Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Telstra T-Hub 2 (preview)
Telstra's T-Hub 2 now runs the Android operating system
- Flexibility of Android platform
- Full-sized SD card slot
- Reasonably priced
- Requires Telstra broadband to operate
- Initially runs Gingerbread OS
Telstra's T-Hub 2 home phone system runs the full Android operating system and therefore acts like a standard Android tablet. However, you'll need a Telstra broadband account and a Telstra fixed line home phone account to use the device.
Price$ 360.00 (AUD)
Telstra has revamped its T-Hub home phone system by releasing the T-Hub 2, a home, fixed line product that consists of a cordless home phone and a portable tablet device. Where the original T-Hub product used a proprietary software platform to power Telstra's own apps and services, the T-Hub 2 runs the full Android OS and therefore acts like a standard Android tablet.
The Telstra T-Hub 2 consists of three devices, a cordless DECT phone, a 7in Android tablet and a docking station for the tablet that charges the device and amplifies the loudspeaker for hands-free phone calls. The T-Hub 2 requires both a Telstra fixed line home phone service and a BigPond broadband service to operate. Users can make calls from the tablet or via the cordless handset and can transfer calls to and from either device.
The Telstra T-Hub 2 features a new, curved design with an attractive black and white finish. In our brief hands-on with the device, it felt solid and relatively well constructed. There's a built-in kickstand on the back of the tablet for standing it up on a desk or table, while the ergonomics of the tablet make it comfortable to use single-handedly.
The tablet component of the T-Hub 2 is manufactured by OEM Technicolor, which has built Telstra BigPond Gateway products in the past. The T-Hub 2 is a relatively well specified device, but doesn't compete with top-end Android tablets. It is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and has 2GB of internal memory. There's also dual-cameras and a full-sized SD card slot to expand the on-board memory.
The 7in capacitive touchscreen on the T-Hub 2 has a resolution of 1024x600. In our brief hands-on the screen was bright and clear, though it lacks the vivid colour and super crisp text of higher end tablets like Apple's new iPad. The T-Hub 2 felt fast and responsive during our initial test.
The T-Hub 2 comes preloaded with a range of Telstra apps and services including Yellow and White Pages apps, a T-Box remote control app and a T-Share app that can be used to stream content from the T-Hub 2 to any DLNA capable device such as TVs. Unlike the original T-Hub product, T-Hub 2 users can download most compatible third-party apps from the Google Play store, just as they would on any Android smartphone or tablet device.
The T-Hub 2 will initially run the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android platform, but the Telstra says the device will be upgraded to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the "coming months". The telco has promised to continue to evolve the T-Hub 2 software as the Android platform is updated.
The T-Hub 2 is available through Telstra stores and online on Tuesday 17 July. It will sell for $360 outright but can also be purchased through a Telstra T-Bundle and paid off over 24 months for $15 per month.
Existing T-Hub customers can upgrade to the T-Hub 2 for half price, though any existing T-Hub contract will still need to be honoured.
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