EE launch new 4G+ Android smartphone

1 December 2017, 11:48   By Samantha Smith

EE have launched their own branded Android smartphone, capable of connecting to their new 4G+ network and reaching maximum download speeds of 300Mb.

ee on mobile screen
Credit: sdx15/

Named "the Hawk", the device will cost pay as you go customers £149.99 (including a £10 top-up), while pay monthly customers will be charged £14.99 a month (with no upfront fee).

Despite being cheaper than many of the latest generation of smartphones, the Hawk offers comparable levels of performance, with rear and front cameras that contain more mega pixels (MPs) than those of the iPhone 8.

Of course, the one catch is that customers who want high performance at a lower cost will have to sign up to EE's network, which may often provide superior download speeds but doesn't always offer the best customer service.

Ultrafast speeds

For anyone who's a die-hard EE fan, the Hawk might be the ideal phone for them, since according to the mobile operator it was "developed with EE's award winning 4G network in mind".

It's capable of running on EE's 4G+ network, on which it reached download speeds of 238Mb during a test at Wembley Stadium in early November.

EE claim it can potentially hit 300Mb. However, while most users won't ever reach such dizzying heights, it also enables 4G Calling and Wifi Calling.

4G Calling uses EE's 4G network to enhance voice calls and reduce unwanted background noise, while Wifi Calling does much the same over wi-fi networks.

Price comparisons

Previously, such features had been available only to customers with the most expensive and high-tech smartphones, such as the iPhone 8, iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Yet the Hawk makes them accessible at a more affordable price, as shown by the table below illustrating pay monthly deals lasting 24 months.

PhoneDataUK data speedMonthly feeUpfront cost
The Hawk8GB4G+£32.99£0
iPhone 88GB4G+£52.99£199.99
Samsung Galaxy S88GB4G+£42.99£0
iPhone X25GB4G+£82.99£9.99

It's easily the cheapest of the lot, beating the next-cheapest Galaxy S8 by £10 a month, and the iPhone 8 by £20.

Competing with the big fish

As Sharon Meadows, EE's director of devices, says, "The Hawk gives customers superfast 4G+ speeds, 4G Calling and WiFi Calling, plus a range of features typically associated with flagship smartphones - all at a fraction of the price".

And while some might suggest that its relative affordability means it doesn't quite match the other four devices on other measures of performance, the Hawk holds its own on a number of counts.

It has an 8MP front-facing and a 13MP rear-facing camera. By comparison, the iPhone 8's front and rear cameras are 7MP and 12MP, while the Galaxy S8 has an 8MP front-facing camera and a 12MP rear camera.

Not only that, but it has 2GB of RAM, giving it a processing speed that equals the iPhone 8's.

EE customer service

It's therefore hardly a "budget" option, a point reinforced by its 5 inch, 1280 x 720 HD display (the iPhone 8's screen is 4.7 inches and provides a resolution of 1334 x 750).

That said, one potential downside for some customers who might want it is that they'd obviously have to join EE's network.

While their network is often rated the best in terms of speed and coverage, it's not always given the best scores for customer service.

For example, a recent Which? survey from May ranked it joint bottom with Vodafone for customer satisfaction, with only 20% of EE customers saying they'd recommend the network to a friend (compared to 70% for Giffgaff).


Still, while EE don't quite match O2, for example, for customer loyalty, their placing in Ofcom's table of customer complaints has improved in recent quarters.

Pay monthly complaints

Source: Ofcom, Latest telecoms and pay-TV complaints revealed, September 27th 2017

They attracted only three complaints for every 100,000 customers in the three months to June 2017, the same number as 02 and eight below Vodafone.

As such, despite a questionable reputation for customer service in some quarters, those customers who fancy the new Hawk shouldn't automatically assume they'd be complaining any more than if they were with O2, Three or Vodafone.

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