Telstra EasyTouch

A cute, Next G capable clamshell that performs well, but without any remarkable features the EasyTouch fails to make a lasting impression.

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We've seen a couple of Telstra branded phones from Chinese manufacturer ZTE recently; the F165 and the F158, and you can't blame us for thinking that ZTE had let go of any aspirations of creating chic handsets in favour of chunky, durable, easy-to-use devices for the rural market. The EasyTouch is a return to stylish design and has a couple of unique features to set it apart form the pack.

As a fashionable clamshell the EasyTouch is attractive, even if the design isn't in the same league as truly sexy phones, like Motorola's RAZR2 V9. The low-res external screen sits under shiny reflective plastic which gives a similar mirror feel to the LG Shine, but again without creating a comparable impact.

At 90mm in length, 50mm wide, and 18mm in depth the EasyTouch is a phone that won't bulge too greatly in your pocket. The plastic body does suggest cheap construction, however, the handset seems durable, and again it does look pretty cute. ZTE have kept external ports and buttons to a minimum, with a camera button, phone volume, T-Flash memory slot and a universal mini USB port for charging the phone and plugging in the hands-free headphones that come in the box.

Opening the phone reveals a two-inch QVGA TFT colour display and a numeric keypad that lays recessed into the handset. In truth we would have preferred to have seen raised keys on the keypad for a more tactile experience, but this is nit-picking considering that using the keypad is as easy as can be expected.

The name EasyTouch refers to single touch access to a selection of features via the main standby menu screen. The stand-out here is a news headlines ticker running across the top of the screen. Pushing up on the navigation pad expands the headlines into a preview of the full story from ABC news via the BigPond portal. It's such a simple, yet ingenious addition to the menu screen, and every time we opened the EasyTouch we found ourselves checking the headlines.

At the bottom of the screen are five menu shortcuts which are adjusted when you choose between one the four preset menu themes. For example; we set the EasyTouch to the "sport" theme and the shortcut keys offered sports news as an option. This is a really convenient feature and it's a shame the themes can't be customized further, like the shortcuts bar you see on Nokia S60 platforms, and that two of the five shortcuts are always BigPond and Foxtel mobile TV.

Beyond these features, the EasyTouch offers a predictable feature set for an HSDPA capable phone on Telstra's Next G network. Besides calling and messaging there's downloadable content via the BigPond mobile Web portal, video calling using the low resolution front facing camera, and Foxtel mobile TV channels for those willing to pay extra for the privilege, although with no wide-screen mode you're left with a postage stamp size picture on screen. The EasyTouch internal memory can be expanded to 2GB with a T-Flash or microSD memory card.

In terms of basic phone functions the EasyTouch is a winner. Voice calls are loud and clear, text messaging is as expected. Setting up e-mail on the EasyTouch is simple, especially if you use a Telstra or BigPond e-mail account, and the EasyTouch supports POP e-mail.

Using the EasyTouch for Web browsing does offer a fast experience for accessing WAP mobile Web sites, but the screen and navigation pad are not the best for browsing beyond simple text sites, like news and sport updates. Foxtel and BigPond content is speedy when accessed using HSDPA, but again the small screen is not optimal for long sessions of mobile TV.

The EasyTouch supports Bluetooth connectivity and has a 2-megapixel camera with a dedicated button on the side of the phone for quick access. The test pictures we took, in the office and outdoors, turned out well considering the adjustable settings are very basic.

The battery in the EasyTouch performed as standard. ZTE estimate three hours of talk-time on Telstra's Next G network, and approximately nine days of standby battery life. With light usage of phone functionality and roughly a half hour of Foxtel TV we charged the battery after three days.

The Telstra EasyTouch is an affordable option for joining the Telstra Next G network, with a few cool extras, but without any truly outstanding features. The one-touch interface is handy and the news headlines ticker offers the best of the mobile Web content currently available: short, sharp grabs of information. Of course, this won't appeal to fans of broadsheet newspapers, but it's definitely adequate as a snapshot of current events you can follow up in depth later in the day.

The EasyTouch falls short as an ultra-chic fashion phone; it's close, but our lasting first impression of the design is indifference. As a mobile phone the EasyTouch will satisfy basic needs, but it's not going to replace your iPod or digital camera.

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tristyaaa. posted a comment   

The Good:everything.

