Welcome to the 2012 Telstra Frontier ( T81) mobile phone review. For Christmas 2012 Telstra and ZTE have released yet another ‘bargain’ priced reasonably high specified Android smartphone. The new Frontier T81 release took us by surprise, likewise the equally new EasyTouch 4G model. The Frontier model is a pre-paid phone package priced at $299.
The Frontier and the EasyTouch 4G are both 4G or LTE phones have very similar design and specifications. The Frontier is a pre-paid package it has lessor spec hardware like lower camera resolution and screen size and so forth. The Frontier packs a 1.5 Ghz CPU and separate graphics processor are a standout in the pre-paid class but honestly when you use it – doesn’t seem all that fast.
In terms of construction the Frontier does not feel like high end phone but neither does the related EasyTouch 4G. Nonetheless it is solid and did not reveal any creaks or rattles. There is nothing that makes it stand out from the crowded pre-paid class on the outside at least.
In terms of operation there is little to differentiate it from the a bare bones Android phone. Everything worked smoothly and fast but lacked some interface enhancements that Samsung and Motorola etc have come up with to show off the powerful CPU. That said Android has come a long way from a mere 2 years ago and likewise the offerings from Telstra/ZTE brand mobile phones. The ability to use the 4G part of the network is also a great hardware feature.
Overall the Telstra Frontier has a fast CPU for games but hampered by the lower resolution and smaller screen. Since mobile websites are so minimal there is little make any difference from lower powered smartphones. The only thing that made as cringe was the high price! it’s not a cheap phone. The Telstra marketing area probably thought it would appeal to hand held gamers and it might but unlikely for the obvious reason – it that doesn’t look high end and that Angry Birds doesn’t need a 1.5Ghz CPU to run smoothly and everyone we talked to wanted a phone with a 5 inch screen for gaming!
So if you like a plain looking and fast Android phone but locked to Telstra then go for it. Otherwise the value for money the Google Nexus 4 or even the Nexus 3 is more than a match.
- Telstra Frontier T81
Tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900 Mhz
Tri-band 3G 850/2100 Mhz
4G LTE 1800/2600 Mhz
HSDPA 7.2 Mbps data speed (download)
HSUPA 2 Mbps (upload)
4G LTE 1000Mbps 50 down Mbps Up
- L124 x W65.5 x D11 mm
- Weight 149 grams
4.0 inch 480 x 800 pixel
Forward camera 1MP
- Video Camera
640x 480 pixels @ 15fps
1.5 Ghz Dual core ‘Krait’
Separate Adreno 225 Graphic CPU
Up to 2.5 Gig for user
Up to 32Gig micro-SD expansion
- Ring tones
MIDI, MP3, Video, vibration and others
Free Google Navigator (requires data plan)
Proximity Ambient Light
Music and Media player
MS-Word, Excel and Powerpoint, PDF, ZIP compatible
SMS, MMS, IM, Email
Speaker Phone/Hands free
Li-Po 1785 mAh battery
Up to 380 hours Standby
Up to 6 hours Talk Time
- Price history
Approx $299 AUD December 2012 (Pre-paid)