Telstra Corporation F165 Country Phone
- Durable design; lightweight; good voice quality; loud ringtones; included belt clip
- A little expensive, design won't suit all
The F165 Country Phone doesn't really look appealing, but looks can be deceiving. In addition to claiming excellent reception in rural areas, the F165 has a sturdy rubber casing and is lightweight.
Price$ 529.00 (AUD)
Targeted at those living in rural areas, the Telstra F165 promises excellent reception thanks to a pull-out antenna and a larger design. The handset also focuses on durability, encompassing a rubber casing that provides basic protection against knocks and bumps.
At first glance, the F165 looks rather similar to an old CDMA handset. It's quite large and the pull-out antenna certainly takes you down memory lane. The benefit of a larger casing is evident in the controls and keypad; they are large, well spaced apart and easy to press, making the Country Phone easy to use. The rubber and plastic casing of the handset certainly feels durable and the hard, plastic design of the keys feels sturdy. A minor annoyance is the rather loud clicking sound made when keys are pressed, but we are being picky.
The rubber casing of the Country Phone means its not only ideal for those in rural areas, but is a handy option for tradespeople as well. An included plastic belt clip only sweetens the deal.
The Country Phone has been designed as a last ditch bid to woo current Telstra CDMA customers over to the Next G network, as Telstra plans to close the former in January 2008. At the time of review, the F165 is one of six Next G handsets in the 'Blue Tick' range; handsets recommended for use in rural areas. Unfortunately, we weren't able to drive out to a rural area to test the handset's reception, but suffice to say, coverage is excellent in metropolitan areas and the F165 itself offers above average voice quality and decent volume levels.
Despite being a Country Phone, the F165 still offers full access to the BigPond content portal, including the Foxtel Mobile TV service. Speeds are reasonable for a 3.6Mbps HSDPA phone, though the display isn't really recommended for long viewing; it's a little small for watching video. In addition, a multimedia player is included and a microSD card slot handles up to 2GB of extra memory in addition to the 60MB of onboard, internal memory.
A 2-megapixel camera is included, but without flash or auto-focus, photos aren't great. There is also a VGA camera on the front of the handset for video calling across the Next G network. Other features include standard SMS, MMS and e-mail messaging with T9 predictive text input, Java, Bluetooth 1.2 with A2DP, USB and a handsfree speakerphone. A real plus is the volume of the ringtones, which are extremely loud at their highest setting.
Battery life is rated at up to 6.5 hours of talk time and up to 250 hours of standby time, and the F165 can be charged via the micro-USB connection, or via the AC adapter included in the sales package.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
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