Telstra EasyTouch 4G Android phone
An easy to use Android phone that could use some further refinement
- Good ergonomics
- Easy widgets are useful
- Decent battery life
- Dim screen
- Poor quality camera
- Slight performance issues
First time smartphone users and seniors will find the Telstra EasyTouch 4G's custom designed widgets easier to use than most alternatives. However, we feel there could have been further customisation and the dim screen and poor quality camera are downsides.
Price$ 456.00 (AUD)
Telstra has often released its own-branded devices in Australia and the EasyTouch 4G is another example of that. An Android smartphone designed for first time users, the EasyTouch 4G's custom designed widgets make the smartphone easier to use than most alternatives, but we feel there could have been further customisation to suit first time users.
Simple but bland
The EasyTouch is a little thick, but relatively comfortable to hold.
The Telstra EasyTouch 4G, manufactured by Chinese brand ZTE, is best described as bland. It's constructed entirely from solid feeling plastics, with a glossy, black bezel surrounding the screen and the brushed aluminium-look camera surround on the back the only real attempts to add some style.
We like the removable plastic cover on the back of the EasyTouch 4G, which has an etched, grippy surface and therefore doesn't easily slip out of your hand. Both the top-mounted power/lock button and the volume controls on the left are fairly well positioned for one handed use. The phone is a little thick, but it's relatively comfortable to hold and use. This is important for users who may be switching to a smartphone for the first time.
The screen is quite reflective and viewing angles are poor.
One nice addition that you don't normally see on many smartphones is an external antenna port that allows users to boost the mobile signal if required. Combined with a Blue Tick rating that denotes recommended coverage in rural and regional areas of Australia, the EasyTouch 4G is clearly well targeted to customers who live in the bush.
The Telstra EasyTouch 4G has a large 4.3in screen with a reasonable resolution of 540x960. The qHD (quarter HD) display does a good job of rendering text, so it should be ideal for seniors or first time smartphone users. Unfortunately, the screen is quite reflective and viewing angles are poor compared to more expensive phones. We found the automatic brightness setting erratic, too, as it often resulted in a dim and dull image.
Handy widgets add to usability
The Telstra EasyTouch 4G runs the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google's Android operating system, but the key point here isn't the software version. Telstra has made a number of unique customisations to the interface, highlighted by a set of "easy widgets" that provide quick access to commonly used features.
Four widgets are included. The phone widget provides quick access to the phone dialler and call log, contacts and messages and also displays any missed calls or unread messages. The Internet widget opens the browser, saved bookmarks and the email app, while the media widget will open the camera, photo gallery and default music player. Finally, a settings widget allows users to adjust sound settings, manage Wi-Fi and set an alarm clock.
The widgets are a good idea and work reasonably well, though its not possible to edit the apps they open.
The widgets are a good idea and work reasonably well, though its not possible to edit the apps they open. For example, the email shortcut will open the generic email app on the phone but can't be set as a shortcut for Gmail. The lock screen on the EasyTouch 4G has also been revamped. A large green rectangle can be held down to unlock the phone, while a red missed call notification and a green new message notification appear whenever appropriate. The feature is straightforward and well designed.
A large font size can be selected from the settings menu, but this doesn't increase the text of icons in the main menu, or the notifications bar. The clock, for example, is small and may be difficult to read for those with reduced vision. The icons in the dock aren't labelled, either, so there may be an initial source of confusion for first time users. A nice touch is the fact that the user manual of the EasyTouch 4G is loaded onto the device as a PDF file.
UI customisations aside, the software that powers the Telstra EasyTouch 4G is very close to a "vanilla" UI. It uses the standard Google icons and topography, so the user experience is similar to a stock Android device like the Google Nexus 4. The TelstraOne app comes pre-loaded on the device, along with a file manager, an FM radio, a notepad, a sound recorder, a world time app, the X-Office suite and a TouchPal keyboard. Thankfully, the latter is optional so you can revert to Google's standard Android keyboard, but both are likely to be a little small for users who require a large font.
The Telstra EasyTouch 4G offers reasonable but not outstanding performance. Basic tasks are relatively smooth and fast, though we did notice some slight lag and slowdown when scrolling through long lists and opening and closing apps. First smartphone buyers may not notice this slowdown too much but anyone who's previously used a well performing Android phone may be left disappointed.
Poor quality camera, reasonable battery life
The quality of photos is quite poor.
The Telstra EasyTouch 4G has an 8-megapixel camera with single LED flash but the quality of photos is quite poor. Most of the images we captured suffer from excessive image noise, a lack of detail and inaccurate colour reproduction. The camera is fine to take the odd happy snap, but compared to most of the better camera phones on the market, the EasyTouch 4G falls well short. Video recording quality, too, is below average, and although the front facing camera also lacks quality, it works reasonably well for video calling apps like Skype and Tango.
The EasyTouch 4G comes with just 4GB of internal memory but annoyingly, only 2.5GB is free for user space. A microSD card slot can expand this memory, supporting cards of up to 32GB in size.
Despite being a 4G smartphone, the Telstra EasyTouch 4G has reasonable battery life, usually pushing through a full day of use. Heavy users may struggle to achieve the same results, but the smaller screen and mid-range internals are certainly more kind to the 1900mAh battery than many high-end Android smartphones.
The Telstra EasyTouch 4G is available through Telstra stores and online and sells unlocked and outright for $456.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Qualcomm details plans for Windows 10 PCs with Snapdragon 835
- Cog Systems offers more secure version of HTC A9 smartphone
- Intel isn't yet done with x86 smartphone chips
- Nokia, Sprint show a massive MIMO antenna to boost cell service
- Sony's Xperia XZ Premium has a 4K HDR screen, super slow-mo
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)QLD
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Software EngineerVIC
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - Technical BackgroundQLD
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!SA
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCData Engineer (Java/ Data/ Big Data Developer)VIC
- FTSalesforce AdministratorQLD
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- CCIT Support TechnicianNSW
- CCSenior C++ .Net DeveloperWA
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPAPS6/EL1 Database Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTBI ManagerVIC
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCSolution Architect - VMwareVIC
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPMaster SchedulerNSW
- FTTelecommunications Services Manager - Voice/Data/UCQLD
- CCSecurity Policy AnalystsNSW