EE Vs Three: Super-fast 4G speeds or unlimited Netflix streaming?

EE & Three are two of the largest mobile networks in the UK . Read on to find out what they offer, how they compare and which network is right for you.

ee-vs-three-review

Three October 2020 Latest Offer 12GB for £8Latest Offer: 12GB for just £8/month

Three is currently offering customers 12GB of data with unlimited UK minutes and texts for just £8 a month. You get the extra perks of 5G at no extra cost, Go Binge and Go Roam, which lets you roam abroad at 71 destinations including EU, USA & Australia. This is a limited time offer so click through to ensure you don’t miss out!

Who is EE?

ee-article-logoEE is the largest mobile network operator in the UK. It provides over 99% population coverage, but most importantly the carrier offers over 90% landmass coverage on 2G, 3g & 4G. EE’s 5G network coverage in the UK is also leading the way, but the race for the best 5G service is quite competitive. Multiple independent testing bodies such as OOKLA, Open Signal and umlaut picked EE as the best network in the UK for coverage & speeds for the last couple of years

Pro’s

  • Best 3G, 4G & 5G coverage in the UK.
  • Fastest 4G internet speeds in the UK.
  • A wide range of handset options.
  • Decent rewards and long trials for valuable add-ons.

Con’s

  • Pricier than its competitors.
  • Not as great as its rivals when it comes to international roaming.
 

Who is Three?

three-article-logoThree is one of the four largest mobile networks in the UK, and it’s on a path to offer the best 5G services in the country. Three is also the youngest mobile network operator in the UK. The network offers 5G coverage on all its plans and their unlimited data plans are without any restrictions like data caps or fair usage limitations.

Pro’s

  • 5G coverage in all plans at no extra cost. Fastest 5G.
  • 71 inclusive roaming destinations.
  • Competitive prices, both on SIM only and PAYG deals.
  • True unlimited plans. No reduced speeds, no data caps.
  • Named Best Network for Roaming at the uSwitch Mobile Awards 2020.

Con’s

  • Doesn’t have 2G coverage.
  • Not as fast as its competitors when it comes to 4G internet speeds.
 

Table of Contents

Plans & Pricing

SIM Only Deals

ee-vs-three-review-bannerEE proposes two types of SIM only deals to choose from. The lower-cost alternatives are called Essential Plans and the ones with richer perks are named Smart Plans. All EE Smart Plans come with 5G data speeds. There a few Smart Plan options to choose from and although pricier, they also offer Swappable Benefits and some juicy add-ons free for the first six months of your contract. All price plans use EE’s 4G network, which is by far the fastest in the UK. EE Smart Plans also offer super-fast 5G data speeds. They also include unlimited UK minutes and texts. EE offers no flexibility on either type of contracts, locking you into a long term commitment starting from 12 months.

Three’s data speeds maybe tracking behind EE(36.4Mbps), but its average download speed is marked around 22.2Mbps, which is more than enough to watch HD videos, stream content, listen to music or play video games. The network has only one type of SIM Only tariff option called the Advanced Plan. Just like EE, Three doesn’t limit calls and texts on these plans. They also offer flexibility by proposing 1 month, 12 months and 24 months contract options. Three’s prices are quite competitive and generally the best value option out of the larger operators. All plans include 5G coverage at no extra cost, and the network has the fastest 5G in the UK, download speeds measured at 201Mbps on average.

Down below is a comparison between the two network’s unlimited data plans (and also EE’s 200GB data plan). We’d like to remind you that EE’s Essential plan don’t always come with 5G coverage.

TARIFFDATAPRICE
Three AdvancedUnlimited£26.00 - 1 month
Three AdvancedUnlimited£24.00 - 12 months
Three AdvancedUnlimited£22.00 - 24 months
EE SmartUnlimited£35.00 - 18 months
All the plans listed above come with unlimited minutes & texts.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

three winnerWhile EE offers the fastest 4G internet speeds and the best coverage in the UK, Three closes the gap with 5G coverage on all their plans. At Half Cooked, we find what Three brings to the table more interesting in terms of extra perks & features and at a lower price point Three edges it when it comes to value.

