By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Telstra has today announced its cheapest ever smartphone, the Smart-Touch: a $99 Android unit for prepaid users.

Although consumers wouldn’t normally expect a lot from a smartphone costing less than $100, Telstra describes the Smart-Touch has having “big features”, such as Android 2.1 OS, Wi-Fi, GPS and a 3.2-megapixel camera. Aside from the camera, which is well short of the now 5-megapixel smartphone minimum, the other features are impressive for such a cheap unit.

The features that are lacking, however, is what makes this phone so affordable. There’s no mention of video capture (let alone HD), remote security features, memory capabilities, hardware connectivity support or the level of inherent magic or game-changingness.

“The Smart-Touch is an affordable way for our prepaid customers to access and enjoy features like mobile web-browsing, social networking and email,” said consumer executive director Rebekah O’Flaherty in a statement.

Telstra is promoting two prepaid offers for this phone: Cap+ and Weekend+.

The new Telstra Smart-Touch.

Under Cap+, there are four recharge options:

-$30 for $250 total value with 400MB data
-$40 for $550 total value with 800MB data
-$60 for $1,000 total value with 3GB data
-100 for $1,500 total value with 4GB data

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With Weekend+, users receive a free for all on standard national talk and texts. The options are:

-$50 for $400 total credit with 2GB data
-$80 for $800 total credit with 3GB data
-$100 for $1,000 total credit with 4GB data