Telstra Qwerty-Touch Android phone

Telstra Qwerty-Touch review: Telstra brings a physical keyboard to the budget Android market, but it comes at the expense of screen real estate

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (18)
  • Buy Now 2
Telstra Qwerty-Touch
  • Telstra Qwerty-Touch
  • Telstra Qwerty-Touch
  • Telstra Qwerty-Touch

Pros

  • Good physical keyboard
  • Competitive price
  • Some handy included apps

Cons

  • Odd shaped screen
  • Below average performance
  • Poor navigational pad

Bottom Line

Telstra says the Qwerty-Touch was a direct result of consumer market research indicating a desire for a device that combined a physical keyboard and touchscreen at a low price point. The end result is a decent effort but its odd shaped screen and below average performance will frustrate.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 2 stores)

  • Flexible USB 2.0 QWERTY Keyboard (Pink) Tablet Pad 18.71
  • S5830 Galaxy Ace 249.00
See all prices

An Android phone that combines a touch screen and a physical QWERTY keyboard for $129. That's Telstra's sales pitch for the Qwerty-Touch smartphone in a nutshell. This phone intends to appeal to users who can't live without a physical keyboard, but it sacrifices crucial screen real estate to do so, creating an awkward user experience.

Best upcoming smartphones in 2011
Telstra gets into the Christmas spirit with four new Android phones

Design and display

The Telstra Qwerty-Touch may have a terrible name, but its one of the cheapest Android phones on the market that combines a full sized QWERTY keyboard with a touchscreen. To achieve this, it has one of the smallest screens we've seen on an Android phone — it measures just 2.6in in diameter. The screen is capacitive so it's reasonably responsive, but the small size makes general navigation a little more difficult than phones with larger screens. The odd size (wider than it is taller) also makes Web browsing significantly less intuitive: the screen is short and wide, which means it isn't the ideal shape to handle mobile Internet.

The less than ideal screen is offset by a QWERTY keyboard that is very good for a phone at this low price point. It isn't as efficient or as well designed as a BlackBerry keyboard, but the Qwerty-Touch's keyboard is well spaced, fairly easy to type on and has a soft backlight. The keys do emit an annoying clicking sound when pressed but they are responsive and well laid out. It's far from the best smartphone keyboard we've reviewed but it certainly beats typing on a small touchscreen, which is what you usually get on an Android phone that costs little over $100.

The Telstra Qwerty-Touch feels well constructed despite being made from plastic. The rear battery cover has a rubber-like almost soft feel that provides good grip, and the glossy, rounded edges make the phone comfortable to hold, too. Below the display are four shortcut keys (home, menu, search and back), answer and end call keys and a poorly designed five-way navigational pad. The latter is the only black mark on the Qwerty-Touch's design: it feels awkward to press and the edges are too thin despite being slightly raised.

Software and performance

The Telstra Qwerty-Touch runs the 2.3 "Gingerbread" version of Google's Android platform and features GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. This is a "vanilla" version of Android's interface with no UI overlay, though being a Telstra phone it does have a range of the telco's shortcuts and widgets. The best of these is a handy data usage widget that shows how much data you've used on your Telstra pre-paid account. There's also a shortcut to TelstraOne in the main app menu, along with shortcuts to a range of other Telstra services and content including Foxtel, BigPond games and the company's social media aggregator, Tribe.

Performance is about what you would expect from a phone that costs $129. The Telstra Qwerty-Touch isn't particularly fast or smooth. It often lags slightly when swiping through home screens, or when opening applications. The camera takes a few seconds to open, as does the browser and maps applications. With that being said, it generally works for the most part, just don't expect blazing performance.

The Telstra Qwerty-Touch doesn't support Flash Web browsing but it does have pinch-to-zoom, meaning you can pinch the screen to zoom in and out of applications like maps and the browser. There's no front-facing camera for video calling, but there is a rear 2-megapixel camera without an LED flash.

The rest of the Telstra Qwerty-Touch's features are quite basic but the phone does include an FM radio and music player. Multimedia files can be stores on the included 2GB microSD card, located behind the rear battery cover. Telstra has also included some handy apps that aren't normally standard on Android phones: Documents To Go, a basic file manager, global time, a note pad, sound recorder and a stopwatch are all notable inclusions for the low asking price.

Battery life is very reasonable for an Android phone. The Telstra Qwerty-Touch will easily get through a full day of use. This may stretch up to a day and a half depending on your usage patterns. The smaller screen of the Qwerty-Touch is definitely less of a battery hog than most other Android phones.

The Telstra Smart-Touch is available exclusively through Telstra stores and online for $129.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

suzie

1

can u use facebook on it cuz im thinking about getting on

suzie

2

also is there a cover for it

tash

3

i really need a cover for it

Brendan

4

You can use facebook, twitter and all those social apps, inc. YouTube.
Not sure about a cover specifically for this phone.

xrystal

5

can you please tell me where i can get covers?

Donna

6

cant get the back off mine??? Any ideas , and no it did not come with an instruction booklet.

tania

7

when i recive calls i can hardly here the person talking to me i have turned up all of the in-call volumes and i have turned all of the sounds up. i can only use my loudspeaker to hear them. what do i do???

tania

8

when i recieve calls i can hardly hear the person talking to me i have to use the loudspeaker. i have turned all of the sounds and in-call volumes up. what do i do???

tracey

9

how do i change message tone to one of my own tones i put on fone?

Paul

10

can you please tell me where i can get suitable cover for this phone?

JJ

11

Hi , the booklet is actually within the phone sd memory card and online .

Ella

12

How do you screen shot on it?

Wozza

13

Not a bad cheap little phone, works well and is well constructed.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Annie Heap

2.0

1

Pros
qwerty keyboard
Cons
touch pad
• • •

Cannot download anything, touch pad getting worse and worse and its only 2 weeks old! Music does not transfer properly from computer. Camera crappy. Only good as a basic phone.

aden

3.5

2

Pros
cool
Cons
not a good touch screen, bad graphics
• • •

how do i get on 0.facebook?

courtney

4.5

3

Pros
it is still alright and running
Cons
im worried i cant get a new back for it
• • •

i scratched and dinted the back of my phone and i need a new back cover. AS in the original cover

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?