Telstra Corporation 165i
A new and improved Country Phone targets rural Australians.
- Rugged design, HSDPA 7.2, Blue Tick rated, excellent call quality, A-GPS
- Design won't appeal to all, clicking sound when pressing keys, Bluetooth only 1.2
The latest Country Phone won't appeal to all, but it was never intended to. The rugged design and Blue Tick rating will ensure it finds its way into plenty of pockets.
Price$ 529.00 (AUD)
Nicknamed the Country Phone, Telstra's T165i is the second edition of the telco's handset targeted specifically at consumers in rural areas of Australia. Promising excellent reception thanks to a pull-out antenna and a large design, the 165i's rugged casing should also appeal to farmers.
The T165i isn't going to turn many heads. With its large pull-our antenna — a design not seen since the days of CDMA — this phone looks like it belongs in the late '90s. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. The design certainly creates the impression of a very sturdy handset. Despite the large size of the T165i, the keypad and controls are not as big as the F165 Country Phone. A minor annoyance is the rather loud clicking sound made when keys are pressed, though as a consequence tactility is excellent.
The design of the T165i means it should appeal to tradespeople as well as farmers. Unfortunately, manufacturer ZTE has skimped on included accessories: the previous Country Phone included a plastic belt clip in the sales package, but that same generosity is lacking in this new edition.
The T165i's big appeal is the extended coverage it provides in rural and regional areas. The handset is Blue Tick certified, meaning it is one of a select few handsets guaranteed by Telstra to provide excellent coverage. We weren't able to drive out to a rural area to test the handset's reception, but coverage is excellent in metropolitan areas and the handset offers above average voice quality.
Despite being targeted at rural customers, the T165i still offers full access to the BigPond content portal, including the FOXTEL Mobile TV service. HSPDA 7.2Mbps (an upgrade from the previous version's 3.6Mbps maximum) means speeds are very reasonable. The display's small size doesn't favour heavy multimedia use, nor does the proprietary headphone/charging jack. Thankfully, Bluetooth 1.2 with A2DP is a feature, so you can use compatible Bluetooth headphones if you wish.
A 2-megapixel camera that doubles as a video camera, an FM radio, a multimedia player and a voice recorder are all included. There is also a VGA camera on the front of the handset for video calling across the Next G network. Other features include standard SMS, MMS and e-mail messaging with T9 predictive text input, A-GPS, USB and a hands free speakerphone. A real plus is the volume of the ring tones, which are extremely loud at the highest setting. A microSD card slot handles extra memory, but there is no card included in the sales package.
Disappointingly, battery life is rated at up to 3.5 hours of talk time — down by three hours on the original Country Phone. Standby time remains the same at 250 hours. The T165i can be charged using the included USB cable or AC adapter.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Motorola Moto X Style review: A no compromise flagship
- 2 Oppo R7 Plus review: a stellar sub-$600 phablet
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7) 4G review: Samsung does a lot more with a lot less
- 4 Motorola Moto G (3rd gen) review: Is it worth an extra $100?
- 5 Jawbone UP3 review: 3 months with Jawbone's best fitness tracker
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Sony's Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact go on sale next week at Australia's largest telcos
- Samsung’s Milk Music goes premium for $4 a month
- Meet Beats Pill+, the first Beats speaker made under Apple
- Existing Windows Phones will start getting Windows 10 in December
- Microsoft makes serious smartphone play with Lumia 950 range
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
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.
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.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW