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EE Harrier Tab review

Katharine Byrne
14 Aug 2015
EE Harrier Tab
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
215
inc VAT (PAYG)

The Harrier Tab is a decent 4G tablet with good battery life and generous data plans, but PAYG customers don't get a very good deal

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Specifications

Processor: Octa-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, Screen size: 8in, Screen resolution: 1,920x1,080, Rear camera: 8 megapixels, Storage (free): 16GB (10GB), Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 213x124x8.5mm, Weight: 338g, Operating system: Android 5.1

If two new smartphones weren't enough, EE has now added a tablet to its growing aviary of own-brand Harrier products. The Harrier Tab is a 4G tablet that borrows the brushed metal finish and yellow camera accent from the Harrier smartphone. It’s available on a range of pay monthly data contracts, or for £200 on Pay-As-You-Go, making it an affordable way to watch films and stream music online when you're on the move.

A 4G tablet isn't necessarily the best way to get online if your phone contract has a generous data allowance, as you can simply tether both devices together, but there’s no question built-in 4G is a convenience. EE's huge pay monthly deals will likely give you far more data than any available phone contract too. For £18 a month with £29.99 upfront, you can get a whopping 10GB of data each month. This equates to £462 over the course of two years though, so more budget conscious users might want to stick to PAYG and top up as and when they need the data. That means paying £215 upfront with an initial £10 top-up for 6GB of data over 90 days.

EE Harrier Tab rear

Display

This sounds like a hefty investment compared to most Wi-Fi-only Android tablets, but at least the EE Harrier Tab has an impressive specification to justify the price. The 8in slate has a 16:9 aspect ratio, 1,920x1,080 resolution display, giving it a pixel density of 275ppi. This is much sharper than the 4G Vodafone Smart Tab Prime 6, ensuring that Android 5.1 looks very sharp.

Unfortunately, image quality was a little disappointing, with the screen only displaying 74.4% of the sRGB colour gamut. Admittedly, it's much better than Vodafone's measly 58.5% coverage, but the Harrier Tab's blue, magenta and red colour coverage was extremely lacking, leading to slightly green-looking whites. Colours weren't particularly punchy either, but at least a high 471.88cd/m2 peak brightness makes it more practical to use outdoors or in bright lighting conditions. A contrast ratio of 1,185:1 was also very good, showing plenty of onscreen detail.

Performance

With Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz, octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor and 2GB of RAM inside, the EE Harrier Tab is an effective multi-tasker. It scored 2,474 in the Geekbench 3 multicore test, putting it roughly 400 points behind the Nexus 9. A less impressive single core score of 657 puts it behind the Tesco Hudl 2, and a Peacekeeper web browsing test score of 744 wasn’t particularly encouraging either. I saw a small amount of judder when loading up media-heavy web sites, but scrolling up and down the screen was otherwise responsive. I had few complaints during day to day use as well, as it was able to run Android 5.1 perfectly smoothly as I dipped in and out of the app tray.

EE Harrier Tab camera detail

The same can be said for playing games. While 364 frames in the GFXBench GL offscreen Manhattan test only equates to around 5.6fps, I was able to run simpler 2D games such as Threes and Alphabear with no problem at all. Blizzard's Hearthstone ran smoothly for the most part, too. 10GB of the full 16GB internal storage is available to the user for games and apps, but this can be expanded with a microSD card.

Battery Life

You'll get a decent day's use out of the Harrier Tab, as it managed exactly 10 hours of video playback when I set the screen brightness to 170cd/m2. This is more than three hours longer than the Tesco Hudl 2 and over an hour more than the Vodafone Smart Tab Prime 6, making it the more reliable tablet for car journeys or long-haul flights.

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