retina display as the iPhone 6 – it’s slightly less, but still really sharp, vivid and colourful. And then you’ve got quality cameras on the front and the back, the latest and best 4G connectivity and more for just a fraction of the price you’d pay on a similar spec device.
“It’s the same story for the Smart Tab prime 6,” he continues. “One thing we did want to do differently is to make sure the Tab prime was truly a mobile device. We saw a lot of big, heavy 10-inch devices on the market that aren’t really portable, so we made the Tab prime more compact. The screen is still just under 10-inches, but the tablet is light enough to comfortably carry in one hand. It’s perfect for commuting and travelling.
“Everything else on the tablet – the HD display, the cameras, the thin profile and 4G connectivity – is comparable to top-of-the-range tablets on the market today.”
“We’re very open about the components we put into our devices,” he says. “Consumers can actually benchmark Vodafone branded devices against others on the market, and if they do they’ll realise they get the same performance from us as they do from others.
“We use similar components from Qualcomm and other well-known manufacturers, and our devices have similar specs. The only major difference is that our prices are really consumer-friendly.”
Finding the balance
Although we’re committed to bringing you these devices at affordable prices, that doesn’t come at the cost of overall quality. As Christoph explains, there is a fine line between low price and high standards:
“Anyone can build an affordable product, but we believe our devices provide great quality for great value.”
“I think there’s been a major shift in the last few years away from just having the cheapest device possible towards focusing on value for money. Anyone can build an affordable product, but we believe our devices provide great quality for great value.
“In a nutshell, we sell our high spec devices at pocket friendly prices,” he says, “and we bundle them with our fantastic services and 4G content offerings.”
“I think that’s the way forward,” says Christoph in closing. “We need to continue to find that right balance, and providing great value whilst packing all the latest technology and innovative design we can into our phones and tablets.”
Want one of your own? Head over to the Vodafone Shop and pick up a phone or a tablet – at an incredible price – for yourself!