EE's new Rook phone delivers 4G and Android 5.1 for just £39

It's a low-end device, sure, but the carrier says it's the cheapest 4G phone ever

Looking for a dirt-cheap smartphone that'll still get you 4G speeds? Assuming you're on EE (or willing to sign up), you can now grab the Rook, a low-end option with a striking value proposition.

The 4G phone is available now for existing EE Pay as You Go customers for just £39, while newcomers can get the device for £49. It's also apparently offered to corporate customers, for businesses looking to upgrade their employees with minimal expense.

Granted, the hardware isn't anything to get terribly excited about. The Rook rocks a 4in display running at just 480x800, with a quad-core 1Ghz MediaTek processor and 1GB RAM. The back camera rates at 5MP, while the front is just a 0.3MP option; meanwhile, the battery is a 1,500mAh pack that EE says should provide more than five hours of talk time.

The phone also has 8GB of internal storage, although EE's promise of "more than 1GB" actually available after formatting and preinstalled content doesn't make us terribly confident. But at least it supports microSD cards up to 32GB, and the phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, which puts it ahead of a lot of phones that cost significantly more upon their respective releases.

EE says that 44% of its Pay as You Go users spend £50 or less on a device, so opening up a 4G handset to that crowd could spread speedier data access across its customer base. "We believe everyone should have access to 4G and the experiences it offers on the go," said Sharon Meadows, EE's director of devices.