Telstra Corporation 165i

A new and improved Country Phone targets rural Australians.

Telstra Corporation 165i
  • Telstra Corporation 165i
  • Telstra Corporation 165i
  • Telstra Corporation 165i
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Rugged design, HSDPA 7.2, Blue Tick rated, excellent call quality, A-GPS

Cons

  • Design won't appeal to all, clicking sound when pressing keys, Bluetooth only 1.2

Bottom Line

The latest Country Phone won't appeal to all, but it was never intended to. The rugged design and Blue Tick rating will ensure it finds its way into plenty of pockets.

Would you buy this?

Nicknamed the Country Phone, Telstra's T165i is the second edition of the telco's handset targeted specifically at consumers in rural areas of Australia. Promising excellent reception thanks to a pull-out antenna and a large design, the 165i's rugged casing should also appeal to farmers.

The T165i isn't going to turn many heads. With its large pull-our antenna — a design not seen since the days of CDMA — this phone looks like it belongs in the late '90s. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. The design certainly creates the impression of a very sturdy handset. Despite the large size of the T165i, the keypad and controls are not as big as the F165 Country Phone. A minor annoyance is the rather loud clicking sound made when keys are pressed, though as a consequence tactility is excellent.

The design of the T165i means it should appeal to tradespeople as well as farmers. Unfortunately, manufacturer ZTE has skimped on included accessories: the previous Country Phone included a plastic belt clip in the sales package, but that same generosity is lacking in this new edition.

The T165i's big appeal is the extended coverage it provides in rural and regional areas. The handset is Blue Tick certified, meaning it is one of a select few handsets guaranteed by Telstra to provide excellent coverage. We weren't able to drive out to a rural area to test the handset's reception, but coverage is excellent in metropolitan areas and the handset offers above average voice quality.

Despite being targeted at rural customers, the T165i still offers full access to the BigPond content portal, including the FOXTEL Mobile TV service. HSPDA 7.2Mbps (an upgrade from the previous version's 3.6Mbps maximum) means speeds are very reasonable. The display's small size doesn't favour heavy multimedia use, nor does the proprietary headphone/charging jack. Thankfully, Bluetooth 1.2 with A2DP is a feature, so you can use compatible Bluetooth headphones if you wish.

A 2-megapixel camera that doubles as a video camera, an FM radio, a multimedia player and a voice recorder are all included. 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, A-GPS, USB and a hands free speakerphone. A real plus is the volume of the ring tones, which are extremely loud at the highest setting. A microSD card slot handles extra memory, but there is no card included in the sales package.

Disappointingly, battery life is rated at up to 3.5 hours of talk time — down by three hours on the original Country Phone. Standby time remains the same at 250 hours. The T165i can be charged using the included USB cable or AC adapter.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?