Dasher, Dancer and Blitzen

Telstra is planning to spread as much speed as cheer this Christmas, with three new 4G long-term evolution (LTE) prepaid devices being made available for outright purchase, including a 10-inch tablet.

The Telstra Frontier 4G and Easy Touch 4G are the new handsets on offer, and are both available for outright purchase. The Frontier 4G comes in cheapest, at AU$299, while the larger Easy Touch 4G slips in for the more awkward figure of AU$456 (we think someone came to this figure by pressing three numbers sequentially on their keyboards).

As we've previously reported, Telstra will also stock a new self-branded 4G tablet, and will be the exclusive carrier for the Nokia Lumia 920.

This is Telstra's trio of self-branded 4G prepaid products for Christmas, all made by Chinese manufacturer ZTE.

Photo by: CBSi

Unlock, you say?

Telstra's Easy Touch brand is a hit with the Blue Rinse Brigade, despite not having had a touchscreen in the line-up previously. The new Easy Touch 4G has a 4.3-inch screen, which is hopefully large enough for older eyes.

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Crystal clear

Here is the crux of the Easy Touch 4G. Telstra has designed a handful of big, easy-to-read shortcut widgets that are designed to ease someone into the smartphone age.

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A few more

As you can see, Telstra goes beyond the basics here, with guidance for the core online tools, like the browser and email. The media widget doesn't push users to online services, though; they just open the related apps.

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A little bit further

Finally, this widget goes a little bit deeper again, helping users to manage wireless connections, alarms and ringer volume.

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A dollop of ICS

Beyond Telstra's widgets, the Easy Touch 4G runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), and it is a stock experience from here on out.

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We were a little surprised to hear that the Easy Touch 4G comes with an 8-megapixel camera. This is a higher resolution than any of the cameras in any other Telstra-branded smartphones that we can remember. Not that this is a true measure of photographic quality, but it's a good start.

Photo by: CBSi

For wide pockets, not deep ones

The Easy Touch 4G is reasonably cheap for a smartphone, but it is also a chunky monkey. Not that this should put you off too much; it is still a comfortable device to hold.

Photo by: CBSi

Telstra Frontier 4G

Saddle up them ponies and pile into the wagon! We're heading out onto the wide, open plains of ... umm ... 4G prepaid phones?

The Frontier 4G breaks new ground in Australia as the first prepaid phone under AU$300. According to Telstra, it has a dual-core processor, too, which is quite a nice bonus at this price point.

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No swiping here, Mr Legal Representative!

Whether or not this lock-screen design has anything to do with recent tech-related court cases in Australia, the Frontier requires you to press and hold, not swipe to unlock.

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Don't tell me not to swipe!

But if you do swipe on the lock screen, expect to be met by this cheerful shortcuts menu.

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So chunky you could carve it

Like the Easy Touch 4G, the Frontier isn't shy about its rotund waistline — not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Just shoot me

The Easy Touch wins in a camera comparison, with the smaller Frontier 4G sporting only a 5-megapixel camera.

Photo by: CBSi


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