EE Hawk review

For those with a hawk’s eye for a bargain

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The EE Hawk doesn't offer the aggressive spec per pound of its Vodafone rivals. However, it is a solid phone with an unusually plush design that gives you some of the flavour of an iPhone for just a fraction of the price.

Its camera won't blow your mind, there are sharper screens and the processor isn't a powerhouse.

But aside from the rear snapper, some of the negatives actually reduce the impact of others, resulting in a perfectly decent daily experience.

Who's this for?

The EE Hawk is for people after a phone that looks and feels quite expensive without the price to match. As it's a network-branded mobile you'll have to be happy to sign up with EE, though.

Should you buy it?

Those who play lots of games and use apps beyond those of social networks may be better off with one of the more tech-saturated large-screen options. If you don't want to be tied to EE, consider a Moto G5 too.

As the internals don't outright impress at the price, the key question is whether you're drawn in by EE's contract or PAYG deals, and the Hawk's smart glass design.

There's a sea of rivals to the EE Hawk, such as the following four.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)

Typical of a budget Samsung, the Galaxy J3 doesn’t quite match the smaller names in terms of pure spec per pound. Its CPU only has four cores, like the Hawk the screen is only 720p, and the graphics processor is less powerful.

A part-aluminium back gets you a touch of class, but the Hawk offers a much more convincing take on high-end design.

Moto G5

Seen as the ‘default’ budget choice by many, the Moto G5 is one of the closest rivals of the Hawk. It has a similarly manageable 5-inch screen, but thanks to a 1080p panel it’s much sharper.

Now that the higher-end Moto G5S has arrived the part-plastic rear of the Moto G5 doesn’t seem as impressive as it did at launch. However, this is still a great choice for those after a phone that lets them pick their own network. And the camera software is significantly better too.

Read our Moto G5 review

Vodafone Smart V8

For just a little more money you can side with Vodafone instead of EE. It gets you more storage, a bigger, more pixel-packed 1080p screen, a better Snapdragon CPU and more RAM.

Power users are probably better off with this phone. The mix of plastic and brushed metal on the Smart V8’s back is less of a pristine look than the full glass of the Hawk, though. And not everyone wants an extra-large display.

Nokia 6

Now available for the same price as the Hawk, the Nokia 6 has more storage (32GB) and a bigger, sharper 5.5-inch 1080p screen. It also uses the more popular Qualcomm Snapdragon breed of chipset.

Add an all-metal back and you have some stiff competition on your hands. The EE Hawk probably looks better, though, its iPhone-like curves and smart rear layout adding an accomplished spark.

Read our Nokia 6 review

First reviewed: January 2018

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.