Last year Vodacom brought us the R799 Vodafone Smart 4 mini, a revelation at the time with its cheap price tag. Since then Vodacom has lost out on the “cheapest in the land” title to MTN whose R499 Steppa managed to undercut its rival, albeit with decidedly less amazing specs. The new Vodafone Smart 4 mini then is the chance for Vodacom to retake the “budget Android phone crown”. This time, however, it will aim to do so not with price but with specs and data.

The new Smart 4-inch mini features a larger 4 inch display with an 800×480 resolution that easily bests the 3.5 inch 480×320 screen of its predecessor. Running the show is a dual-core 1.3GHz processor which should provide a much-needed boost over the single-core 1GHz processor of last year’s Smart mini, with a 1 400mAh battery providing the juice. It also has 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage which can be expanded with a microSD card.

On the software side of things, the Smart 4 mini is running the older Android 4.2 operating system which is mildly disappointing considering the fact that the latest version, Android 4.4, was specifically designed to reduce the stress that the OS placed on lower-end hardware.

While the specs have definitely seen an improvement over the last generation, it’s the data bundled with the phone that makes all the difference when considering the Smart 4 mini. Prepaid customers who grab one will receive 250MB of data on activation of the Vodacom SIM card and then a further 250MB with every subsequent  recharge of R29 or more for the following six months. Customers who purchase the device on contract will receive an additional 100MB for 24 months as well as an additional 1GB of data per month for the first three months of the contract on some of the packages.

The prospect of a new low-cost smartphone is always one that gets us excited at htxt.africa HQ, so we’ll be waiting rather impatiently to get our mitts on the Smart 4 mini to test it out.