EE Kestrel by Huawei

Affordable 4G Android smartphone

Huawei EE Kestrel review, rating and latest UK deals and offers

EE have recognised that with the advent of the 4G network in the UK there was a need for an affordable 4G smartphone of good enough quality to tempt customers. Enter the EE Kestrel

Our rating

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Huawei EE Kestrel

  2. £13.99 a month
  3. 500 minutes
  4. 500 MB data
  5. UNLIMITED texts
  6. FREE handset

Latest offers Get this deal

Main features

  1. Large 4.5 inch touchscreen screen
  2. 5 megapixel camera
  3. UK's lowest priced 4G handset
  4. Stereo Bluetooth
  5. MicroSD memory card slot

Click here to read our full Huawei EE Kestrel review
by Mike Leader

With the major players charging upwards of £500 for their 4G big screen smartphones you could be forgiven for thinking such a device is out of your reach.

The EE Kestrel is set to change all that however, and in just a couple of weeks has already become the 4G network's best seller priced at a stunning £99 on Pay As You Go and from just £14 on contract.

The EE Kestrel is actually built by Huawei and is based on their Ascend G535 model, so you are assured of a quality handset from one of the world's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturers.

Flagship wannabe?

Huawei are not known as a mainstream manufacturer here in the UK but are one of the Far East's largest brands and we have always rated their phones highly.

Even so we were very impressed at just how good this phone was at this price point. The Sony Xperia Z2 lookalike casing is under 8mm thick, a similar size as the iPhone 5s unless you're going to argue about a barely measurable 0.3 mm difference.

Admirable screen and ample processing power

The large 4.5 inch qHD screen with a resolution of 960 x 540 is in fact the same high quality screen that can be found on Huawei's G535, and the phone is powered by the same 1.2 GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM memory to keep things running along smoothly.

A generous 8GB of internal memory is supported by a MicroSD memory card slot, something it's nearest rival, the Motorola MOTO G does not have, although the 2014 version of the outstanding Motorola phone does now have both 4G connectivity and a card slot.

Huawei have also included their easy to use Emotion UI (User Interface) which is a bonus as it includes Amazon's App market as well as Google's own Android market, known as Google Play.

5 megapixel camera

The installed camera is a 5 megapixel unit with LED flash, and pictures are bright and clear with a decent sharpness and good colour rendering in good light, but do suffer a little as the light level drops.

The flash will help of course in these situations but it's not the most powerful we have seen, although at this price that is to be expected. A 1.2 megapixel front facing videocalling camera is also included here.

Our summary

A price tag of under £100 for a 4G handset wasn't expected this early in the days of 4G, but one if this quality is an outstanding bonus. With the same functionality as a handset costing many times more it's easy to see why this has been so successful already.

While it's nearest rival in terms of quality is undoubtedly the Motorola Moto G, that phone is only 3G (UPDATE: 4G version now available in 2014) and doesn't have a memory card slot although it does have a higher resolution screen.

But the Huawei built EE Kestrel, named after the British bird of prey and the first of a series of new EE branded devices to be named after birds, is outstanding value and scores very highly.

If you are looking for a high quality well made 4G handset without needing to spend a small fortune, congratulations. You've just found one.

Huawei EE Kestrel UK Price Comparison

(You can change price plans and options such as colours before you decide to buy)

EE Network UK (4G)

£18.99 a month
1000 minutes
1 GB data
FREE handset
£26.99 a month
4 GB data
FREE handset
NO contract
With £10 top up
2 for 1 cinema/pizza
£5 off broadband