EE's Own-Brand Kestrel is an Affordable 4G Smartphone for Knaves

By Gerald Lynch on at

If our Jud is after a 4G handset, but hasn't made enough money down 'pit to afford a flagship device from one of the top manufacturers, EE's new own-branded Kestrel, coming in at £99.99 on PAYG deals, may ruffle his feathers.

Built by Huawei, the handset takes full advantage of EE's 4G network, packing in LTE cat 4 speeds. Running Android Jelly Bean rather than the newer KitKat OS, it has a 4.5-inch qHD screen and is powered by an 8926 Qualcomm 1.2GHz quad-core processor, backed by 1GB of RAM. 8GB of memory is onboard as standard (expandable through microSD cards), while a barebones 5MP camera sits on the rear.

Measuring 131 x 65.3 x 7.85 mm, its 2000mAh battery is good for a day's worth of average use according to the EE reps on hand at the device's unveiling. Interestingly, the handset's headphone jack is situated towards the bottom of the device on its left-hand edge -- I'm not convinced how practical a placement that is.

Though I wasn't allowed to take photos of the pre-production handset I got to play with on Monday, the Kestrel is looking a solid phone for the price its set to land at. EE have mercifully kept the interface free of too many bloatware apps -- the My EE and EE Film apps come pre-installed alongside a WildTangent games portal widget, while no-one's going to complain about pre-installed Twitter, Facebook and Amazon apps. The handset itself zipped through tasks speedily, and its unassuming grey chassis is attractive in an understated way.

Launching at the end of April, the Kestrel will cost £99.99 on 4G pay as you go deals, and will be free on EE's £13.99 pay monthly deal which bags you 500MB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts.