EE's Rook is a £49 4G smartphone for pay-as-you-go punters

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Jamie Rigg
July 7th, 2015
EE's Rook is a £49 4G smartphone for pay-as-you-go punters

It seems like we can't get through a single month these days without one UK carrier or another launching an own-brand device. And, since the last device bearing a network provider's name came from Vodafone, it's only fitting that its own-brand nemesis EE gets to make the next announcement. So, without further ado, let's take a gander at the EE Rook, the carrier's newest home-grown handset aimed specifically at pay-as-you-go (PAYG) punters. Launched today for £49 for new customers and £39 for existing ones, EE calls it "the UK's lowest priced 4G smartphone." Technically, that epithet's correct, though it's only a lone pound cheaper than Vodafone's Smart 4 Turbo on PAYG. As EE's Harrier Mini is available for free on the provider's lowest-price contracts, it makes sense that the Rook be a PAYG-only affair, but what exactly do you get for that kind of money?

Gallery: EE Rook | 7 Photos

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The answer is: not a lot. But, to be fair, you shouldn't exactly expect a gleaming spec sheet for that kind of dough. To push the boundaries of affordability, EE's equipped the Rook with a 4-inch, 800 x 480 display, a MediaTek 1GHz quad-core chip, 1GB of RAM, 8 gigs of internal storage (expandable), a 5-megapixel main camera, a 0.3MP front-facer, and a 1,500mAh battery. Oh, and a 4G radio, of course. The Rook is also sweetened with the latest version of Android 5.1 Lollipop, though we've no idea how well it runs on the handset's low-end components.

EE's Rook isn't exactly exciting, but we can easily see why a parent would be more than happy to spring for a £39 device for their teenager. And, it's a interesting change of tactic for EE and the own-brand explosion as a whole. In recent times, EE and Vodafone have both been battling to make to the best devices possible for a reasonable price. The Rook, however, is a slight regression to the old days of pulling something together with both eyes on the price tag.

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