Telstra Corporation TicTalk
- Very flexible to program, Easy to use Web portal
- Design and shape, Scroll wheel performance, Cost
If you really want your young child to be able to keep in touch, then you'll definitely be interested in the TicTalk. It's very flexible and the web portal is clean and simple. Keep in mind though that it's not cheap, nor is it without some minor issues.
Price$ 259.00 (AUD)
The TicTalk is a mobile phone designed for young children. Looking more like an obscure stopwatch than a communications tool, it offers a bevy of features to keep parents in control, such as locking which numbers can call out and in, when a child may play the onboard games and how long they can spend on a call.
The TicTalk needs to be activated by Telstra's Web portal: http://www.kidsintouch.telstra.com. It is here that parents or guardians can program the phone, entering numbers that the child can call, as well as updating its organisation tools such as the calendar, to-do list and reminders. Not only can you control who your child can call, but you can also lock it so only certain numbers can make inbound calls, which is an excellent security feature. Overall, the Web portal is quite basic and simple to use, so it shouldn't cause you any major problems.
Users can program the TicTalk on a number of different levels. If parents want their child's phone to ring only between certain time periods, they can simply program it into the Web portal. Don't want your child to use the phone at school? Then turn it off during school hours. Don't want your child on the phone too long? Set a total amount of time the TicTalk can be on a call for. You can even send the TicTalk messages, with four designated response options. Like a multiple choice question, the child simply selects an answer using the scroll wheel and a message is sent back to you. Of course, not all messages have to have multiple choice answers, so you can also send a regular SMS; just don't expect a reply. All of these settings can be changed at any time by just logging onto the portal.
Being a child development tool (according to Telstra) the TicTalk also includes four basic LeapFrog educational games. Pre-installed onto the unit are Hangman, Monkey Math, Monkey Spelling and Math Defender. Like most other functions on the unit, parents can set times when these games can and can't be used through the Web portal. They can also reward extra call minutes to the child based upon the success in each of these games. Along with these games, the TicTalk includes a few other features such as a personal organiser, photo gallery, stopwatch and sound gallery. As an example, a parent can send reminders about important events such as homework, assignments or family gatherings.
Our main concern with the TicTalk is not its performance or features, but its price tag. At $259 outright the TicTalk isn't cheap compared to other, more robust phones. There are three plans to choose from; $15, $20 or $30 per months and they only offer 15, 40 and 60 minutes of calls respectively. Any additional calls on top of your monthly allowance will cost a whopping $0.70 a minute, so its not really good value for money when compared to some current pre-paid and capped mobile plans.
This is a children's phone, but its form factor is still odd to say the least. Measuring 84mm x 53mm x 23mm, the TicTalk is compact but quite chunky. We're not sure how effective this design is for small children's hands, mostly due to its odd button configuration. The TicTalk operates on just three controls; a three-way scroll wheel on the right hand side which doubles as the OK button and two selection buttons on the left. That's it. While it may sound simple enough, we did develop slight discomfort in our wrist after extended periods of use, especially when reaching to the left side with our right hand to access the selection buttons. Furthermore, the scroll wheel had a tendency to press inwards when we were scrolling, so accidentally entering menu items was a common and annoying occurrence. The design is clearly targeted at a very young demographic and while it may appeal to six to ten year olds, older children will probably prefer the look of a fully fledged mobile phone.
There is no keypad on the TicTalk, as numbers appear on the screen to scroll through, much like the system used by the Nokia 7380. Children will only need to use this to enter a PIN number when the TicTalk is switched on though; regular phone numbers can only be called if they are programmed into the TicTalk Web portal. The monochrome screen measures 2.1in x 0.9in x 3.3in and is a fairly reasonable size for the handset. Our only complaint was with the rather dull white backlight; it could have been much brighter.
Performance wise, the TicTalk operated quite well. We did note that the volume level of phone calls is extremely loud; at times it's almost as if the phone is on loudspeaker, but this isn't the case. This may not necessarily be a good thing for children's ears, so be sure to adjust the volume levels before giving it to them. According to Telstra, the TicTalk is rated at up to eight hours of talk time and almost four days of standby time which is more than a lot of standard mobile phones.
Join the newsletter!
Apple Watch Series 6
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen)
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G
Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar
WD My Passport™ SSD
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System
ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14
Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sony Playstation 5
WD_BLACK™ SN850 NVMe™ SSD
Theragun PRO Percussive Therapy Device
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush
MSI Modern 14
Fujiflim Instax Square SQ1
Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor
Fender Fullerton Ukele
Garmin vívofit® jr. 2
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch
MSI GE66 Dragonshield Limited Edition
SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String
Kindle Paperwhite eReader (10th Gen)
Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player
Dickie Toy Remote Control Mega Crane Set
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 2 Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: Killer form-factor, lethal price-tag
- 4 Oppo A5Xs review: Cutting corners
- 5 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
Latest News Articles
- Black Friday Deal: Galaxy Z Flip for $999
- Black Friday Deal: Vivo smartphones are 20% off
- Black Friday Deal: 60GB of mobile data for $28 through Circles.Life
- Huawei goes greener still with Mate 40 Pro
- Sound right at home with Poly
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- How the Xbox Series X (and xCloud) saved me from buying a gaming PC
- 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