EE-Rook1

Another day and another carrier device, this time from the UK’s largest carrier; EE‘s latest own-brand device definitely pushes the boundaries of affordable devices and is aimed specifically at the entry-level Pay As you Go (PAYG) market.

The Rook launches today and is priced at £49 for new customers (plus a mandatory £10 top-up) and £39 for new customers and EE is calling it “the UK’s lowest priced 4G smartphone” which is technically correct as it costs £1 less than the Vodafone Smart Turbo 4 on PAYG. EE estimate that 44 percent of PAYG customers spend up to £50 on a smartphone and the Rook is designed to offer the UK’s only 4G experience at that price point

What do you get for your money? Aside from double-speed 4G, you’ll get a 4-inch 480×800 pixel display, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, a MediaTek 64-bit quad-core 1GHz processor and a 1500mAh battery. Also onboard is a 5MP rear camera sans flash and autofocus and a VGA front camera.

The specs certainly won’t wow you but they definitely push the boundaries of what you can expect at the sub-£50 price point. The Rook runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, although we’re not sure how well it will run on the low-end hardware.

Sharon Meadows, Director of Devices at EE, said:

At EE, we believe everyone should have access to 4G and the experiences it offers on the go. The Rook provides a great 4G smartphone at a compelling price – allowing even more people to enjoy the benefits of our superfast mobile network from high speed web browsing and downloads to gaming and streaming.

EE’s decision to produce a budget entry-level device is certainly interesting given that both EE and rival Vodafone have – recently until now – focused on producing the best devices possible at an acceptable price. However, a tactic successfully implemented by some OEMs is producing entry-level devices to capture some of the lucrative volume market and the Rook is EE’s attempt to do the same.