We've seen a couple of Telstra branded phones from Chinese manufacturer ZTE recently; theand the F158, and you can't blame us for thinking that ZTE had let go of any aspirations of creating chic handsets in favour of chunky, durable, easy-to-use devices for the rural market. The EasyTouch is a return to stylish design and has a couple of unique features to set it apart form the pack.
As a fashionable clamshell the EasyTouch is attractive, even if the design isn't in the same league as truly sexy phones, like Motorola's . The low-res external screen sits under shiny reflective plastic which gives a similar mirror feel to the , but again without creating a comparable impact.
At 90mm in length, 50mm wide, and 18mm in depth the EasyTouch is a phone that won't bulge too greatly in your pocket. The plastic body does suggest cheap construction, however, the handset seems durable, and again it does look pretty cute. ZTE have kept external ports and buttons to a minimum, with a camera button, phone volume, T-Flash memory slot and a universal mini USB port for charging the phone and plugging in the hands-free headphones that come in the box.
Opening the phone reveals a two-inch QVGA TFT colour display and a numeric keypad that lays recessed into the handset. In truth we would have preferred to have seen raised keys on the keypad for a more tactile experience, but this is nit-picking considering that using the keypad is as easy as can be expected.
The name EasyTouch refers to single touch access to a selection of features via the main standby menu screen. The stand-out here is a news headlines ticker running across the top of the screen. Pushing up on the navigation pad expands the headlines into a preview of the full story from ABC news via the BigPond portal. It's such a simple, yet ingenious addition to the menu screen, and every time we opened the EasyTouch we found ourselves checking the headlines.