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EE to launch own-brand Kestrel as UK's cheapest 4G smartphone

Chris Martin | March 27, 2014
EE's first own-brand smartphone will be the Kestrel offering 4G from £14 per month.

EE will launch its own brand — Kestrel — as the UK's cheapest 4G smartphone.

When it goes on sale towards the end of April, the EE Kestrel will offer a 4G contract for just £14 per month with the phone thrown in for free. Alternatively it will cost just £100 on Pay As You Go.

That's cheap considering the current best budget smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia 520 and Motorola Moto G don't support 4G — they're limited to 3G speeds. See also: What is 4G?

Behind its EE logo, the Kestrel is a Huawei handset with a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor. It's a Cat 4 LTE handset meaning it's theoretically capable of reaching 150Mbps download speeds. That might sound great but the tariff includes a paltry 500MB of data which even at real-world 4G speeds (12-15Mbps) won't last long — certainly not a month for most people.

Looking similar to the Huawei Ascend P6, the Kestrel's remaining specs consist of a 4.5in qHD screen, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a 2000mAh battery and a 5Mp camera.

The smartphone is running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Huawei's Emotion UI on top. However, EE adds what could be described as 'bloatware' in the form of own-brand apps and 'free games'. Also, Amazon's own Appstore is pre-loaded alongside the Google Play store.

EE's Kestrel is the first in a planned line up of own-brand devices named after birds of prey so watch out for more.


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