Round-Up: EE's 4G Phones And Prices

Summary: T-Mobile and Orange's parent EE has now revealed tariffs for its 4G network in the UK. Here's a look at the operator's line-up of 4G phones, how they compare and what it will cost you to get one.
People who want to get onto EE's 4G LTE network, the first of its kind in the UK, have a choice of seven phones being sold through the operator's Orange and T-Mobile stores.

These handsets are Apple's iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE, HTC One XL, Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820.

EE has now revealed how much customers will pay for phones and services on its 4G LTE network, scheduled to go live next week.

All phone prices depend on the level of data package taken. For 500MB, the cost is £36 a month, while 1GB is £41, 3GB is £46, 5GB is £51, and 8GB is £56.

Here's a look at the specs plus prices for each of the 4G handsets, based on a 24-month contract with EE.

Apple's iPhone 5 :

Kicking off with Apple's iPhone 5, the 16GB model costs £20 on a £56-per-month plan with 8GB of data - the highest data allowance available. Alternatively, customers can pay £180 up front for the phone on a £36 contract with 500MB, the lowest level of data on offer.

As for specs, the iPhone 5 has a four-inch Retina display, a new 1.3GHz A6 chip and uses iOS 6. It comes with 1GB of RAM, up to 64GB of onboard storage and has a four-inch display. Promised battery life is eight to 10 hours.

Samsung Galaxy S III LTE

The Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE costs from £30 on an £56 monthly contract with 8GB of data - the same as the iPhone 5.

However, the smartphone comes in at £150 on a 500MB of data, £36-a-month deal - £30 less than Apple's handset.  

The Galaxy S3 LTE comes with a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED 720p display - the biggest of all the pure smartphones on offer. It has a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM.

It supports microSD cards up to 64GB, and on-board storage can be up to 64GB, for a maximum capacity of 128GB.


Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE

The Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE is available from £30 when customers sign up to the 8GB of data/£56 a month plan.

If they go for the 500MB/£36 tariff, they pay £180 for the device - the same as the iPhone 5.
The Galaxy Note II LTE, with its 5.3-inch display, is sized somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet.

The idea of the hybrid is that it is easy to take notes on, so it comes with a stylus — the S Pen — to use some of its features, rather than finger swipes.

The Note II LTE has a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1.5GHz quad-core chip. It comes with 16GB built-in memory and supports a microSD card up to 32GB.

HTC One XL :

Like the other 4G-capable phones carried by EE, the HTC One XL costs from £30 on the high-data 8GB/£56 a month plan.

On the lower-end 500MB/£36 subscription, the handset is £150 - equivalent to the Galaxy S III LTE and cheaper than the others so far. 

The One XL handset runs the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and a 4.7-inch display. However, the display's resolution is 540x960 pixels, much lower than the corresponding non-4G One X's 720x1,280 display.

Hardware-wise, there is a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM.

Huawei Ascend P1 LTE :

The Huawei Ascend P1 LTE is free on contracts with more than 1GB of data (starting at £41 per month) or £20 on a 500MB/£36 contract. That's more than £100 cheaper than its counterparts.

It has a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4 CPU, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Corning Gorilla Glass display.

Nokia Lumia 920 :

The Nokia Lumia 920 has not yet launched in the UK, so EE has not revealed its price plans for the Windows Phone 8-based handset.

However, the smartphone is expected to go on general sale at approximately £475, SIM-free. By comparison, a 16GB iPhone 5 is £529.

The phone has a 4.5-inch TrueBlack display and dual-core Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon processor, which Nokia claims is up to 30 percent more efficient than quad-core alternatives.

Nokia Lumia 820 :

The Nokia Lumia 820 is also not yet released, but again is expected to come out after the launch of Windows Phone 8 on 29 October, probably alongside the switch-on for EE's 4G network on 30 October.

As a guide to its probable price, the Lumia 820 is expected to be £395 SIM-free. 

The Lumia 820 is almost exactly the same as the flagship 920 device, except for a smaller display (4.3-inches compared to 4.5 inches) and a slightly smaller battery.


LG Optimus True HD P936 :

EE is also offering plans for people who don't need to buy a phone along with service. These contracts, which come with unlimited minutes and texts, have tariffs based on the amount of bundled data.

For 500MB, the cost is £21 a month, while 1GB is £26, 3GB is £31 and 5GB is £36. No 8GB is listed for SIM-free plans.

A handful of 4G-ready phones are available in the UK, such as the LG Optimus True HD P936 shown here. However, any smartphone needs to be compatible with EE's 4G network. 

"By compatible, we mean it's a 4G phone that you've bought either directly from Orange or T-Mobile. Or on those networks through an indirect retailer," EE says on its website.

This caveat doesn't apply to the iPhone 5, if bought from Apple, Carphone Warehouse or Phones4U.

EE is also trying to woo existing T-Mobile or Orange customers to its 4G services. If they recently bought a non-4G versions of the handsets, the operator will let them swap it via a £99 upgrade.
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