Pay As You Go

At the moment, EE provides two different PAYG options to its customers. You can use EE’s network in a traditional PAYG sense, but EE won’t let you connect to the internet. You’ll have to buy ‘packs’ if you wish to have access to data. Each pack lasts for 30 days, but they come with perks like data rollover and a quarterly data boost if you stick with EE without taking any breaks longer than seven days. You can mix up traditional PAYG with packs, using packs only when you need the internet. It’s up to you, but by doing so you’d be giving up on your unused data and also breaking the chain for the free data boost. EE also offers Flex Plans, but they’re a lot pricier.

You also won’t be getting 4G Calling or Wi-Fi Calling, even if your device supports it, simply because these features are exclusive to pay monthly customers.

Three revamped its PAYG service back in March 2020, and for the better. All PAYG options on the network now include 5G coverage at no extra cost, plus they became more wallet friendly. There are two types of PAYG deals on the Three network now, but you can also use the service in a traditional sense. You can check the rates by clicking here.

You can also buy a ‘Data Pack’ to use Three’s PAYG service, with four packs to choose from. The network’s PAYG includes the ‘Go Roam’ scheme as well, so you’re covered in a total of 71 roaming destinations. You can also benefit from Super-Voice (4G Calling) and Wi-Fi Calling on any of the Three’s PAYG options, this is of course if your device is compatible.

If you joined Three’s PAYG service before the 12th March 2020 you’ll be on a different plan named ‘321’, however you can opt out of it if you wish. Since new customers can’t be on 321 Plans we won’t include them in this comparison, but if you wish to learn more about them you can check Half Cooked’s extensive Three Review!

Half Cooked’s Verdict

three winnerThis is an easy win for Three. Not only that it offers 5G coverage, but also provides perks like Super-Voice, Wi-Fi Calling & Go Roam. EE’s only advantage over Three in this comparison is the data rollover and free data boost schemes, but the Three still offers better value alternatives overall.

Pay Monthly Phones

EE has a wide range of handsets to choose from, almost four times more than what Three offers. There are mobile devices from all the top tier manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei & Sony, and also some budget friendly alternatives like Alcatel and Doro. EE also offers refurbished handsets, which you won’t find in Three’s store.

All the devices -including refurbished ones- come with EE’s ‘Service Pack’ feature, meaning your device will be under lifetime guarantee at no extra cost. There are more than 300 handsets to pick from in EE’s shop.

You can find both pay monthly and pay as you go phone deals in Three’s store, but range is smaller than EE’s. Since Three offers 5G at no extra cost, you might want to get a 5G handset such as this Samsung Galaxy S10 or this Xiaomi Mi Mix.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

EE winnerWhile Three’s phone deals are budget friendly, EE offers a much wider range of devices, plus refurbished phone deals. On top of that, EE offers a lifetime warranty scheme for free. EE is the clear winner in this section.

Network Coverage & Speeds

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage

ee vs three coverageEE offers the best network coverage in the UK when it comes to 2G, 3G and 4G, plus the mobile operators 4G data speeds are exceptionally fast. EE has over 99% 4G population and over 90% landmass coverage in the UK. The network plans to reach 95% landmass coverage by the end of 2020. EE has won the award for best network coverage from RootMetrics for the last 6 years in a row. Umlaut and many other independent bodies tested network coverage in the UK and they all seem to agree EE has the best coverage among the mobile network providers.

The mobile network is also renowned for providing the fastest 4G speeds in the market. Open Signal’s October 2020 speed tests show an average of 36.4Mbps download and 9.1Mbps upload speeds for EE. Comparing it with Three’s average 4G download speed at 22.2Mbps and upload speed at 8Mbps, the winner is obvious.

EE has no restrictions when it comes to internet speeds, meaning all plans benefit from unrestricted 4G service. What makes EE’s 4G network faster than all the others is; its double-speed 4G, and 4G+. On 4G+, customers may get as high as 90Mbps download speeds, but it usually doesn’t peak over 60Mbps.

The network offers over 99% population coverage for 3G & 4G, but in terms of landmass coverage it falls behind compared to EE.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

EE winnerAs always, we strongly recommend you to use each network’s coverage checkers before you make your final decision. Have a look at your frequent areas, routes you take often and see which of the two networks offer better coverage for you. Generally speaking EE’s coverage is greater and its internet speeds are faster, therefore it’s an easy win for EE in our book.

