UK’s first 4G LTE network is ready to roll, but before anything, EE has to build a strong line-up of high-end phones to go with the new speeds. That doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore for the T-Mobile/Orange joint venture, which has officially announced the release of the Galaxy Note 2 on October 15.
The second-gen phablet will join the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One XL and Huawei Ascend P1, the uber-cool trio of LTE-enabled Android phones which has started selling just yesterday. Like the three, the Note 2 will be first available with 3G speeds from Orange and T-Mobile UK, after which users will have the choice to move to 4G.
However, with EE’s service now officially launching on October 30, most of you will probably want to wait til then (if you are in the initially covered area, of course), rather than purchase the phone with a contract only to be forced to sign a new one and change your SIM card two weeks later.
No words yet on the Note 2’s pricing, although Orange and T-Mobile will probably want to keep close to Three and Vodafone’s offerings. We’ve seen the phablet go on sale with Three with no upfront payment and £44 monthly plans or with £69 upfront and £34 a month, while Vodafone has it for free with plans starting at £47.
As for EE’s 4G plans, these are still kept under wraps, although they “will be announced soon”. The good news is that there’ll be no charge to move from Orange or T-Mo to EE, while “depending on the cost of your initial plan and the EE plan you choose, you may need to pay more than you do today”.
Before seeing the Galaxy Note 2 on sale, we have to take a quick look at the S3, One XL and Huawei Ascend P1’s prices we weren’t able to announce yesterday. On Orange, the Galaxy S3 in both Marble White and Titanium Grey goes for £19.99 on plans starting at £41 (more details here).
T-Mobile has a more complex pricing scheme, with the Galaxy S3 being available on monthly plans costing between £7 and £46. The base plan will require you to cough up a hefty £350 upfront, while the most expensive plan will only require a £19 upfront payment.
On T-Mobile the HTC One X goes for the same prices as the S3, while the Huawei Ascend P1 is available for free with plans starting at £36. Most of these offers are valid for 24-month carrier agreements, but there are also a couple going with 18-month contracts on both T-Mo and Orange.
So, how many of you will wait for the Note 2 and how many have already decided to go for the S3, One XL, or Ascend P1?