Telstra Smart-Touch Android phone
Telstra Smart-Touch review: Telstra's Smart-Touch may be the first Android phone to break the $100 price barrier, but its poor quality display makes for a mediocre user experience
- Low price
- Impressive functions and features of Android
- Access to Android Market
- Small, low quality touchscreen
- Sluggish performance
- Mediocre build quality
Telstra's Smart-Touch may break the $100 price barrier, but it offers a mediocre user experience doing so. However, the Smart-Touch remains a good choice as an alternative to non-smartphones.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Telstra claims its latest Android phone, the Telstra Smart-Touch, is the first to break the $100 price barrier in Australia. Though its low price will attract plenty of positive attention, the Smart-Touch provides a mediocre user experience, largely due to a small, low quality display that isn't responsive. For $99 however, we can't fault it too much — as long as you know what to expect.
The Telstra Smart-Touch looks like what you would expect from a phone in this price range. It is a compact handset that is constructed from glossy plastic. The round edges make it comfortable to hold, and its small size means it slips easily into a pocket or bag.
The glossy plastic of the Telstra Smart-Touch attracts plenty of fingerprints, the rear battery cover creaks when pressed and the bezel surrounding the display has an annoying mirror finish that reflects light — however, these are all to be expected considering the Smart-Touch's asking price. The power button is also abnormally tiny and needs a firm press to activate, while the touch sensitive home, menu and back keys aren't backlit.
Manufacturers generally make a few compromises with budget mobile phones, and in ZTE's case (the manufacturer of the Telstra Smart-Touch) it is the display that suffers most. A stylus that slides out of the back of the Smart-Touch tells you all you need to know about the quality of the touchscreen — the small, 2.8in display uses resistive rather than capacitive technology, so it's far less responsive than screens seen on higher end Android phones.
The screen will suit those who like to tap screens with their fingernails but it possesses poor viewing angles, is difficult to see in direct sunlight and lacks the responsiveness needed to intuitively use the Android operating system on a daily basis. For example, we were forced to use a fingernail, rather than a fingertip to drag down the notifications bar; a basic action that most Android users will undertake frequently. The cramped, low quality display also affects text input — keys are tiny in the standard portrait QWERTY orientation, and although an on-screen keypad with predictive text input can be selected instead, text entry remains painful.
The Telstra Smart-Touch runs the older 2.1 'Éclair' version of Google's Android platform, but it still offers most of the features and functions of far more expensive Android smartphones. The Smart-Touch comes equipped with a GPS receiver, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and also has a 3.2-megapixel camera that doubles as a video recorder, along with an MP3 player and FM radio. It provides full access to the Android Market for third-party apps, and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services. The Telstra Smart-Touch doesn't have enough processing power to offer full Flash support, nor does it offer multitouch (so you can't pinch the screen to zoom in and out) but both are too much to ask on a sub-$100 handset.
The Telstra Smart-Touch comes with the standard vanilla Android interface and predictably a large number of shortcuts to Telstra services. The standard vanilla Android interface it isn't an issue at all — it is functional, easy to use and fully customisable.
The Telstra Smart-Touch's small screen combined with a lack of multitouch support mean the Web browsing experience is noticeably inferior compared to Android smartphones with larger screens. Performance is also an issue — the Smart-Touch takes notably longer to achieve basic tasks, such as opening and closing apps. We suggest a little patience given that this is a $99 phone and the fact it can do these tasks at all is an achievement in its own right.
The Telstra Smart-Touch has a microSD card slot for extra storage, located behind the rear battery cover, and Telstra includes a 2GB microSD card in the sales package.
The Telstra Smart-Touch Android phone is exclusive to Telstra and sold online and through Telstra stores and dealers.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 2 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 3 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 4 Witness a 241% Australian price hike: Dell Latitude 7370 review
- 5 Is this the best value phone on the market? Moto G4 Plus review
Latest News Articles
- NSW government taps on Android Pay
- LG announces the V20, a phone squarely targeted at audiophiles
- When will your phone get Android Nougat?
- Report: Nexus home button animation and 'night light' option appear amid a batch of leaks
- Samsung officially announces the Galaxy Note 7 and a refreshed GearVR
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160902/P/743Asia
- CCTesting Resource ManagerVIC
- CCInfrastructure Project Manager (12-month renewable contract)Asia
- CCProject Manager - Expense Management SystemVIC
- CCMS Access DeveloperNSW
- CCContract Senior Systems Analyst (C++/JBoss) 160915/SSA/893Asia
- CCFacilities ManagerACT
- CCBusiness Intelligence Business AnalystSA
- FTTest Lead - HP ALMNSW
- FTMiddleware - DevOps EngineerVIC
- FTMicrosoft Enterprise Project Management - Technical ConsultantACT
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCManager Architecture Practice Lead (Infrastructure Architect)NSW
- FTMicrosoft Solution ArchitectACT
- FTIT Infrastructure EngineerSA
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCICT Contracts ManagerSA
- FTDesign and Engineering - Technical WriterWA
- FTBusiness Intelligence Team LeadVIC
- FTContracts ManagerVIC
- CCiOS DeveloperVIC
- FTBusiness Development Manager | ICT intelligent systems integrationVIC
- FTProject Administrator (Agile)WA
- CCMurex Developers x 2NSW
- CCSAP HCM / HR -Sr. Business AnalystNSW