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EE Harrier review

 Review: May 2015  

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Harrier smartphone is exclusive to EE and is a well-made device with a good balance of features. The exceptionally large screen is a highlight, as is the access to EE's 4G network and Wi-Fi Calling capability. It's quite expensive for what you get however, and is let down by poor camera performance.

Today's best buy: EE Pay As You Go Harrier 16 ... from Amazon (£88.49)



The Harrier is EE's second own-branded smartphone. Unlike last year's Kestrel, which was a bonkers-cheap 4G handset, this latest bird-of-prey themed phone is quite an expensive model, costing upwards of £25 per month on Pay Monthly contracts. It's expected to be priced more reasonably on Pay as you Go, at around the £200 mark.

Design & looks

The Harrier is a smart-looking phone, with a brushed effect back panel and a gold ring around the camera. The plastic casing hardly shouts "premium", but at the same time it doesn't look or feel cheap. The phone is reasonably slim, measuring 8.9mm, but it's a large phone and fairly heavy too.

That's because of the exceptionally large 5.2 inch screen, which is surely one of the highpoints of the phone. The display has a full HD 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, making it exceptionally sharp and finely detailed. Colour balance is good, and the display is reasonably bright too.

A single back-mounted speaker means that audio quality isn't quite a match for the visuals.

Octa-core processor

The Harrier runs an octa-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, making it a fairly feisty performer. Despite the availability of eight cores, the relatively modest 1.5GHz clock speed means that it's not the fastest device you can buy for this money, but it should give good performance with most apps and games.

The RAM is 2GB, which is double the amount that you get with the Kestrel.

The Harrier runs pure Android 5.0 Lollipop, with the addition of an EE app for checking your balance and usage.


The Harrier has a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with a flash. The front camera is 2 megapixels. Neither camera produces particularly good results, especially in low lighting conditions, and photography is perhaps the weakest point of the phone.

4G Connectivity

The Harrier is 4G-enabled and is compatible with EE's double-speed 4G in areas where this service is available. This gives theoretical download speeds of up to 150Mbps, with perhaps 60Mbps achievable in practice.

The Harrier is also capable of supporting EE's recently-launched Wi-Fi Calling service, with Pay Monthly customers able to use the service from this Summer.

The phone also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB connections, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Battery life

The Harrier is equipped with a respectable 2,500mAh battery. It's not the biggest you'll find on this type of phone - the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2,800mAh battery for instance - but it's probably sufficient for all but the most demanding users. It should easily get you through a full day of use.


EE's press release for the Harrier suggests that it's a bargain phone, rather like last year's Kestrel, which made a great impression on us. Yet on Pay Monthly contracts, the Harrier will cost you upwards of £25 per month on a free upgrade. That's not cheap by our reckoning.

The Harrier is a well-balanced phone, with its standout features being the 5.2 inch Full HD screen, its smooth performance, and the 4G and Wi-Fi Calling features on the EE network. Its main weakness is the quality of the cameras.

We'd recommend that you shop around and consider your options carefully if you plan to spend this much on a phone, and don't be hoodwinked into thinking that the Harrier is a bargain.

EE Harrier features include:

Best buys
EE Pay As You Go Harrier 16 ...
Click for details
EE Pay As You Go EE Harrier ...
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User questions

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My phone is under sum lock?

Asked by Murtala from Nigeria on 17th Dec 2017

Why don't reviewers talk about call quality? This's is after all a phone.

Asked by Bob from UK on 13th May 2017

Flash or open network?

Asked by oussama from alger on 20th Jul 2016
Possible flash this phone.
Flash or open network.

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EE Harrier user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 9 reviews:

Reviewed by Stacey from Scotland on 21st Mar 2017
DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE! Unless you want a cheap ,overheating, piece of junk that you can't hear when it rings and dies within a couple of hours even though you have had it on charge for a lifetime. Worst phone I've ever had and I'd rather have my brick of a Nokia I had when I was 16! When I first got the phone I couldn't do anything for much longer than 15 minutes as it would be too hot to hold. Now I can't take it off of charge because it doesn't hold a charge and the battery goes down when it's still on charge. It's not the crap plastic chargers fault as it does it with every charger I've used. I've always missed calls as the speaker on both ringtone and when watching a video clip is so low. The camera is a shambles. It has a mind of its own too. Just cuts out whenever it feels like it. I have many words for this phone but none of them are positive! I'd get an early upgrade but I wouldn't give this phone to anyone never mind pay a fee to not use it! Not worth £5 so don't put yourself through the stress of trying to use this phone. I would give 0 stars but that's not an option.

Reviewed by RichE from UK on 7th Sep 2016
Do NOT buy this phone; awkward to use, battery life very poor, sound quality [and controls] poor [although I am hard of hearing - but this was apparently ok!!], set-up difficult and NO help at all trying to find out the many problems using the EE Harrier website - useless! AVOID.

Reviewed by Murdoch H from UK on 6th May 2016
Absolute rubbish. Screen locks, it overheats, can't add much to what others have said. Total disappointment. Don't waste your money.

Reply by Sam from UK on 14th Aug 2016
My Harrier does get warm and hot sometimes which is not good:but apart from that nothing has gone wrong with it in the 6 months I have owned it.I am planning to put a new EE sim in it tomorrow as EE are offering a very good sim deal.I have been using my Kestrel (excellent phone for the price) for the last couple of months.I bought my harrier from Computer Exchange £92 and I am overall happy with it.😀

Reviewed by cate from uk on 11th Apr 2016
Rubbish phone it keeps overheating trying my third replacement now, buy something else if u get chance.

Reply by Mike from UK on 19th Apr 2016

Reviewed by ArthurH from UK on 10th Apr 2016
A piece of cheap junk. Screen keeps locking, I agree with Richard below - I too hate apps you can't uninstall and apps which give themselves permission to read and amend almost anything on the phone which surely is a violation of human rights.
The phone itself is a bit heavy and why the battery cannot be removed is crazy - but of course it will be a sales ploy to get you to buy another phone when the battery fails. I do not like these devious crafty moves so no I will never buy another nor recommend this heap of junk to anyone else.

Reviewed by Richard from United Kingdom on 9th Apr 2016
Not over impressed. I don't like apps you can't uninstall nor do I like apps which spy on you and can do anything they like such as read and amend contacts and so on. What really annoys me is the screen keeps constantly locking - it's done that seven times while writing this.. One good feature is the screen size and resolution. Would I buy another? No. I'll do what I should have done in the first place - get an iPhone.

Reviewed by Sonia from UK on 25th Jan 2016
we are now on our 4th Harrier in less than a year as the screen keeps cracking and the battery gets far too hot. Even though we have no apps open. We cannot be unique in having this problem and I was just wondering if anyone else had the same issues?

Reply by Janet-wright from Uk on 3rd Feb 2016
Yes. Same problem overheats and screen cracks easily. Disappointing.

Reviewed by Stephen deighton from Uk on 3rd Jan 2016
Had phone 6 months. u can't take out battery out. it has frozen twice and had go to be repaired.

Reviewed by Pauline from England on 19th Sep 2015
I have been given this harrier phone by ee because I had to take my kestrel back a second time because the main speaker went and after nearly 3 weeks it took me almost a full day for my local store in meadowhall sheffield to finally tell me it was lost they didnt know where it was so to this harrier I have spent a full day trying to add music to a memory card which I have done now they wont open up on the phone so at the moment this is as rubbish as the kestrel was im very dissopointed in ee.

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