Telstra Corporation F159
- Dust and water resistant to international standards, ruggedised design, impressive layout and implementation of controls, HSDPA-capable, GPS
- Large and chunky size, poor multimedia performance, no memory card slot for extra storage
The F159 improves on its predecessor by adding assisted GPS and Telstra's TalkNow service.
Price$ 729.00 (AUD)
Almost identical in design to the F158, Telstra's F159 adds assisted GPS functionality, is ruggedised to an international standard and features the Telstra TalkNow application. The F159 is also water and dust resistant, making it an ideal companion for tradesmen.
The ruggedised candy bar design of the F159 certainly isn't very attractive, but it does the job. The orange and black F159 is dust and water compliant to international IP54 standards. Although we can't formally test these claims, we did drop the handset a few times on various surfaces (including concrete) and splashed water on it. It passed both of these tests with flying colours.
The design itself is notable, but the sheer size of this handset may be a hindrance. It's especially chunky and feels quite heavy in the palm of our hand. Despite the size, the display is quite small. The controls are impressive though – they are well spaced, comfortable and easy to press, making general browsing and messaging a pleasant affair. They are also quite large so they can easily be pressed wearing gloves, for example, if you are at work.
Being a Next G handset, the F159 is naturally a HSDPA capable device, and supports speeds of up to 3.6Mbps on the Telstra network. Running on Next G means the F159 has access to the full range of Telstra content, including Mobile FOXTEL, Yellow Pages and WhereIs mobile. The F159 really hasn't been designed with entertainment or multimedia in mind, but as it's aimed at tradesmen, this isn't really a concern. In fact, the FOXTEL and Telstra shortcuts on the home page should be user programmable – we'll take a guess and say that most tradesmen wouldn't be interested in these functions.
Telstra has added assisted GPS to the F159. The handset doesn't come with an application to utilise the GPS, but Telstra claims that applications will be downloadable as they are made available. Our review handset was pre-installed with Xora Time Track, an application for businesses to track their workers including a time module, location module and job module. From the phone itself, users can start and end a shift, request or end a job, get further details on that day's work and send a message to multiple workers. A company can then monitor their workers exact location and other details by logging into the application on the Web. Here they can easily track and record the locations, hours worked, and jobs performed by their employees. It's an excellent example of the appeal of GPS and purpose built applications to enhance productivity.
Telstra's TalkNow feature is also available on the F159. This application allows you to contact up to 30 people using this service at the same time, improving operational efficiency for businesses and corporate users. With TalkNow you can see what contacts are available, use Push To Talk (PTT), make conference calls, leave group voicemail messages and send group texts.
The F159 is very easy to use. The main menu features colourful icons in a simple grid layout, with a list format for most sub-menus. The F159 supports standard SMS, MMS and e-mail messaging, all with standard T9 predictive text input, while Bluetooth supports handsfree headsets but can't stream music to a wireless set of headphones. PIM features include an alarm, calendar, stopwatch, calculator and world time, while Telstra includes a USB cable in the sales package for file transfers and connection to a PC.
A 1.3-megapixel camera on the rear is included and photos were about what we'd expect – colour reproduction is quite poor and image noise is an issue, but they look decent on the F159's display, even if the screen is low specified and has a poor viewing angle. A front-mounted VGA camera is also present to allow for video calling over the Next G network. You can save photos on the 64MB of internal storage but there is no memory card slot. Telstra also offer an external antenna that clips to the F159 to provide better reception in rural areas.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- 3 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 4 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Fake heads and robot probes: testing smartphones prior to launch
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
- Xiaomi's Mi6 has the Galaxy S7’s looks, the S8’s power, and iPhone 7’s camera for half the price
- Samsung DeX turns your Galaxy S8 into a shockingly good desktop PC
- Find My iPhone helps nab a thief at Coachella with 100 phones in his backpack
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTFinance AnalystNSW
- FTTechnical SpecialistACT
- FTProject ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst, Wealth InvestmentNSW
- TPSystems EngineerQLD
- FTProject Engineer - Data & IP NetworksNSW
- FTSenior Solutions Architect - Network & Unified ComunicationsACT
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTVDI EngineerACT
- FT.Net Developer - work on cutting edge BAU projectsVIC
- TPSenior iOS EngineerNSW
- FTPMO CoordinatorACT
- FTSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- FTBusiness Analysis | Business Case | ProcurementVIC
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)WA
- FTChange CoordinatorACT
- CCEnd User Services ArchitectNSW
- TPOffice 365 Deployment SupportQLD
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsSA
- FTSenior Project Manager - Infrastructure / LogisticsNSW
- FTSenior ICT Project ManagerNSW
- FTHelpdesk AnalystNSW
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectQLD
- CCTest Capability LeadNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC