Update: After a bit of digging, it seems the Smart Touch (aka Grape) is a ZTE Racer/X850, just re-badged for Telstra. Another small piece of info that makes the IDEOS a much better buy is larger MicroSD compatibility, up to 32GB is the limit, whereas the Grape is only 8GB.
Telstra have a funny relationship with Android – they have released some cool phones and done well out of them (the Desire and Galaxy S are some that spring to mind), but have not released some obvious choices which would put them ahead (Desire HD, anyone?).
Telstra are in a place now where most of their flagship phones are Android powered, and they’ve even released their own branded Android tablet device (the T-Touch Tab). They’ve also had a smattering of Androids across their prepaid range (remember the Wildfire, anyone?).
Now, they’ve added another one, and we find ourselves asking “why?”
Telstra’s branded $99 prepaid (shown to the right), dubbed the “Smart Touch” is anything but – with a resistive touch screen, it’s hard to see how the words smart and touch can be used together to describe the phone, but let’s put that aside.
It features Android 2.1, has standard things like GPS and WiFi, and has a 3.2 megapixel camera. Not the best, but not the worst. The screen – at 2.8″ – is resistive, meaning it requires (a) more push to get it to register, and (b) probably isn’t as accurate as a capacitive touch screen. On the plus side, you can use it with gloves on, or (shudder) use a stylus if you feel the need – a meaty appendage isn’t required to operate the phone.
For $99, we think the Huawei IDEOS is better value. It has Android 2.2, it’s got a capacitive screen and doesn’t come pre-installed with Telstra’s signature bloat-ware, which (as the press kit shows) is pre-loaded on the Smart Touch.
Telstra have also released new prepaid pricing to coincide with the release of this phone. Hit up Telstra’s news page here for all the new offers.