In Barcelona we saw a couple of devices that Orange were making available to their various territories. However, here in the UK the Orange (and T-Mobile) brands are becoming ever more diluted into the big new EE network. So, I asked, will Orange or EE be announcing any own-brand phones in the UK any time soon?
“Wait and see”, was the answer.
Today EE have answered that question fully, by launching the new EE Kestrel, a Huawei built device which looks set to be the UK’s lowest price 4G smartphone. How much? It’ll be free on plans their 4G plans starting at just £13.99 per month (provided you’ve got EE Home Broadband) or £99.99 on 4G pay as you go.
It’s called the Kestrel and has a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU inside. Packing a 4.5″ qHD display, it also has the usual WiFi, GPS and other goodies plus HD Voice compatibility for those spookily-clear calls.
EE tell us..
More on those specs then. The 4G smartphone will do up to 150Mbps download thanks to the simple fact that it’s LTE cat 4. It also has 8GB of internal storage (plus a microSD card for topping that up), 1GB RAM and runs Android Jelly Bean 4.3. It’ll be available in a sleek graphite colour and has that 4.5″ qHD screen which has a 540×960 pixels resolution. For photos, there’s a 5 megapixel rear camera (with zoom, auto-focus and LED flash), a 1 megapixel front camera and HD video capture.
The EE Kestrel measures in at 131mm x 65.3mm x 7.85mm and weighs 145 grams. You also get Bluetooth 4.0, an FM radio and a 2000mAh battery. It’ll be available towards the end of April.
EE INTRODUCES NEW ENTRY-LEVEL 4G PAY MONTHLY PLANS AND THE UK’S MOST AFFORDABLE 4G SMARTPHONE
- · New 4G standard pay monthly handset plans on the UK’s number one network from just £13.99 per month
- · 4G Extra pay monthly handset plans offering inclusive roaming calls and texts and the world’s fastest download speeds from just £21.99 per month
- · New pay monthly handset options for business customers now include 180 minutes of roaming and international calls to and from Europe and USA
- · EE also unveils its first own-brand handset – offering great 4G smartphone features at an entry level price
Wednesday 26th March, 2014 – EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, today launched a range of new entry-level 4G pay monthly plans as well as the UK’s lowest price 4G smartphone, allowing even more people to experience all the benefits of the UK’s biggest and fastest 4G network – rated number one for mobile internet, call, text and reliability across the UK.
EE continues to offer 4G standard and 4G Extra plans as a result of its unique double speed 4G network, and the move reflects the growth in new entry-level 4G handsets coming to market.
New entry-level 4G pay monthly handset plans
From today, customers can choose from a range of 24 month entry-level 4G handset plans which includes the option of a free 4G handset, 500MB of mobile data and an inclusive minutes and texts allowance, all on the UK’s number one network for just £13.99 per month – less than the cost of a pint of milk a day[i].
EE has also extended its range of 4G Extra plans which offer EE’s biggest mobile data allowances, world-leading 4G speeds, as well as unlimited roaming minutes and texts when in Europe – with new options from just £21.99. Customers on all other pay monthly plans can now also benefit from unlimited calls and texts in the EU for just £2 a day, via a new Euro Talk and Text Unlimited bundle[ii].
In addition to the new entry 4G plans, EE offers a unique converged package for all new and upgrading EE 4G pay monthly handset customers, who will see their mobile data allowances increased to 10GB each month for no extra charge when they sign up to EE’s unlimited home broadband service. This means customers can now get 10GB of 4G data from just £13.99 a month. On selected mobile plans, it increases to 20GB, and provides them with all their connectivity needs both at home and out and about in one plan.
New entry-level Business and Business Extra 4G pay monthly plans
EE also introduces a new range of 4G pay monthly plans for small businesses from just £17 per month (ex VAT), ranging up to £35 a month for unlimited calls, texts and 3GB of 4G data.
All new Business Extra plans offer unlimited calls, texts and up to 36GB of double speed 4G data as standard, plus 180 minutes of international calls to use at home and abroad. Business Extra customers can use their 180 minutes to make calls from the UK to international numbers or make roaming calls in Europe and the USA to the UK3.
The UK’s lowest price 4G smartphone
As part of the continued focus on great value and innovation, EE will shortly launch the UK’s lowest standard price 4G smartphone, which will offer the specifications traditionally associated with a more expensive handset. The new Android device will combine a sleek premium design and feel with a 1.2 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, large 4.5” qHD display, and HD Voice compatibility for crystal clear calls. What’s more, with CAT 4 capability, it is optimised to take advantage of the world-leading 4G download speeds that are offered by EE’s unique double-speed 4G network.
Perfect for capturing and sharing HD video and pictures, through to playing the latest online games, the new smartphone, named ‘Kestrel’, after the British bird of prey, will be the first in a range of EE own-branded 4G devices. The Kestrel will be available for just £99.99 on 4G pay as you go, the UK’s lowest standard price 4G smartphone, when it launches at the end of April. The Kestrel will also be available free on 4G price plans of £13.99 per month.
New Shared 4G plans
EE is also expanding its range of industry-leading consumer Shared 4G Plans, with a variety of new value plans designed to offer consumers more choice. Shared 4G plans are perfect for families who want to easily control costs, or for those who want access to multiple devices without multiple bills. Available to those on plans of £23.99 or more, customers can now add another new 4G smartphone to their existing 4G plan for just £17 per month, and share their existing unlimited minutes, texts and data allowance. Customers can also add a 4G tablet and share their data allowance from just £10 per month. Similar plans are available to small business customers.
Pippa Dunn, Chief Marketing Officer for Consumer at EE, said: “At EE, we’re continually looking for new ways to make a quality 4G experience accessible to all. By introducing the UK’s lowest price 4G smartphone, and great value entry-level plans, even more customers will now have the ability to access the UK’s most advanced 4G network and reap the benefits it offers.”
* Customers who chose a £13.99 plan can choose from the Alcatel Idol S or Kestrel for free.
*Alternatively the Samsung Ace 3, BlackBerry Q5 and Nokia Lumia 625 are available for a one of cost of £19.99.
(prices vary depending on handset taken. Handset costs may apply)
24 month contract
(prices vary depending on tablet taken. Device costs may apply)
Mobile WiFi Sharer
24 month contract
(Mobile Wi-fi unit included)
- · Iinternational IDD calls to the following countries are included in Business Extra pay monthly plans allowance: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
- · International roaming calls from the following countries are included in Business Extra pay monthly plans allowance, in addition to International IDD call countries: Latvia and Lithuania and overseas dependencies of the Azores, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion Islands, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, Vatican City.