5G Coverage

5g coverageThree has the largest usable 5G spectrum in the UK with 140Mhz. The network currently uses 100MHz of it to provide 5G coverage in the UK in 68 locations. When we examine the speed test results published by OOKLA, we see that Three also has the fastest 5G download speeds in the country at 201Mbps.

Meanwhile, EE has 40Mhz of usable 5G spectrum, but keep in mind this isn’t the only key factor for how fast a network’s 5G services can be. The mobile carrier was also the first one to launch 5G in the UK. EE turned on the first commercially available 5G signals in the country back in May 2019 in these six cities: London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast & Edinburgh. Since then the number has improved to a total of 112 destinations. Also looking at the network coverage maps, we see that EE’s 5G coverage is usually larger per destination compared to Three’s.

EE’s has the slowest 5G data speeds in the UK among the four major mobile networks though. The network’s average 5G download speeds are around 134.7Mbps.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

EE winnerthree winnerBoth networks are consistently improving their 5G infrastructure. EE has the widest 5G coverage in the UK, whilst Three has the fastest 5G data speeds. EE’s 5G has less latency compared to Three’s even though more customers are active on their 5G network, but Three’s 5G is available to all customers at no extra cost. We think it’s a tie and you can’t go wrong with either operator.

Voice Call Quality

EE vs three voice call qualityThis probably won’t come as a surprise, but as you can guess EE offers the highest quality in terms of voice calling in the UK. If anything, this is expected given how the network has the best population and landmass coverage in the UK.

Three falls behind all the other major networks in this area, but the latest tests were done before it launched 5G. We aren’t going to dive deep into it and explain how 5G could affect voice call quality when it’s not being used for calls or texts, but simply put it’s gonna take some load off 3G & 4G and help the network’s overall balance.

EE is still the fastest in call setup times and the lowest phone call drop rates in umlaut’s most recent voice call quality tests, scoring ‘very good’. Three is at the bottom of the list between the four major mobile network operators with a score of ‘sufficient’.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

EE winnerThis is yet another easy win for the EE Network. Three isn’t bad by no means, but EE offers the best voice call service in the country.

Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling

ee-4g-calling-wi-fi-calling4G Calling (also known as VoLTE) is a free service that lets you make and take calls over a 4G network. If your device supports 4G Calling, indoor blackspots will become less of a problem. This perk gives you clearer calls in more locations.

Wi-Fi Calling is a high definition voice service, which uses an internet connection to let you make and receive calls over a Wi-Fi network.

Both EE and Three offer these two services, but your price plan must include them. Your phone also needs to be compatible to use these services.

Three’s 4G Calling is called Super-Voice, and regardless of your price plan you’ll have access to it. The same goes for Wi-Fi Calling. Both pay monthly and PAYG customers on Three can benefit from Super-Voice and Wi-Fi Calling so long as their devices are compatible. You can check the list for Wi-Fi calling supported devices on Three’s website.

This isn’t the same for EE. You’ll have to be on a contract deal which also offers 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling to take advantage of these two voice call quality improving features. This means flex plan and pay as you go customers can’t use them. Here is the list of devices which support Wi-Fi Calling on EE.

If you wish to learn which other networks offer 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling, make sure to read our networks with Wi-Fi calling in the UK guide.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

three winnerOverall, the quality of the services seem to be on the same level for both networks. However, we feel Three deserves a minor win here for including both Super-Voice (4G Calling) and Wi-Fi Calling in all plans, be it contract or PAYG.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

ee-wifi-hotspotThe EE Network allows eligible customers to use Wi-Fi on the London Underground. This service is provided by Virgin Media, however it’s available only in ticket halls, walkways and platforms. Tunnels or between stations aren’t covered.

You might also have access to BT Wi-Fi. If you are on a supported plan you’ll have access to BT Openzone hotspots, but there’s a 3GB data cap per month. You’ll need the BT Wi-Fi app to connect to these hotspots.

As for Three, Wi-Fi hotspots are few and far between. You get free Wi-Fi on the London Underground at over 250 stations to help you keep connected, but that is as far as it goes.

If you wish to know more about Wi-Fi Hotspots and which networks make the best offer head onto Half Cooked’s Free Wi-Fi Hotspots review!

Half Cooked’s Verdict

EE winnerThis is a win for EE, looking at how it provides thousands of more Wi-Fi Hotspots compared to Three.

