Smartphone prices are coming down all the time and now it’s possible to get a 4G phone for well under £100. Take the EE Rook, Nokia Lumia 635 and Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 for example. They cost around £49, £72 and £100 respectively.
They’re all super cheap then, though the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 is twice what the EE Rook costs. They’re also all impressively well specced for the money. So which should you choose? Check out our comparison to find out.
EE Rook (126 x 64 x 10.3mm 130g plastic) vs Nokia Lumia 635 (129.5 x 66.7 x 9.2mm 134g plastic) vs Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 (121.4 x 62.9 x 11mm 130.3g plastic)
All three phones have fairly plain plastic designs, though the EE Rook is arguably the plainest, with a black shell and just a metallic edging to break it up. The Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 is similar, but has an eye-catching two-tone stripe design on the back.
The Nokia Lumia 635 is all one colour, but it can be bright, with a choice of orange, green, yellow, white or black.
All three phones are similarly light and a little chunky, though the Nokia Lumia 635 is the thinnest of the three at 9.2mm thick, while the 11mm thick Galaxy Ace 4 is the thickest.
EE Rook (4.0-inch 480*800 233ppi) vs Nokia Lumia 635 (4.5-inch 480*854 221ppi) vs Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 (4.0-inch 480*800 233ppi)
The Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 and EE Rook have very similar screens, as both pack a 4.0-inch 480 x 800 display with a pixel density of 233 pixels per inch, while the Nokia Lumia 635 has a larger 4.5-inch screen. But while the screen is bigger the resolution of 480 x 854 isn’t much higher, so it’s got a lower pixel density of 221 pixels per inch.
It’s not a huge difference but it means you’re choosing between a larger screen and a sharper screen. All three phones are relatively compact, but of course the smaller EE Rook and Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 are the most compact, for better or worse.
EE Rook (1.0GHz quad-core 1GB RAM) vs Nokia Lumia 635 (1.2GHz quad-core 1GB RAM) vs Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 (1.2GHz dual-core 1GB RAM)
The EE Rook has a 1.0GHz quad-core 64-bit MediaTek processor and 1GB of RAM, while the Nokia Lumia 635 has a 1.2GHz quad-core 32-bit Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM and the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 has a 1.2GHz dual-core 32-bit Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM.
There’s nothing to choose when it comes to RAM then, but the Nokia Lumia 635 and the EE Rook have the edge over the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 overall, as it’s only dual-core.
The choice between the Lumia 635 and the EE Rook is trickier, because the Lumia 635 has a higher clock-speed, but the EE Rook is 64-bit, leaving it more adept at multitasking. In practice there shouldn’t be much in it though, with the different operating systems being the bigger difference, as the EE Rook runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, while the Nokia Lumia 635 runs Windows Phone 8.1.
EE Rook (5MP rear 0.3MP front-facing) vs Nokia Lumia 635 (5MP rear) vs Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 (5MP rear 0.3MP front-facing)
None of these phones have amazing cameras but they’re all pretty good for the money and some are better than others. Specifically the Nokia Lumia 635 is the worst of the three, as while all of them have 5 megapixel rear snappers, the EE Rook and Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 also have 0.3 megapixel front-facing ones, while the Nokia Lumia 635 has no front-facing camera.
Out of the Ace 4 and the EE Rook the Galaxy Ace 4 has the edge as it has a flash, while neither the EE Rook nor the Nokia Lumia 635 do.
Battery life, memory and connectivity
EE Rook (1500 mAh 8GB 4G) vs Nokia Lumia 635 (1830 mAh 8GB 4G) vs Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 (1500 mAh 4GB 4G NFC)
The EE Rook has a 1500 mAh battery quoted for over 5 hours of talk time, while the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 has a 1500 mAh battery which can supposedly last for up to 9 hours of talk time and the Nokia Lumia 635 has an 1830 mAh juice pack listed for up to 14 hours of talk time. So the Lumia 635 has the longest battery life and the EE Rook has the shortest.
The Lumia 635 and EE Rook both have 8GB of built in storage, while the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 has just 4GB, which is a tiny amount, but it does at least have a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 64GB. The Lumia 635 has it beat there too though with a microSD card slot supporting cards of up to 128GB, while the EE Rook also has a slot, but only supports microSD cards of up to 32GB.
All three phones support Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G and Bluetooth 4.0, but the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 is the only one of the three to support NFC.
All three of these handsets are brilliant value for money and in terms of specs there’s no clear winner. The EE Rook has the worst battery life, while the Nokia Lumia 635 has the worst camera and the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 is the least powerful.
So it really comes back to their prices and in that sense the EE Rook is the clear winner, as at £49 it’s half the price of the £100 Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 and a fair bit cheaper than the £72 Nokia Lumia 635, though if you want a Windows Phone handset the Lumia 635 is still a strong alternative.
The Galaxy Ace 4 is the only one with NFC and a camera flash, but for the most part it seems like you’re paying for the brand name more than anything.
Checkout all three phones in store :