Telstra F152 and F156 Review


Welcome to the Telstra/ZTE F152 and F156 mobile phone review. We put the reviews of these 2 models together because there are identical. The model numbers differ according to color of the casing. These are entry level models so don’t expect too much – but you’ll be surprised at what they offer.

Battery Life

The battery life of the phone is very good. On standby essentially 7 days. With normal usage 3-4 days. Since it operates on the NextG (850Mhz 3G) network its a bordering on excellent.


Overall the phone is very fast. Menu navigation and running applications are flawless. Just as fast as the benchmark.

Loading web pages and streaming videos work really well on the F152. The quality of the streaming video quality and the sound is just as good as more expensive phones. However the volume of the loud speaker is on the soft side.


Picture quality is OK for a mobile phone (ie no where near a dedicated camera). The fact that it has 2 cameras for video calling is great. Note that I know very people who actually use video calling.

Media Player

The MP3 player is very basic – missing multiple playlists, EQ, ID3 tag diplay, and easy navigation. At least it sounds reasonable.


The screen used on this phone reflects its pricing position. It’s the industry standard 176 x 220 pixels with 262K colours. Specs indicate a clear screen taking into account the low pixel count but in reality it’s nothing special. Its probably because of its slightly larger is size. The screen’s back light is very good with adjustable levels.


This is only flaw with the F152 and F156. Don’t believe the pictures it doesn’t look as good in real life. Yes the phone is sturdy but it very late 90’s in terms of overall feel. The buttons are the main problem, they feel awful and cheap. We didn’t want to show anyone our latest handset. So don’t buy it for design flair.

Of note is the sliding USB/power socket on the left and covered trans-flash memory card slot on the bottom. The side USB means that it looks and is fussier to fit in the car kit.


It is a 3G phone so you’d expect a reasonable offering. Indeed it doesn’t let you down. It has everything you’d expect in a mobile phone made in 2007.

Navigation to send an sms is a mere and logical 3 presses from the stand by screen. We do miss the old single press SMS from the old days but with so many different types of messages you can send these days it is not unexpected.

It lacks a lot of customisation features that aren’t really essential but it would have been nice to have them. At least it has pre-set phone groups and custom ring tones.

It runs JAVA applications but unfortunately no games are pre-installed.

Call quality

Overall very good. Callers and us where heard without any break up or static. That said calls sounded a tad hollow.


It has almost all frequencies you need 3G HSDPA and UMTS in 850Mhz or 2100Mhz, GSM 900, 1800 and 1900. Not many phones have dual 3G frequencies which is thus a stand out. Network reception seems in our ‘marginal’ area is good but should be better. In fact the GSM signal was always better then the 3G signal for Telstra. Whether its the actual network coverage or phone receiver we aren’t quite sure.


All up the Telstra F152 or F156 is a good mobile phone. A few things missing when compared to its competition notably FM/AM radio and Flight mode. It’s also missing a lot of customization features we’ve become accustomed to. Nevertheless a decent entry level mobile built for the Telstra NextG network.

It’s only real 3G competitor (in 2007) is the LG 8360 on the 3 network (at the $149 price) check out the review on this site. When comparing them, the LG has superior screen quality and functionality but it is noticeably slower in operation. When comparing the against the Nokia 6234 from Vodaphone at $199 we would choose the 6234 any day. So base your decision on which network provider offers the best deal rather than comparing the phone specifications.


  • Telstra/ZTE F152 & F156
  • Network
    3G HSDPA / UMTS 850 / 2100 MHz
    Tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Design
    Candy Bar – Standard Phone
    106 x 47 x 14 mm
    L106 x W47 x D14 mm
    Weight 88 grams
  • Display/s
    TFT 176 x 220, 262K colours
  • Camera
    1.3 MP main camera
    .3 forward camera
  • Connectivity
  • CPU
    225MHz Processor
  • Memory
    64MB internal memory
    47-48MB available to user
    Up to 2Gig Trans Flash cards
  • Ring tones
    MP3, MMF, MIDI, Vibration
  • Features
    MyWords predictive text
    JAVA MIDP 2.0
    Bluetooth V1.2 – Supports FTP / HFC / A2DP
    Speaker Phone/Hands free
    Customizable backgrounds
    Picture Viewer
    Video calling
    Voice memos
    Calender and organizer
    200 Hrs Standby, 180 Mins Talk Time
  • Package contents
    Vista Compatible PC suite
    Personal hands free kit
    Travel charger
  • Price history
    Between $149-199 AUS PRE-PAID 2007