Budget phones continue as Telstra releases first prepaid 4GX handset

Mobile World Congress is just around the corner, and that means a whole slew of new phones are on the way, but if you don’t need top tier gear and are looking for a budget handset, Telstra is joining in with a little something of its own for its 4GX network.

Built for the recently renamed network, Telstra’s “Evolution” is a new handset that may not push features evocative of the name, but might give people with older handsets a reason to evolve to use its new network.

Set to sell for $129 on prepaid, the Evolution includes a 4 inch display running the low-end 800×400 resolution, relies on a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, and includes 4GB storage with 1.5GB available to owners and is upgradeable with a microSD slot, with Android 4.4 “KitKat” ready to go from the box.


Beyond the basic specs, you’ll find WiFi, Bluetooth, a 5 megapixel front camera and a VGA front camera, with 4G LTE support included complete with support for that extra “X” that Telstra’s network is now compatible with.

What does the X mean?

For Telstra, the extra “X” on the end of the 4G caters for the 700MHz band that Telstra now works with, delivering better connections in office blocks and other buildings, meaning the phone shouldn’t drop out when you take that elevator up or down.

As for the whole 4G side of things, you’ll see Category 4 connectivity here, meaning speeds as high as 150Mbps down are theoretically possible, with Telstra suggesting speeds between 2 and 75Mbps are likely.

Blue Tick certification is also included, meaning Telstra’s Evolution is rated for use in rural areas of Australia, something not all phones are certified for.


“Boasting a large four inch colour screen, five megapixel camera and access to a world of more than a million Android apps, prepaid customers can enjoy great smartphone features at an affordable price of $129 with the Telstra Evolution,” said Theo Kontogiorgakis, General Manager of Mobile Devices at Telstra.

“In 4GX coverage areas Telstra Evolution owners can enjoy faster speeds than on our regular 4G which means downloading, streaming and sharing faster than before,” he said.

Pricing is pretty much set at $129 for the handset, with a Telstra Prepaid pack/offer not included but required to make the phone actually make phone calls and, you know, be used as a phone.