EE Harrier Mini – Software
The good news is that it’s been relatively untouched and lets the new Android features shine through. Like the expanded notifications and useful lock screen access to first and third party apps. The grassy EE wallpaper will distinguish it from stock Android phones but it’s something you can easily change if you want. Venture into the settings and it’s all very familiar as well. EE’s approach to power management is slightly unique focusing on disabling Wi-Fi and mobile data during specific times of the day. Take your pick from Regular or Aggressive modes and you should hopefully see an improvement in overall performance and battery life.
Obviously there are some pre-installed EE-endorsed applications on the Harrier Mini, including four ways to give your money to Amazon through its services. There’s also My EE, which functions as a portal for managing EE, Orange or T-Mobile accounts. EE is covering security bases as well with a special edition of Lookout, which offers a find my phone feature along with the option to back up data and the ability to ‘block dodgy texts’. All the key Google apps like Gmail, YouTube and Photos (now Google Photos) are already in place, which is always nice to see. Beyond those few bits, the best of Android shines through and without a great deal of bloatware bogging down the experience.
EE Harrier Mini – Performance
On paper, the Harrier Mini is up there with the most capable phones that can be purchased for under £100. It packs a Mediatek 1.2GHz quad-core processor, which is commonly found in a host of cheap low-end Android phones.
We found the Harrier Mini relatively smooth and snappy during standard tasks such as web browsing, listening to music and playing basic games like Scrabble. But when switching between apps and taking on more graphically intensive games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne, the Harrier Mini really struggled. Stuttered action, app crashes and freezing made gameplay simply unenjoyable.
Playing complex games and running demanding apps were the only times we experienced any app instability, though. For the most part the Harrier Mini was a good performer, provided you didn’t push it beyond its means.
Geekbench 3 benchmark tests with the Harrier Mini put it on a par with the Moto E (2015) (1489) scoring a decent 1491. In real world use, we’d be inclined to say that Snapdragon 410 processor inside the Motorola phone offers a slicker performance with less of the stability issues.