EE readies own brand sub-£100 Wi-Fi calling smartphone

EE expanded the range of smartphones capable of accessing its Wi-Fi calling service with the launch of two new own-brand devices that CMO Pippa Dunn said offer premium-level features at low prices.

The first Wi-Fi calling enabled device unveiled by the UK operator is the Harrier, which runs the Android operating system and features a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon process, a full-HD 5.2-inch display, and a 13 megapixel rear camera.

EE said that the unit features CAT 4 chipset technology necessary to access its double-speed LTE network, and that it will be available from Apr. 28 priced at £199.99 (€278/$302) for prepay customers and free for post-pay users on a plan costing £21.99 per month.

A smaller variant named Harrier Mini offers a 1.2-GHz quad core processor, a 4.7-inch HD display, and 8 megapixel camera. The Telegraph newspaper reported the unit's £99.99 price tag for prepay users makes the Harrier Mini the UK's lowest priced LTE smartphone capable of accessing EE's Wi-Fi calling service. Post pay users on a £16.99 per month tariff will be offered the device for free.

Dunn said EE developed the Harrier and Harrier Mini in response to strong take-up of existing own-brand products, adding that the devices "are another big step forward and will allow even more people to benefit from a premium smartphone without the premium price".

EE claimed it achieved its goal of launching Wi-Fi calling ahead of rival Vodafone, when it took the service live in early April. EE noted its service is embedded into the smartphone rather than being an over-the-top mobile app, meaning subscribers will be able to place calls to users who don't use Wi-Fi calling.

The operator also unveiled its own-brand Osprey 2 and Osprey 2 Mini Wi-Fi devices. Osprey 2 creates a 4G mobile Internet hotspot capable of connecting up to 10 devices for 15 hours at a time. The unit can also be used as a portable battery pack for charging smartphones and tablets.

Osprey 2 Mini also offers the ability to connect up to 10 devices, and personalisation features including coloured covers.

The Osprey 2 is free for post pay subscribers on a £15 per month tariff, and is priced at £69.99 for pay as you go (PAYG) users. The Mini version is also free on £15 per month post-pay tariffs, or for £49.99 for PAYG customers.

For more:
- see EE's announcement
- view this Telegraph article

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