The new EE Rook is the cheapest phone in the network's 4G line-up. EE

A bird in the hand is worth, ooh, about forty quid. That's the case with the EE Rook, the network's cheapest 4G phone yet.

EE was the UK's first mobile network to offer superfast 4G LTE, which lets you connect to the Internet faster and stream or download music, videos and the like much quicker. But now all the major UK networks offer their own 4G service, EE faces more competition. One way the network is tempting you to choose EE over rivals is with a range of own-brand phones and devices that are easy on the wallet -- and the Rook is the most wallet-friendly so far.

The Rook costs £39 if you're already on EE, or £49 if you're a new customer. It's available now from EE shops, by phone or from EE's online store.

The 4-inch Rook is powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop. Camille Sanson/EE

Manufactured by ZTE, the Rook runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop software and is powered by a MediaTek quad-core 64-bit processor with 1GB of RAM. Although the phone boasts 8GB of storage, much of that is taken up by software so you can only use 3.5GB for your music, movies, apps and snaps. But you can stick a memory card in for extra room.

There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back that shoots 720p video. A 0.3-megapixel camera on the front is fine for video chats but selfies will lack detail. The camera has neither autofocus nor flash so it's not great for low-light situations like parties or even just indoors.

The 4-inch screen offers a relatively low resolution of 800x480 pixels, a long way off high definition. So although you've got the 4G capacity to stream movies or videos they won't be in eye-popping detail.

The Rook is 10.3mm thick and weighs 130 grams. EE reckons the 1,500mAh battery will give you five hours of talk time. It'll last about two weeks on a single charge if you don't use it, but power-hungry tasks like browsing the Web over Wi-Fi, watching videos or playing games will drain the battery much faster.

The Rook is the latest in EE's own-branded line of affordable 4G phones, tablets and connected devices designed to tempt to you into joining EE's superfast network. They include the Harrier and Kestrel smartphones, Harrier Tab and Eagle tablets, Buzzard dongle and 4GEE Action Cam . Buying a new phone can also net you a 20 percent discount on select EE accessories.