The Rook is the cheapest 4G smartphone around.
EE has launched the cheapest 4G smartphone on the market.
The Rook costs just £39 for existing EE customers or £49 for new customers on pay-as-you-go.
It joins EE’s bird-themed range of own-brand 4G handsets, including the Kestrel and Harrier, designed to give more people access to faster mobile internet speeds for less.
What you get
The phone runs the most up-to-date version of Google’s operating system, Android 5.1 Lollipop, but its features are pretty basic.
It has a 4-inch wide VGA screen. The resolution is only 480 x 800, which falls short of the HD display that a lot of other budget smartphones offer.
There’s just 8GB of on-board storage, though it's expandable up to 32GB with a micro SD Card.
Other features include 1GB of RAM which should mean it can cope with a fair bit of multi-tasking, a 5MP rear-facing camera (no flash) and a 0.3MP front-facing camera for selfies.
Powering the phone is a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek chipset and processor, which has been clocked at 1GHz.
The Rook also comes with a 1,500mAh battery, which offers over five hours of talk time and over 400 hours stand-by-time on a single charge.
Other budget 4G smartphones
If you want the faster internet speeds available with 4G, you’ll need a 4G handset. But these can be very expensive; the latest Samsung Galaxy S6 for example costs £559.
EE’s Rook is an affordable choice, but there’s a growing range of budget 4G smartphones to explore.
Here are a few you could try instead across Android, Windows Phone and Apple iOS operating systems.
Vodafone Smart prime 6 - £80
The handset comes with Lollipop 5.0, a large 5-inch 720p HD display, 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage (expandable up to 64GB), 8MP rear camera with flash, 2MP front camera and 18 hours of talk time.
Nokia Lumia 640 - £128
The Nokia Lumia 640 is the latest budget Windows Phone, available for £124.99 SIM-free on Amazon.
The device comes in four colours and features a 5-inch HD screen. It uses the latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, comes with a 1.2GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB memory (expandable up to 128GB), 17.5 hours of talk time, a replaceable battery, 8MP rear camera with LED flash and front-facing 0.9MP camera.
On top of this you’ll get a year’s free Office 365 subscription (worth £60), which can also be enjoyed on two other devices as well as a terabyte of free OneDrive storage.
Apple iPhone 5c - £319
You can get it for £319 SIM-free, which is steep, but it’s £140 cheaper than the 5s and almost half the price of the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models.
Though the 5c feels more budget; with a plastic rather than metal construction, it still has some decent features. The phone comes in five colours, runs the iOS 8 operating system, has a 4-inch Retina display, A6 chip, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, 8MP rear camera with LED flash, 1.2MP front-facing snapper and 10 hours of talk time.
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