EE unveils the first sub-£50 smart phone, the Rook. That’s over 10 times cheaper than an iPhone 6

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Remember when smart phones were luxury items that people aspired to maybe own one day. Well those days are well and truly gone and suddenly £500 plus for an iPhone seems ridiculously expensive indeed.

OK the £49.99 Rook from EE lacks the sex appeal of an iPhone 6 perhaps. But given it’s less than 10 per cent of the price of an entry level iPhone 6 (£539 SIM free) I’d say it’s pretty darned good value.

As you would expect for this sub-£50 price tag, the Rook isn’t exactly stuffed to the gills with fancy features – just a basic 4.0-inch WVGA display with a lowly 800 x 480 pixel resolution. However, it does boast the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop OS and is 4G compatible. Also on board is a 5-megapixel primary camera and a 0.3-megapixel ‘selfie camera’.

Tipping the scales at 130g, and measuring 10.3mm thick, it features a 1.0GHz quad-core MediaTek processor alongside 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD.

Although the Rook will set existing EE customers back just £39 on a PAYG basis, those not currently tied to the network will have to break the bank by spending another tenner!

Says Sharon Meadows, director of devices at EE: “We believe everyone should have access to 4G and the experiences it offers on the go,”

“The new Rook from EE 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.”

Says Rob Kerr, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com:  “4G phones under £50 aren’t exactly littering the ground, so this is a compelling offer for those of us on tight budgets.

“If you’re only planning to spend £50 on a smartphone, it’s unlikely 4G is high on your priority list, but there will be people who want fast mobile internet on a shoestring, and the Rook certainly fits the bill.

“In terms of specs, the Rook has solid, entry-level features including a fast processor, the latest Android 5.1 and all-important 4G, so this is a good bet for EE pay as you go customers who want the 4G experience for less.

“But beware that the handset will be locked to the EE network, so you’ll need to fork out an unlocking fee if you want to use it on other networks.”

 

Chris Price