EE Harrier Mini review

4G speeds and Wi-Fi calling for under £100

EE Harrier Mini review

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The EE Harrier Mini is another strong budget offering and a step forward from last year's Kestrel in many ways, but stronger competition and raised expectations leave us somewhat less impressed this time around.

EE Harrier Mini review

We liked

The EE Harrier Mini is a neatly designed budget smartphone with a number of stand-out features we're not used to seeing at this price point.

The 4.7-inch 720p display offers a well-sized and unusually sharp picture for such an affordable phone.

We've grown used to seeing 4G in cheaper handsets now, but EE's Wi-Fi calling is a less common – but no less useful – way to boost coverage.

Almost as rare is the device that runs stock Android 5.0 Lollipop, but the EE Harrier Mini joins this exclusive club, and benefits greatly from the clean, polished experience it provides.

We disliked

EE has done well to mask the Harrier Mini's budget underpinnings, but they show through in a number of ways.

From the slightly drab display to some noticeable performance issues when under load, the Harrier Mini can't quite escape its bottom-of-the-barrel parts list.

Nowhere is that more apparent – or more painful – than in the Harrier Mini's lack of internal storage, which bites a lot quicker than we would have liked.

While the 8-megapixel camera initially appears to punch above its budget, it's a little too inconsistent and limited in real world usage.

Final verdict

EE has turned out another strong, pocketable budget phone with a number of stand-out specifications. It's tough to find a phone that ticks as many boxes for just £100.

Box ticking doesn't always equate to real world usage however, and when you put the Harrier Mini to work its limitations soon manifest themselves. Inconsistent is the word that springs to mind here, both in terms of general performance and particularly the phone's photographic capabilities.

Unfortunately for EE, the Harrier Mini finds itself flanked in price terms by the second-generation Moto E and Moto G, and both present slightly more solid, balanced, and appealing packages overall.

First reviewed: April 2015