The Bad:nothing at all.

love this phone,its the BEST!!!!!!!!!


sammmy(: posted a comment   

The Good:the keys are a great size, the news headlines are great. i also really like the way you can get into messages so quickly and its convenient. the quality of the graphics are good. its got everything a person could want all jammed into this little cute bundle of fun,also a good size.

The Bad:the battery life is just shocking, for me, it only lasts day, thats with just sms,no mms, no phone calls on the average day, and still flat the day i charged it. also the text styles, it gets quite boring looking at the same size, and font. where with my old phone, it had a variety of small, medium or big size text, and also if you wanted italic, bold or normal,which i always updated for a change.

the end summary, i would have to say its a good phone, even though i had to send my first one back, because a bit of water touched it,not as though i dropped it in water, so there a pretty weak phone,and cant take much.but its got everything i need so thats all i want.
please comment mt review, or rate it, so i know if people agree with me (:
thanks guys.


danni (: posted a comment   

The Good:the news ticker, its interesting to see whats happening in the world. also i love the camera, how good the qaulity is when its on the brightest one with black and white, it turns out great, i love photography.

The Bad:the battery life,my old sonyericson lasted days! and also how slow it gets, im a quick typer and sometimes it goes way to slow.

overall, its a pretty good phone. it has everything i need, but th internet prices are real dear, which sucks.


sma_online posted a review   

The Good:Screen display is crisp and clear; camera is slow to respond but takes OK pictures; my battery lasts about 5 days with average use - not bad at all. Call clarity is much better than previous models and have suffered no lock-up, call dropout or any other glitches to speak of. As a "nana phone" it suits this nana just fine.

The Bad:Interface has gone backwards in some areas - you can't save a number from an SMS to contacts, you can't step one level back in many of the processes. Screen is difficult/impossible to read in strong sunlight.

I've had the phone for two weeks and, while I'm unlikely to ever love it, it seems to do everything pretty well. This is my second ZTE phone and in many ways it's much better than my previous Telstra ZTE model.

George Wilson

George Wilson posted a review   

The Good:None

The Bad:Battery life
very elementary address book holds one number only for each contact and no address. My last phone would leave this for dead

Battery life of only 2 days on standby and not using phone at all. When I complained at the Telstra shop I was told book said stand by time was only up tp 200 hours so there is nothingwe can do. given a new phone which is worse! Considering report to omsbudsman. The only 'easy touch" was me. Suggest name change to Telstraa "BIG Touch"

Pros: none.
Cons: Shocking battery

Eddie Greer

Eddie Greer posted a review   

The Good:Large numbers.

The Bad:Shocking battery life and no one seems to care. - Last phones would standby for 15 days or more if phone not used.

Battery life of only 2 days on standby and not using phone at all. When I complained at the Telstra shop was told book said stand by time was only up tp 200 hours so there is nothingwe can do.


lyndamax posted a review   

The Good:loved the active banner. love a flip phone.

The Bad:poor quality software sizing when compilig text messages, cant choose menu items for front of phone

I had the phone 3 days it continued to sieze up in sms mode every 2nd text. had to remove the battery to get going again.


125qwerty posted a review   

The Good:everything

The Bad:nothing

great phone love it


helkef posted a review   

The Good:2MP camera- I did not test it yet but the quality will not surprised me (mediocre).

News stream updated often. I am an avid fan of world affairs so its wonderful updated by just flipping the phone open.

The Bad:It's currently a joke by selling the phone at $499.

Went to have a look at the phone and I agree with the fact that the construct material of this phone is very very cheap. I have used cheap prepaid phones before and this got to be the ultimate cheap phone. Having said that I owned a ZTE 156 phone and it's quite reliable. I am waiting to get this one once it is released on a Pre paid module.


luigi posted a review   

The Good:good look

The Bad:everything

got it the other day and crashed in about 2 hours. and couldnt get it fixed

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User Reviews / Comments  Telstra EasyTouch

  • tristyaaa.


    "love this phone,its the BEST!!!!!!!!!"

  • sammmy(:


    "the end summary, i would have to say its a good phone, even though i had to send my first one back, because a bit of water touched it,not as though i dropped it in water, so there a pretty weak pho..."

  • danni (:

    danni (:

    "overall, its a pretty good phone. it has everything i need, but th internet prices are real dear, which sucks."

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