EE Harrier review
|Review: May 2015|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Operating system: Android Lollipop
- 13 megapixel camera with flash
- HD video recording
- 2 megapixel front camera
- Display: Touchscreen with 1920 x 1080 pixels (5.2 inches)
- aGPS receiver
- Music player
- Processor: Octa Core 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Memory: 16GB plus microSD memory card slot, 2GB RAM
- Runs on 4G networks, plus Wi-Fi calling
- Size: 147 x 75 x 8.9 mm
- Weight: 145g
- Battery: 2500 mAh
Got a question? This is the place to ask it!
Please don't ask a question that has already been asked. Duplicates will be removed.
Flash or open network?
Asked by oussama
on 20th Jul 2016
Possible flash this phone.
Flash or open network.
My speaker breaks up a lot is this a common problem with the rest hsrtier?
on 1st Jul 2016
What's the carrier for this phone what company?
Asked by germaine
on 16th Jun 2016
Reply by S21
on 16th Jun 2016
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!
Average rating from 8 reviews:
Reviewed by RichE
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
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
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
on 11th Apr 2016
Rubbish phone it keeps overheating trying my third replacement now, buy something else if u get chance.
Reply by Mike
on 19th Apr 2016
Reviewed by ArthurH
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
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
on 3rd Feb 2016
Yes. Same problem overheats and screen cracks easily. Disappointing.
Reviewed by Stephen deighton
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
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.