Tethering

ee-tetheringTethering means sharing your mobile phone’s data with other supported devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets etc. It is commonly known as turning your phone into a personal hotspot.

Tethering is included in all EE plans. If you tether to any other device, the data it will use will come out of your allowance. You should always be extra careful when tethering, if you go over your price plan’s allowance, EE will charge you for the data at the standard rate.

Tethering on EE does come with some restrictions. Even if you are on an unlimited data plan you can only use up to 1000GB (1TB) of data. This is plenty, but if you are sharing your data with others regularly, watching 4K streams or downloading things often you might end up eating through all your data without realizing it. You can also tether to a maximum of 12 other devices on EE. If you regularly pass these restrictions, the network will consider this non-personal use and move you to a business plan.

Three supports tethering on all plans, even if you are using the network on a traditional PAYG basis. No restrictions is the key difference between Three and EE in regards to tethering. There are no data caps, no limits to a number of devices nor are there any internet speed restrictions.

We’d like to remind you once more, when you are tethering regularly data will get eaten up at a faster rate. You might not want to use this feature as often, unless you have an unlimited data plan.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

three winnerBoth networks offer tethering on all their plans, however you get more value on Three’s plans. Not to mention while EE limits your tethering options, Three offers complete freedom. A definite win for Three here.

International Roaming

ee vs three international roamingDue to the EU roaming regulation changes that came into effect in the summer of 2017, just like all the other networks based in the UK, EE must also provide inclusive EU roaming in its price plans.

EE offers inclusive roaming in the EU for 48 destinations. The network also has a ‘Roam Further Pass’. If you purchase this add-on, you get 5 more countries to roam freely: Australia, USA, Mexico, Canada & New Zealand. Roam Further Pass is also a Swappable Benefit, meaning if you are on a EE Smart plan you can pick it up for free. If your travel plans include countries which aren’t covered by EE’s international roaming, you can use the network’s roaming costs tool to learn how much it will cost you to make calls, send texts or use your data.

Three is a global mobile network and it makes the best use out of it by offering 71 inclusive roaming destinations all around the world. You can click here to see the full list.

Major networks such as EE usually don’t allow PAYG customers to access features like international roaming, and when they do there’s almost always a catch. Three’s approach is the complete opposite. The network lets all customers benefit from ‘Go Roam’ (Three’s free roaming scheme).

Make sure to check what rates may apply, when travelling to countries which aren’t covered by Go Roam.

Alternatively, you can get the Data Passport on Three. It gives you the freedom to use the mobile data as you wish for £5/day. You may use your internet just as if you’re at home, including watching videos or streaming music. Daily allowance ends at midnight, UK time.

If you travel abroad often, especially in the EU, you might want to check out what Vodafone offers. Vodafone’s ‘Global Roaming’ allows members to use their UK data, minutes and texts abroad in up to 152 worldwide destinations. However, only 52 of these destinations are free of charge. With its Global Roaming Plus’ perk Vodafone offers inclusive roaming in 81 destinations.

If you travel frequently, you should certainly have a look at our roaming abroad guide. We covered all the networks operating in the UK.

Half Cooked’s Verdict

three winnerThree offers more destinations and a wider range of countries when it comes to inclusive roaming. Plus it’s included in all their plans. Compared to EE’s pricier and less value inclusive roaming options Three is clearly making the better offer. We give the win to Three in this section.

Features

EE’s Features

Swappable Benefits & Add-Ons

ee-swappable-benefitsEE offers a wide range of add-ons for its price plans and some of them are free of charge, called Swappable Benefits. If you are running an Essential plan you have to pay for each add-on separately, but occasionally exclusive deals pop up that may include some of these add-ons at no extra cost. Smart Plans let you get one Swappable Benefit for free and allow you to swap between these benefits once a month. EE’s Unlimited Smart Plan includes all six ‘Swappable Benefits’.

EE offers more add-ons, but unlike ‘Swappable Benefits’ you don’t have an option to get them for free. However, EE proposes 6 months free trials for Apple Music and MTV Play, and you’re allowed to cancel anytime.

