5. EE Kestrel
- Reviewed on: 16 June 14
- RRP: £99 inc. VAT
We like the Kestrel, we really do. We don’t like its design and build quality, and we hate its user interface, but in other respects the Kestrel has a lot going for it. Whereas network operators haven’t yet been able to make 4G connectivity available UK-wide, at least the hardware on which to enjoy it is now available even to those on tight budgets. At £99, you get a pretty good screen, better performance than you should probably expect at this price, and the promise of 4G connectivity if it’s available in your area.
- Reviewed on: 21 October 15
- RRP: £109 inc VAT
If you love Samsung Android phones then you’ll like the Galaxy Core Prime. It does lack a few features, but the missing ambient light sensor is one cut corner too far. For only £79, we prefer Vodafone’s Smart Prime 6. It has a 5in 1280×720 screen, better cameras and an ambient light sensor. Plus it runs an essentially plain version of Android.
- Reviewed on: 3 March 15
- RRP: £109 inc. VAT
The new Moto E 4G is a worthy upgrade over the original Moto E, with upgrades in every area. For an extra £20 it adds 4G LTE connectivity and a front-facing camera, plus performance and storage improvements. It might not be as fast as the grey-market Doogee F1 Turbo Mini, but this Moto E 4G is a much better deal than the EE Kestrel, making it the best budget 4G phone intended for UK sale we’ve seen.
- Reviewed on: 7 July 15
- RRP: £99 inc. VAT
We’re much keener on the Harrier Mini than we are its bigger brother. While both phones offer very good value, £99 sounds much more appealing than £199, and we prefer the Mini’s more compact design. Performance is slower and the screen isn’t as good, but you won’t get top-end specs from either phone. But as much as we think the Harrier Mini is a great deal, the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 offers better value. It’s £20 cheaper and has a larger, better screen, and it seems more adept in photography. Buy the Harrier Mini over the Smart Prime 6 only if you’ll benefit from Wi-Fi Calling once it becomes available.
The Vodafone Smart Prime 6 is a great budget smartphone that we think is worth more than the £79 that Vodafone asks for it. Its processor may not be able to compete with grey-market phones like the Doogee F1 Turbo Mini, but it handles day-to-day use just fine with no noticeable lag. While the Moto E 4G performed slightly better during our benchmarks, the Smart Prime 6 has a bigger screen, better camera and is £30 cheaper, making it our choice out of the two handsets.