Retailing for just $129, Telstra's T106 mobile phone is one of the cheapest handsets available on the Next G network. Though it's not a great mobile phone, the T106 represents good value when combined with Telstra's Next G prepaid service.
Telstra aren't well renowned for value, so a mobile phone with this relatively low asking price isn't going to excite. Manufactured by ZTE, the Telstra T106 looks aesthetically pleasing from the front thanks to a gloss black bezel surrounding the display and chrome edging. Turn it over though and you're greeted by a plain silver back — it looks dreadfully bland and unstylish. The plastic has a rubber-like feel and doesn't attract any unwanted fingerprints.
The Telstra T106 mobile phone has a predictably small screen with a low resolution and poor viewing angles. Its glossy surface reflects light, making it hard to see in direct sunlight. The screen is reasonable for general use, but struggles when watching video content, such as Telstra's Mobile Foxtel service.
The keypad and controls of the Telstra T106 mobile phone are a sour point. Though they're large and well spaced, tactility is poor and the buttons feel sticky and emit an annoying loud clicking sound each time they're pressed. The shape of the keys also means they're uncomfortable to use.
The Telstra T106 has a basic and straightforward menu system. The phone uses a standard 3x3 grid layout for the main menu and a simple list format for submenus. The phone is relatively zippy and there was no sign of any slowdown while browsing the menus. There was also no keystroke lag when messaging, though the sticky keys do slowdown messaging.
The handset has access to the full range of Telstra BigPond services, including Trading Post, Yellow Pages, White Pages, Whereis mobile and the afore-mentioned Foxtel Mobile. The phone also includes a basic 2-megapixel camera, an MP3 player and an FM radio, but it lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack.
A basic suite of PIM applications include an alarm, calendar, calculator, world time and a stopwatch. The Telstra T106 has a microSD card slot underneath the battery. There is no card included in the sales package, but the slot supports microSD cards of up to 8GB in size. Bluetooth is included, but there is no A2DP profile to stream music wirelessly.
The Telstra T106 is a BlueTick-rated mobile phone meaning it's has been recommended by the telco for use in rural and regional areas of Australia. Call quality is fair and the hands-free speakerphone is quite loud.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.