Swappable Benefits

ee-pass-roam-furtherRoam Further Pass: This feature allows customers to use their inclusive minutes, texts and data in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand with no extra charges.

ee-pass-amazon-prime-videoAmazon Prime Video: With this perk you can use Amazon Prime Video on your phone or tablet. If you are on EE Smart Unlimited or have Video Data Pass too, you won’t go through any data.

ee-pass-bt-sportBT Sport App: You can watch BT Sport on your phone or your tablet. If you are on EE Smart Unlimited or have a Video Data Pass, you won’t go through any data.

ee-add-on-britboxBritBox: You can stream the biggest box of British boxsets on your mobile device and if you have the necessary tech, on your TV as well.

Apple Music EE Smart BenefitApple Music: You can listen to more than 60 million songs without ads. You can also listen to your favourite tracks and even play them offline. 

Apple TV Smart Benefit EEApple TV+: You can watch series, dramas, documentaries as well as Apple Originals with this Smart Benefit. 
 

Apple Arcade Smart Benefit EEApple Arcade: You get unlimited access to 100+ games, no ands, no in-app purchases. You may even download them and play offline.


Add-Ons

ee-pass-music-dataMusic Data Pass: You won’t burn through your data listening to music on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and more. You should still check if your preferred music app is covered by EE.

ee-pass-video-dataVideo Data Pass: This benefit lets you watch as many videos and streams as you wish without draining your data. Works with Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, BT Sport, MTV Play amongst others.

ee-pass-gamers-dataGamer’s Data Pass: This perk covers all the data you use playing Pokémon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, FIFA Mobile & Star Wars: Galaxy. Most importantly it works with Twitch, the world’s number one video game streaming platform.

EE Add-on MTV PlayMTV Play: You can use MTV Play on up to 4 devices. The add-on comes with exclusives like Geordie Shore, Just Tattoo of Us and Ex on the Beach. You can cancel your subscription any time.

Music Data Pass and Gamer’s Data Pass were ‘Swappable Benefits’, but as of May 2020 EE switched them to purchasable add-ons.

We think EE’s rewards and extra features are solid, but if you don’t find these charming enough, you can check our detailed unlimited social media guide which covers extra perks such as unlimited data usage.

Unlimited Data Plans

You can get unlimited data from EE for £35/month and the deal comes with the UK’s largest 5G coverage.

The unlimited data plan locks you in for an 18 month contract. With EE Smart Unlimited Plan comes you’ll also get a free ‘Swappable Benefit’.

TariffData, Minutes & TextsPRICE
EE Smart (1 Smart Benefit included)Unlimited £37 - 24 months
EE Smart (3 Smart Benefits included)Unlimited £41 - 24 months
EE Smart plans come with fastest data speeds available, including 5G coverage & download speeds.

There’s actually a catch with these unlimited plans though. You are allowed to use up to 1000GB (1TB) of data per month. If you reach beyond this point multiple months, EE might take you for a business customer & move you onto a business plan.

There’s also a limit to how many devices you can tether to at the same time. The network will let you tether up to a number of 12 devices. EE says “If you regularly tether 12 or more devices, we will consider this non-personal use and have the right to move you to a more suitable plan.”, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

And lastly international roaming is limited to 50GB of data usage. Once you pass the 50GB cap, EE will charge you at 0.36p/MB.

Data Rollover

EE proposes data roll over for its PAYG and Flex plan customers. This feature is becoming more and more common among the UK based operators. What does data rollover mean? Well, if you didn’t use all your data on your PAYG pack or Flex plan, your leftover data will be added to the next month. For this perk to kick in, you’ll have to refresh your plan within seven days.

TARIFFMINUTES DATA
£5 Pack250500MB
£10 Talk Pack4002GB
£10 Pack1004GB
£15 PackUnlimited 8GB
£20 PackUnlimited 15GB
£25 PackUnlimited 30GB
£30 PackUnlimited 60GB

EE’s data rollover is quite limited, but Three doesn’t even offer it to begin with. If data rollover is a must have perk for you, check out our SMARTY vs giffgaff review where we compare two unique low-cost networks in the UK that offer this perk.

Free Data Boosts

EE’s take on free data boosts isn’t the best, but this perk doesn’t even exist for Three. On the EE network, when you buy the same PAYG pack (£10 or above) or flex plan three times in a row, you get a 500MB free boost to your data with your third pack. Packs and flex plans must be bought within seven days or else your free boost resets.

