The EE Rook is a smartphone from the UK’s biggest network provider, and the cheapest 4G handset we have ever seen with 4G support. The EE Rook might look like a minimalist throwback to smartphones circa 2008, but it is greatly designed, robust, and easy to use, and that is what counts.
Functioning & Software
The respectable functionality is thanks to a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek processor specifically, the MT6735M, clocked at 1-GHz. Nevertheless, the Android 5.1 OS is as new as they come, and the Rook makes browsing it a pleasure, price considered. We put the EE Rook through a few rounds on the Geekbench-3 benchmark test to see how its budget components fared.
The Rook scored a credible average of 1,356. Multi-tasking is very poor, but that is to be expected with only 1GB of RAM. The Rook is pretty close to stock Android, even though EE bundles a number of apps. The most notable are the My EE app, which lets you manage your account, an Amazon widget, and Deezer, which is a music streaming service partnered with the network.
Google made serious amendments with Lollipop, so the operating system is actually attractive and on a par with Apple’s iOS 8 when it comes to aesthetics.
It is worth noting that unlike some of its budget rivals, the EE Harrier and Vodafone Smart Prime 6, for example the battery of Rook is removable. As such, if you are away from the mains for a few days, you have the option of packing a spare cell. The battery on the EE Rook is only 1,500mAh. Still, that is bigger than the Pixi 3’s 1,400mAh unit.
Nonetheless, the small, low-resolution screen and weak processor mean that battery life does not take a huge hit.
Furthermore, the quality of the display is below-par. Viewing angles are far and above the biggest failing of the EE Rook. Color reproduction is good and the 480×800 pixel res is reasonable for this size of screen. The maximum display brightness is not great either, but the handset is effectively useless under direct sunlight. It works fine indoors and on grey days.
If you are going to buy new smartphone, EE Rook will be the best choice you’ll ever have.