Telstra Corporation F256
- Internet access with your PC or notebook, TransFlash card slot, Bluetooth, offers access to a range of Telstra BigPond services
- Below average display, stubborn and small keypad and controls, flip design, no standard 3.5mm headphone jack
Although it has some design issues, the F256 should appeal to those who are on a budget, but still want access to the BigPond range of services through the high-speed Next G network.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Telstra's latest budget Next G handset allows you to access the Internet on your PC using the handset as a modem. The F256 also offers a 1.3-megapixel camera, a TransFlash card slot and Bluetooth connectivity. Unfortunately, a lacklustre design, a below average display and poorly designed keypad are issues.
Manufactured by ZTE, the HSDPA-capable F256 is a prepaid handset, but its appeal lies in the fact that it offers full use of Foxtel by Mobile and BigPond services, including Sensis Search, BigPond Photos and WhereIs maps. We were impressed by broadband speeds, especially when streaming mobile TV; the F256 was swift and didn't suffer from any noticeable lag when using any of the Telstra services.
Using the F256 as a modem to access the Internet on a notebook was also a pleasing experience, with pages loading fairly quickly. Setup is effortless as you simply install the software and plug in the F256 via the included USB cable. As it's a prepaid handset, its only real use is for basic Internet browsing and checking e-mail though; streaming videos and downloading large files is out of the question, as the highest plan allows just 200MB of data usage. At $59 for the highest plan, the service is certainly not cheap, despite its convenience.
Despite the F256 offering access to a multitude of multimedia services, its performance leaves a lot to be desired. The 262k colour display has a very poor viewing angle and isn't as crisp or clear as we expected. It's fine for watching video while sitting at a desk, but the limited flip means holding it in your hand doesn't give you the best angle of the display. The keypad and controls are also a sour point; they are small, flat and require a firm press to activate, so messaging speeds are considerably slower than most other devices. The F256 supports standard SMS, MMS and e-mail messaging, all with T9 predictive text input.
The general user experience of the handset is positive. The animated main menu icons and a simple list format for submenus makes the F256 pretty easy to use.
The 1.3-megapixel camera with 2x digital zoom is average. Photos taken aren't ideal for anything more than a few happy snaps, though the rotating camera lens is a nice touch and allows the camera to double for use during video calls. An integrated MP3 player, and MP3 and polyphonic ringtones are other multimedia features, but the lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack means you'll have to use the poor quality headphones that are included.
The F256 has up to 64MB of allocated user memory but a TransFlash card slot allows up to 2GB of extra storage. It also boasts Bluetooth 1.2 with the A2DP Bluetooth profile, meaning you can wirelessly stream your music to a compatible set of Bluetooth headphones and avoid using the included ear buds. For wired connectivity, USB 2.0 provides adequate support, though it's proprietary rather than the standard mini-USB connection.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- What happens when you send a text message to a landline telephone?
- The mysteries of the GPU in Apple's iPhone 7 are unlocked
- Motorola looks to pair Moto Z for a dance with Tango
- Google may be testing out a new card-based layout for the Play Store
- Samsung Galaxy S8 rumor roundup: Here's everything we know so far
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.
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Manager, Data and InformationQLD
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTDesktop Support Team LeaderVIC
- FTDevOps EngineerQLD
- FTSAP Business Objects ConsultantACT
- CCProject Manager - Cyber SecurityNSW
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerNSW
- FTServer Infrastructure Team LeaderACT
- CCSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTAnalyst Programmer Investment BankingVIC
- FTLead Software EngineerQLD
- CCAgile TesterNSW
- CCJava API Developer - MediaVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- CCTest Lead : Perth BasedSA
- FTSenior Project Analyst, PMO, WealthNSW
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkSA
- CCSenior Test EngineerACT
- FTDigital Delivery and Engagement OfficersVIC
- FTIteration ManagerSA
- TPSenior Business Analyst - HRISQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSoftware DeveloperQLD
- FTService Desk Consultant - Must have baseline or NV1 clearanceVIC
- CCSenior Project AdministratorNSW