The free data boost amount increases if you continue buying the pack. Every three months you get another free boost added on.

Share EE, Share £20

This is yet another nice perk EE offers, but again, limited only to PAYG customers. You have to be an existing PAYG customer on EE with a £10 or above pack. You’ll need to sign up for the scheme online and get a unique referral link to share with friends & family. However, to take advantage of this scheme, you have to refer friends to a £10 or above pack.

Once your friend follows the referral link and joins EE by buying an eligible 30-day PAYG pack, both of you will get a £10 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card within the first seven days.

MVNOs (mobile virtual networks) like VOXI make similar offers for bringing friends over.

Family Account – Data Gifting

Best family SIM plansEE lets you have multiple plans per account and any additional plan added to your account comes at a 10% discount, as well as a 1GB data boost. This feature can be turned into a family/group plan. The main plan owner has full control over others, and they can move around any spare data between the linked plans.

To benefit from this perk, you’ll need two or more eligible plans on the same account under the same bill payer. Activation can be done via the My EE App or on EE’s website.

If you are interested in other types of family plans, make sure to check out Half Cooked’s extensive family mobile plans in 2020 review.

Three’s Features

Go Roam

three-go-roamThree’s ‘Go Roam’ is a feature that allows customers to use their allowances freely in 71 destinations. Doesn’t matter if you’re on a pay monthly contract or PAYG, all tariffs are included. If you prefer you may also use the data passport scheme, which lets you use unlimited mobile data for £5/day.

If you want to check what other networks offer in terms of inclusive roaming, head on to Half Cooked’s International Roaming in 2020 guide!

Go Binge

three-go-bingeThe network’s ‘Go Binge’ scheme allows customers to use popular applications such as Netflix, Apple Music, Snapchat, Soundcloud, Deezer and TV Player without having to worry about their data.

You have to be on a SIM only plan with at least 12GB or above data if you want access to this perk. Keep in mind though, Three doesn’t offer you free subscriptions to these services, but allows you to use them without eating up your data.

Unlimited Data Plans

Three offers four different unlimited plans in total. The list below will help you compare and find which plan would work the best for you, if you wish to pick an unlimited deal. Unlike most other networks in the UK, Three’s unlimited plan is actually, truly unlimited. There are no speed tiers, data caps, throttling or any other restrictions.

TariffData, Minutes & TextsPRICE
Three AdvancedUnlimited £26.00 - 1 month
Three AdvancedUnlimited £24.00 - 12 months
Three AdvancedUnlimited £22.00 - 24 months
Three PAYGUnlimited £30.00

5G at No Extra Cost

three-5gThe network is once again proving its customer friendly approach by providing 5G coverage to all members with no exceptions, and at no extra cost. There’s no other network in the UK -be it large or small- which offers 5G speeds to everyone, let alone doing it without extra charges. On top of that, Three’s pricing is quite competitive with many extra perks being included in all plans.

The network also has the fastest 5G speeds in the UK according to OOKLA (speedtest.net).

Existing Customer Offers

Three doesn’t exactly offer a family or group discount, however there are some discount options on additional SIM plans. Don’t expect much though, as most of these offers save you about £2 a month. Considering how competitive Three’s prices already are, expecting a big time discount would perhaps be a bit unfair to the network.

This is one of the areas where the Three Network is a bit disappointing. You get some discount options on additional plans or if you’re a student, but they aren’t much. Generally speaking you save around £2 a month. But then again, Three’s prices almost always have better value than say EE’s or Vodafone’s.

If you want to know which other networks in the UK offer discounts to students, head on to our best student SIM deals in the UK review!

Half Cooked’s Verdict

three winnerAt first glance it seems like EE proposes more features and perks to its customers than Three, but when we dig deeper we see that Three provides more than its competitor. There are a lot of buts and ifs when speaking about EE’s features, while with Three there’s hardly ever any. Still, while we give the win to Three, it’s a close one.

Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

On the network basics EE gets the nod with greater network coverage and unrivalled 4G internet speeds, but all these make EE one of the more expensive networks in the UK.

On the other hand, Three closes the gap with 5G speeds on all plans at no extra cost, 71 inclusive roaming destinations, also on all plans without having to pay any extras and true unlimited data plans at competitive prices. 

Three is Half Cooked’s overall winner due to its great value for money and slightly better features.

ee-vs-three-review-banner

Frequently Asked Questions

Does EE support 5G?

Yes, EE offers 5G network coverage and the carrier is actually the first one in the UK who provided 5G Coverage to customers.EE continuously improves its 4G and 5G network coverage and at the time of writing, the network covers the most locations and areas for both spectrums.

Does EE support 2G?

Yes, EE still offers 2G coverage in the UK. The network still uses 2G for calls and texts.

Does EE have 4G Calling?

Yes, EE provides 4G Calling on compatible devices if you’ve got your device from one of the EE stores. PAYG and EE Flex plans are not included and therefore don’t offer this perk.

Does EE have Wi-Fi Calling?

Yes, it does, EE offers Wi-Fi Calling. Only contract plans include this perk and you’ll need a compatible device for it to work.

Is EE the fastest mobile network in the UK?

Yes, EE is the fastest mobile network operator in the UK when it comes to 3G & 4G download speeds. The network is always on top of the lists for the last couple of years and doesn’t seem like this will change anytime soon. However, as for 5G, Three has the fastest 5G download and upload speeds.

Does EE work in the USA?

Yes, EE’s network works just fine in the USA, but the country is not included in base international network coverage plans. You’ll need the ‘Further Roaming Pass’ add-on to use your allowance without any extra cost.

Does EE have an app?

Yes, EE has an app and it’s called My EE. It’s quite handy and overall will improve your EE experience.

Does Three have 4G Calling?

Yes, Three has 4G Calling, but with a different, catch name: Super-Voice. Three offers this service on all its plans.

Which mobile phones support Three’s Super-Voice?

There are many handsets which support Super-Voice. Here’s the long list:

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S10e, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo, Samsung Galaxy A8, Samsung Galaxy A6, Samsung Galaxy A3 2016, Samsung Galaxy A3 2017, Samsung Galaxy A5 2017, Samsung Galaxy J3 2017, Samsung Galaxy J3 2016, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Google Pixel 4, Google Pixel 4 XL, OnePlus 7T, LG G6, LG G5, LG G4, LG G4 Compact, LG Spirit 4G, LG K3, LG Stylus 3, HTC 10, Sony Xperia XZ2, Sony Xperia XA2, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Xperia Z5, Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, Sony Xperia X, Sony Xperia XA, Sony Xperia XZ, Huawei P30, Huawei P30 Pro, Huawei P20, Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei P20 Lite, Huawei P10, Huawei P10 Plus, Huawei P9, Huawei Mate 9, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Honor 10, Honor 9, Honor 7S, Honor 6X, Moto G 4G 3rd Gen, Moto E4 Plus, Microsoft Lumia 550, Lenovo P2, ZTE Blade V8, ZTE Blade V7, and Razer Phone.

Does Three support Wi-Fi Calling?

Yes, Three offers Wi-Fi Calling to all its customers, at no extra cost. You’ll still need a compatible device for this feature to work though.

Does Three have data rollover?

No, unfortunately there are no data rollover options on the Three Network, however the operator’s prices are very competitive, they almost always have better value compared to other networks.

Does Three have an app?

Yes, Three has an app and it’s a user friendly one too. The app allows you to check on your bills, see your allowance, sort your upgrades, set a data cap and so on. You can also have a chat with Three’s live customer support.

Where can I use EE’s inclusive roaming allowance?

You can use EE’s inclusive roaming allowance in Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Canary Islands, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guyana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Islands, Romania, San Marino, Saint Martin (French), Saint Barthelemy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City (Italy). If you have EE’s Swappable Benefit, the ‘Further Roaming Pass’ you can roam freely in all of the above plus Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and USA.

Where can I use my inclusive roaming allowance on Three?

Three’s inclusive roaming allowance will work in 71 different destinations in the EU and around the world.

Does Three really have the fastest 5G in the UK?

We can’t answer this question yet, as Three launched 5G fairly recently, in February 2020. We’ll need to see some speed test results from independent, objective parties before we can call Three’s 5G the fastest. However, looking at things from a technical aspect, Three’s infrastructure has the biggest potential. This is based on the fact that it has the largest amount of 5G frequency spectrum of any of the UK's mobile operators. Three has 140Mhz and using 100Mhz of it, While EE has only 40Mhz

Compare with