Huawei Kestrel

79
Engadget
Score
79

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

EE Kestrel review: a good low-cost 4G phone, but with a Moto on its back

Summary

EE's Kestrel has many good qualities, performance especially, that make it a very fair purchase at £99 off-contract. The camera and display may not suit the needs of everyone, however, and it won't be as competitive a handset when Motorola's LTE version of the Moto G launches imminently.

Pros
  • Superb performance
  • Expandable storage
  • Cat 4 LTE
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Uninspiring design
  • Camera lacks versatility
  • qHD display resolution may put some off
EE Kestrel review: a good low-cost 4G phone, but with a Moto on its back

The adjectives "affordable" and "budget" often allude to something of inferior quality -- a questionable substitute for something more premium. Something out of financial reach. A few years ago, I would've assumed the same, having set up enough low-end Samsungs for family members to want only high-end handsets, extortionate contracts attached. Thanks to devices like Google's Nexus range and, most recently, the OnePlus One, we've never been more aware of value for money. The Moto G, in particular, proved that a solid smartphone could be an absolute bargain.

It's this newfound, positive connotation of affordable that EE's aiming for with its first own-brand smartphone, the Kestrel. Launched earlier this month for £99 on pay-as-you-go, or free from £14 per month on contracts, it's EE's play for the 4G-curious, money-conscious consumer. The Kestrel's LTE radio and inviting price tag aren't the sum of its selling points, either; there's also expandable storage and a very capable processor. Components such as the display and cameras are understandably more modest, but on paper, the Kestrel still ticks the value box. In the increasingly competitive area of low-cost handsets, however, the question isn't just whether the Kestrel is a worthwhile purchase, but whether you'll see it the same way a month later.

Read Full Review

Scores

Engadget

79
 

Users

Not yet scored
 

Breakdown

Display
7.3
Battery life
7.3
Camera
6.0
Design and form factor
6.0
Portability (size / weight)
9.0
View All Scores

Specs

Kestrel

Type
Smartphone (Android)
Camera
yes
Internal memory
8 GB
Screen size
4.5 inches
View Full Specs

Specs

Kestrel

Type
Smartphone (Android)
Camera
yes
Internal memory
8 GB
Screen size
4.5 inches
View Full Specs
Video

Related Video

Similar Products

How It Stacks Up

90

Moto X Pure Edition

Engadget

90
 

Critic

8.6
 

User

9
 
No price available
87

Nexus 6P

Engadget

87
 

Critic

8.7
 

User

9
 
No price available
88

G Pro 2

Engadget

88
 

Critic

8.2
 

User

9.3
 
No price available
80

Xperia Z5

Engadget

80
 

Critic

7.8
 

User

Not yet scored
 
No price available
84

One (M9)

Engadget

84
 

Critic

8.1
 

User

8
 
Starting at
$431.99
Requires Contract

The Latest

04.25.16
Huawei P9 review: New phone, familiar tricks
77
04.25.16 in

Huawei P9 review: New phone, familiar tricks

A fun camera doesn't save the P9 from being another iterative smartphone.

View