Telstra gets into the Christmas spirit with four new Android phones

Telstra reveals Qwerty-Touch, LG Optimus Spirit, Motorola Defy +, Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc S

Telstra's Qwerty-Touch combines a capacitive touchscreen with a full sized QWERTY keyboard for just $129

Telstra's Qwerty-Touch combines a capacitive touchscreen with a full sized QWERTY keyboard for just $129

Telstra today announced the release of four new Android smartphones that will hit the shelves in time for Christmas, including a budget-priced Android phone that combines a touchscreen and a full-sized, physical QWERTY keyboard.

Telstra Qwerty-Touch preview
Best upcoming smartphones in 2011

Speaking at the company's preview of its Christmas product range, Telstra revealed the four new Android phones would be available between now and 15 November, depending on the specific handset. The four new smartphones are a mixture of budget and mid-range models: the telco appears to be heavily targeting the lower end of the mobile market in a bid to attract new customers over the Christmas period.

The most interesting release is the Telstra Qwerty-Touch, an entry-level Android smartphone that combines a 2.6in capacitive touch-screen with a full sized QWERTY keyboard. Telstra's director of device management, Andrew Vollard, said the Qwerty-Touch was a direct result of consumer market research. "We did some research that indicated a desire for a device that combined a physical keyboard and touchscreen at a low price point," he said.

The Telstra Qwerty-Touch will retail for $129 outright on Telstra pre-paid from Tuesday 15 November.

Telstra also announced the release of the LG Optimus Spirit, the Motorola Defy + and the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc S Android phones. The Defy + and XPERIA Arc S are minor upgrades of the original Defy and XPERIA Arc phones — both feature an almost identical design with upgraded internals like a faster processor and various software improvements. The LG Optimus Spirit (called the Optimus Net in overseas markets) is a successor to the popular LG Optimus One.

In addition to the four new phones, Telstra earlier this week added the BlackBerry Bold 9900 to its inventory. It sells for $0 on a $99 Freedom Connect plan over 24 months and includes the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) in the price of the plan. The BIS is an extra $10 per month on Telstra's $79 Freedom Connect plans or lower.

Full details on Telstra's four new smartphones for Christmas:

• Telstra Qwerty-Touch
- 2.6in capacitive touchscreen
- Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
- 2-megapixel camera
- $129 on Telstra pre-paid
- Released on Tuesday November 15

• LG Optimus Spirit
- 3.2in capacitive touchscreen
- Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
- 3-megapixel camera
- $149 on Telstra pre-paid
- Telstra Blue Tick rated (promising better coverage in rural and regional areas)
- Available now

• Motorola Defy +
- 3.7in capacitive touchscreen
- Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
- Water-resistant, scratch-resistant and dust-resistant
- 5-megapixel camera
- $299 on Telstra pre-paid
- Telstra Blue Tick rated (promising better coverage in rural and regional areas)
- Available now

• Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc S
- 4.2in capacitive touchscreen
- Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
- HD Voice
- 8.1-megapixel camera
- $10 per month on Telstra's $59 Freedom Connect plan over 24 months (totalling $69 per month) or $600 outright
- Released on Tuesday November 15

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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