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!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Xiaomi planning second version of its revolutionary Mi Mix ‘bezel-less’ phone
- 5G progress at Ericsson could help enterprises work worldwide
- Apple smartphones outsold Samsung's in Q4
- Apple joins Wireless Power Consortium, charging up iPhone 8 rumor
- Google might be gearing up to remove millions of Play Store apps next month
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)ACT
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - ITMSP - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantWA
- CCCloud Security Solutions Architect - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - SQLACT
- CCPega DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - Cyber SecurityACT
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- CCData Analyst - AutoHaulWA
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- CCProgram ManagerVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Security Sales SpecialistVIC
- TPSenior Java Developer - ContractQLD
- TPHRIS Business AnalystQLD
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- TPAnalyst Programmer (Adabas)SA
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperVIC
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)WA
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW