It may not be the most attractive phone on the planet, but Telstra’s Tough Max is a surprising phone that really does the job, and even steals a line or two from the likes of Samsung to make this device “made for Australia”.

Easily one of the better things we’ve seen come out of ZTE, the Tough Max is a surprising little phone with enough of the stuff that 4G phone buyers are looking for while also packing in durability for the dirt out the back of the country.

We’d like to see a boost of speed if we could and there’s obviously some older hardware serving use here, seen via that not-quite-right set of soft buttons, but overall, this is a decent phone for anyone needing durability in places where phones don’t quite hit the mark.

If you have the patience, this is Telstra’s true blue battler, only in orange and black.


Review: Telstra Tough Max
Price (RRP): $480 outright or from $62 per month Manufacturer: Telstra / ZTE
Relatively well built; Blue Tick certified, telling you it should work in the desert; Upgradeable storage; Great speeds on Telstra’s 4GX network; Built-in antenna ports; Decent battery life; Button for dedicated torch (LED used for flash);
Performance isn’t amazing, and slow downs can be seen; Design isn’t the most elegant; Button design suggests modern Android, yet square multi-task button works as the old menu item, telling you it’s old hardware in disguise;
Value for money
Ease of Use
3.9Overall Score
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