At least the 4G speeds are solid, and with a Category 4 modem here, a technical limit of 150Mbps down and 50Mbps is possible.

It is more likely you’ll find speeds closer to 40 to 80Mbps down and 30 to 40Mbps up, which still isn’t anything to sneeze at, especially since there’s a Blue Tick rating here, meaning you should get a greater reception as you make your way out of the city.


While the performance is a little all over shop, the battery handles its own, and one could even lay claim that this phone is a battler, not just in its ability to survive the world, but also a day to day existence.

We didn’t completely exhaust the battery, but we did find that after a day of texting, web surfing, taking pictures, emails, making phone calls, listening to music, and stopping to work (sorry, but we have to do that, too), the Telstra Tough Max provided a full 24 hours of life, offering enough for an extra half day if chose to push on.


Based on this performance, it is technically conceivable to expect two days is possible, though you’d want to use the screen and the modem inside less.

That’s not bad like for a touchscreen phone, though we suspect that underperforming processor has something to do with this.


Next up is the camera, and while the megapixels on paper are decent, the performance of this shooter is like the overall performance: all over shop.

Let’s get something straight here: decent images are achievable from the ZTE T84, just not most of the time.


In fact most of the time, the camera interface is either too simple or just plain ugly, but the results will always be a little blurry, with okay results in day and night, but very little detail, or very little sharp detail, at that.

So the camera here does the job, but isn’t quite the reason why you end up on the Tough Max.

No, there are better reasons to consider this phone.

Test image from the Telstra Tough Max

Test image from the Telstra Tough Max