They're not glamorous, they're not world-beating, but budget devices from mobile network carriers fulfill a specific purpose. While the 150 GBP asking price for the Vodafone Tab prime 6 may not scream 'bargain' when you can get a more powerful device for less, it has the perks of 4G, Lollipop, and possible discounts for existing Vodafone customers. Read on for our Vodafone Tab prime 6 review to find out if these facets make this Vodafone tablet worth a peek.
- ✓4G connectivity
- ✓Almost no pre-installed bloatware
- ✓Stock Android Lollipop
- ✓Potential discounts for Vodafone customers
- ✕Murky screen
- ✕Poor camera
- ✕Not great at multitasking
Vodafone Tab prime 6 release date and price
The Vodafone Tab prime 6 release date was on 6th May, 2015. If you're a Pay as you go customer, the Vodafone Tab prime 6 price starts at 150 GBP, for which you also get 6GB mobile data. The Freedom Freebee PayG tariff starts from 20 GBP - which gives you 1GB data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts. For 30 GBP, you will also receive free access to a choice of Spotify Premium, Sky Sports Mobile TV or a NOW TV Entertainment Pass as part of Vodafone’s Ultimate Entertainment Package.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 design and build quality
It’s not reasonable to expect cutting-edge design from a network carrier, and we certainly don’t get it with the Tab prime 6. Not to say that it’s explicitly ugly, but it's definitely rudimentary.
The Tab prime 6, manufactured by Alcatel, is plastic all-round, with a reasonably grippy gun-metal finish on the back which curves around onto the sides of the tablet. The volume rocker and power button are on the right-hand side, and the SIM and microSD slots are on the back, leaving the sides of the tablet mostly unblemished by ports or buttons. On the top of the tablet is an IR blaster, which is a welcome little bonus on this low-end device.
On the front, the Tab prime 6 is glossy black, covered by a screen glass that's unfortunately sticky to the touch and a fingerprint magnet. You better have your micro-fibre cloth on standby when using this device.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 display
The Tab prime 6 display is a 9.6-incher, so fairly substantial and enough screen real estate to make it a decent device for writing documents, emails, and so on.
That's where the positives about the display end unfortunately, as it's a low-res 1280 x 800-pixel offering, making for a lowly pixel density of 157 PPI. The low resolution could be excused if the color reproduction and brightness levels were better, but everything on the screen looks decidedly dull and murky. There is a brightness slider built into stock Lollipop on the device, but it's disabled on the Tab prime 6, forcing you to settle for the meagre default brightness.
Even by budget standards, this display quite literally fails to shine. This won't bother people looking for a basic tablet, but visual activities like videos and photo-viewing will be fairly underwhelming for anyone with a remotely keen eye.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 special features
The Tab prime 6 features an IR blaster located at the top of the device, which works with the Peel Smart Remote app (the same IR remote app that features on the HTC One M9). It's extremely easy to set up, so within minutes you can have control of all infrared-controlled devices in your room - from TVs to air conditioners.
The Vodafone Tab prime 6 also has 4G connectivity, which we got very solid performance with in the heart of London. For more information on whether you have 4G access in your area, visit Vodafone's official 4G page.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 software
Vodafone wisely went with stock Android 5.0.2 Lollipop on the Tab prime 6, which runs reasonably - though not incredibly smoothly - on the device.
Mercifully, Vodafone didn’t take liberties by cramming a ton of mobile network bloatware (i.e. the worst kind of bloatware) onto the Tab prime 6. The only two Vodafone apps by default are Discover (essentially a giant advertising board for Vodafone products) and Updates - which lets you install My Web, Vodafone’s web browser homepage (don’t do it!), and the slightly more useful My Vodafone and Vodafone Net Perform, which you can use to monitor your bill and data usage respectively
One useful app is Peel Smart Remote, which is the same app used by HTC for its One series to control IR devices around the house. It also has a nifty TV guide feature which lets you set reminders for when your favorite shows are on.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 performance
The Vodafone Tab prime 6 specs include a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 chipset. While four cores still sounds fairly impressive for a budget tablet, it's a pretty rudimentary chipset that just manages to run stock Android Lollipop at decent level.
With 1GB RAM onboard, we recommend that you regularly use Lollipop's Recent Apps button to close apps left running in the background, otherwise they might quickly start taking their toll on this tablet. The kind of games you can play on this tablet will be more along the lines of Crossy Road rather than Asphalt 8, but my experience is that the best mobile games happen to be the less graphically-demanding ones, so you're not missing out on much there.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 camera
Vodafone says that the 5MP rear-facing camera on the Tab prime 6 will ‘capture all those special moments’. That’s a lie. Attempting to capture special moments on this device will disintegrate your joyous memories into a pixellated, murky nightmare, making you wish you’d left them in the safe recesses of your memory.
There are a few options in Vodafone’s camera app, such as Panorama, Manual and HDR modes, but you’ll find no redemption for the camera quality here. The Vodafone Tab prime 6 camera should be used strictly in emergencies.
Even in decent daylight conditions, pictures on the 2MP 'selfie' camera came out a bit on the noisy side, though the default (and unadjustable) brightness and contrast settings did an OK job.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 battery
The Vodafone Tab prime 6 battery weighs in at a reasonable 4600 mAh, which is more than sufficient to get a few days moderate use out of it - watching around an hour's worth of video, browsing the web and playing some of the undemanding games that this tablet can handle.
There is also a battery-saving feature onboard, which can extend battery life by another day or so.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 technical specifications
|Dimensions:||244.2 x 146.5 x 7.99 mm|
|Battery size:||4600 mAh|
|Screen size:||9.6 in|
|Screen:||1280 x 800 pixels (118 ppi)|
|Front camera:||2 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||5 megapixels|
|Android version:||5.0.1 - Lollipop|
|User interface:||Stock Android|
|Internal storage:||16 GB|
|Chipset:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 410|
|Number of cores:||4|
|Max. clock speed:||1.3 GHz|
|Connectivity:||LTE, Bluetooth 4.1|
The Vodafone Tab prime 6 neither disappoints nor outdoes itself for a low-end device from a mobile network carrier. Its not-so-low 150 GBP price tag deceives the fact that Vodafone customers may well be entitled to get a special deal on it, potentially knocking a further 20-30 percent off the price.
However, it's also fair to say that at 150 GBP there are now solid tablets from reputable manufacturers that run faster and have better displays, so you should definitely weigh up your options if you're not a Vodafone customer and not in line for any discounts.
Vodafone Tab prime 6 - where to buy?
It perhaps goes without saying that Vodafone.co.uk is the only place you can get the Tab prime 6 at this point. Previous Vodafone-branded devices have eventually made it to Amazon though, so keep an eye out there for future deals on this device.