EE’s going to the birds! The network’s just unveiled three new 4G mobile Wi-Fi devices - Buzzard, Kite and Osprey, and a new tablet: the Eagle. We take a look at what they have to offer…
Well isn't this typical? You wait months for a new 4G mobile Wi-Fi device, then three of them turn up at once. Also a tablet.
Yes, EE's revealed a new range of devices designed to let you get online on the move, as well as some new 4G Wi-Fi data plans. They use 4G connection to create personal Wi-Fi hotspots, allowing you to connect multiple devices to them, including laptops, tablets and other non-4G handsets.
As with its recently released Kestrel smartphone, EE's gone ornithological with the names, but outside of those fowl titles, is there anything to tweet about? Let's take a look:
The Buzzard is a portable Wi-Fi device designed for the car. It plugs into the lighter / power socket and turns the entire car into a rolling personal 4G hotspot. We think the cylindrical case makes it look a bit like a tennis ball tube, but it's designed to fit in the cup holder, so that makes sense.
Regardless, it's what it does that matters. Passengers will be all be able to connect to fast 4G mobile internet, making long journeys far less tedious for everyone. Except the driver, naturally.
We think this one looks like an iPhone. It's designed to slip comfortably in your pocket or bag, allowing you to set up a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot whenever you need it.
It costs from £10 a month, plus £29 upfront (free on 24-month plans), or £69.99 pay-as-you-go.
One for the kids - a least according to EE. We quite like the way it looks, but then we've always been young at heart. It has a more colourful and robust design, so hopefully it should be able to take a few bumps and scrapes from more careless kiddies.
How much you ask? £10 a month, plus £19 upfront (free if you splurge on a 24-month plan) or £49.99 pay-as-you-go.
EE's positioning the new devices as an alternative to public Wi-Fi hotspots. There's something to be said for the added convenience of 4G - it can be a right faff logging in with public Wi-Fi, not to mention the irritation you can feel if you stroll slightly too far out of range.
Of course, one of the advantages of Wi-Fi is that it lets you save some valuable mobile data. EE's mobile Wi-Fi plans have their own data limits, so every time you connect, you'll still have to be aware of how much you're using. Especially since the cheapest packages don't offer a hugely generous allowance.
Data plans for the mobile Wi-Fi start at £10 a month for 1GB and £15 for 3GB on EE's standard 4G. If you want EE Extra - even faster 4G - you'll have to pay £20 a month for 15GB, £30 for 24GB and £50 a month for 50GB (only available as a 24-month contract).
As well as the three mobile WI-Fi gadgets, EE's launched a new tablet, which it's calling the EE Eagle. But shouldn't that be EEagle? We're not sure.
Either way, it's an 8in device with a quad-core processor and 16GB memory - expandable by up to 32GB with a microSD card. Naturally, it's 4G-compatible too.
EE describes it as the 'UK's most affordable 4G tablet'. It is quite reasonable, costing £199 on a pay-as-you-go plan, or £49.99 upfront with a £15 pay monthly plan with 2GB data a month.