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EE Harrier Mini review

Katharine Byrne
22 Jul 2015
EE Harrier Mini
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
100
inc VAT on PAYG

A decent phone on PAYG, but the Harrier Mini has its wings clipped by high contract prices, a mediocre screen and sub-par camera

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Screen Size: 4.7in, Screen resolution: 1,280x720, Rear camera: 8-megapixel, Storage: 8GB, Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 138x68x9.5mm, Weight: 124g, Operating system: Android 5.0.2

It didn’t take much for EE’s £200 Harrier to stand out from the crowd, as decent mid-range handsets are still hard to come by. Things aren’t so simple for the smaller Harrier Mini though. At £100 on EE’s Pay-As-You-Go service, it’s in direct competition with Motorola’s budget champion, the 2nd Gen Moto E.

On paper, the Harrier Mini puts up an extremely good fight. Its 4.7in display has a higher 1,280x720 resolution, the rear camera has a larger 8-megapixel sensor, and its 124g, 9.5mm thick chassis is both lighter and slimmer than the Moto E by quite a margin. Motorola’s colourful bands and grip shells might let you customise the Moto E, but the Harrier Mini’s brushed metal effect finish and yellow camera module give it a little more personality than the usual black slabs we see at this end of the market.

Display

While we appreciate the extra screen resolution, image quality was decidedly less impressive. Our colour calibrator measured a disappointing 84.9% sRGB colour gamut coverage, which is pretty poor even by budget phone standards. Red and green coverage were the main areas of weakness, making the screen appear quite cool overall. This meant images weren’t quite as vivid as we would like, but at least black levels of 0.26cd/m2 meant that blacks were always deep and inky.

EE Harrier with Harrier Mini

^ The Harrier Mini (right) looks amost identical to its big brother, the £200 Harrier (left)

A contrast ratio of 1,395:1 was great too, ensuring plenty of detail was present, although viewing angles did tend to drop off slightly if we weren’t looking at the phone head on. Likewise, with a peak white level of 366.95cd/m2, you’ll have to set the screen to max brightness if you want to use the phone outside - any less and you’ll struggle to see the screen clearly.

Camera

The 8-megapixel rear camera also failed to leave much of a mark. There was a decent amount of detail present in the centre of the frame, but the right hand side struggled to focus correctly, which meant that some objects lost definition around the edge of our test shots. Likewise, shadow areas were extremely dark, which made the whole picture look very dingy. Switching to HDR mode did help in these situations, but colours still veered toward the dark side despite the increase in exposure.

EE Harrier Mini camera test

^ There was a good level of detail present on Auto mode, but shadows were quite dark and the side of the frame struggled to focus properly

EE Harrier Mini camera test HDR mode

^ Switching to HDR mode helped brighten the areas of shadow, but the contrast is still slightly off

Indoor performance was pretty decent, though, as colours looked much richer in our still life shots and we only started to see a noticeable amount of noise when we switched off our external lamp. We also didn’t see any obvious blurring on the right hand side of the frame either.  

EE Harrier Mini camera test indoors with lamp

^ Indoors, we didn't see any focus issues and colours were bright and rich when there was plenty of light

EE Harrier Mini camera test indoors without lamp

^ Noise started to creep in when we switched off our external lamp, though, but there was still a good level of detail on show

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