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The UK's Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 impresses in more ways than one

To celebrate 10 years of making self-branded devices, British network operator Vodafone announced the Smart Platinum 7, a surprisingly capable phone that comes dangerously close to flagship territory.

Starting on the outside, the Smart Platinum 7 packs a 5.5-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 resolution AMOLED display, which should do a good job at displaying deep blacks and a wide color gamut. You won’t find any plastic here, as the Smart Platinum 7 shrouds itself in a mish-mosh of aluminum and glass, with the aluminum acting as an encompassing border. If anything, the combination of the two materials makes the front of the phone almost evoke feelings of the HTC Sensation.

Furthermore, an 8-megapixel camera sits around front, while a 16MP shooter can be found around back. Even though you can use the screen to take pictures, the Smart Platinum 7 is equipped with a dedicated shutter button on its edge.

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Under the hood, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor and 3GB RAM lie at the heart of the Smart Platinum 7, with the phone coming with 32GB of native storage, of which 22GB is free to use. Even though that should be enough for most folks, the MicroSD card slot that supports up to an additional 128GB of storage should more than suffice for those who need more.

In addition, the Smart Platinum 7 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box, though the phone does include a handful of Vodafone-branded applications. Remaining features include a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, a 3,000mAh battery that can be charged from dead to 50 percent in half an hour, front-facing stereo speakers, and an included virtual reality headset dock.

Overall, the Smart Platinum 7 is an impressive phone that certainly fits the bill as Vodafone’s top-end device, even if the phone is simply a reskinned Alcatel Idol 4S. As a Vodafone-branded device, however, you can only get the Smart Platinum 7 if you live in the U.K. Furthermore, when the phone launches on June 20, it will be sold for either 300 pounds ($424) or monthly payments of 24 pounds ($34). The monthly payment includes unlimited talk and text, as well as 1GB of U.K. data.