All of this sits under a 4.7 inch high-definition screen supporting 1280×720 and Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 for screen protection.

And then there’s the casing and protection, with a larger plastic chassis than normal, door covers for the microSD and microSIM slot, and a degree of ruggedisation supporting IP67, offering a small amount of water-resistance and a fairly sizeable amount of dust-resistance.


There are a few buttons here on this device, with three printed-on soft buttons at the bottom for back, home, and multi-task, while physical buttons include a volume rocker on the left edge, a power button on the right, and a torch button up top that switches on the LED on the back of the phone.

The battery on the Telstra Tough Max is rated at 2500mAh and is built into the phone, making it not replaceable.


Telstra’s latest phone appears, at least on the surface, to be a little different from all the other phones out there.

While most devices try to cut back on the amount of excess plastic, scaling back to something more slim-line, fashionable, and pocket friendly, the Telstra Tough Max doesn’t try to mince words and certainly doesn’t hold back.

Dressed in thick charcoal and orange plastic, this a phone with a point: “I’m a survivor” it screams, with a rigid case, extruded edges, and a design that is certainly not like anything else.


You won’t get confused with anyone else’s phone, that’s for sure, and the design of the Tough Max — also called the ZTE T84, since ZTE made the device — is more like what you get when you take a 4.7 inch phone and slap a durable ruggedised case on the outside.

That means the Tough Max isn’t the prettiest phone on the market, though it does look like it can take a beating, and that’s all that really matter.

Surprisingly, it’s still a somewhat comfortable device to hold, with the plastic ridges giving you something to grip onto.

It’s pretty clear it’s not a premium device, but with this design and intent, we’re not so sure it needs to be.



With most mobile devices cutting back on buttons and killing the notion of the feature-phone, you’re pretty much going to be staring at a screen here, and that’s not so bad.