Review : Telstra Tough Max – 3 months of abuse.

At a glance :
Telstra Tough Max
4.7 Inch Tough Smart Phone
Android L
13MP/5MP cameras
$480 outright
Product Page :

Ideal for:
Tradies and serial phone-abusers.

Everyone should have a friend with the same qualities as this phone.

CUznqPVUsAECPsDThis friend is not pretty or up to date with the latest hot new things but this is the friend that will always be there with you. The kind of friend that delivers on promises especially when things are too hard for all the other friends.

This is the Telstra Tough Max. A phone you want in your corner when things get a little rough and ready. It certainly lacks the polish and good looks of your top end iPhones and Galaxy whatevers but it will take a beating and what’s more important deliver a solid (and fast) connection to the world when it matters most.

Only slightly more chunky than your latte-loving fashion accessory, this phone slips into a pocket and the 4.7 inch screen can easily be navigated with one hand. Packing pretty middle of the road tech inside gives you enough to get the job done with a respectable 13MP rear camera and 5MP front facing camera and with a 2500mAh battery, this phone can go hard for a whole day before switching to low power mode to eke out a night at the pub before needing to recharge and head out to the work site again.

CUzmXVkVEAA_Cb8On the worksite, the Tough Max shrugs off any abuse thrown at it. From drops to solid ground from as high as my head (1.7m) resulting in only the finest of cracks to getting kicked around in the sand and even taking a dunk in water this safety-orange workmate only stumbles with garbled sound while the speakers are wet. Once dried out it is business as usual. This kind of treatment to any other phone would have seen me digging into my pocket to shell out for another pretty-boy of a phone.

Once thing I did struggle with when it comes to dunking the phone, the touch sensitive screen reacts unpredictably when wet. Kind of makes sense though as water (especially salt or chlorinated) is conductive.

All these features were not the big deal for me though. Not by a long shot.
This phone is a blue tick certified, 4Gx speed freak. It simply goes further and faster than any other smartphone I have laid hands on.

No equal.

CWO1avCUsAEhJORI spent a couple of hours out in the field on the outskirts of Perth where most other phones would have just enough for a phone call or text and forget any chance of getting a connection good enough for decent data. Not the Tough Max which blitzed a speed test of over 70Mbs on the 4Gx network! This kind of performance is what you would get from the NBN (National Broadband Network) and positively decimates what ADSL2+ would call a good connection. It slaughters current land-based internet speeds and it is a phone!

Retailling around the $480 mark, this represents a solid investment that will be around for a while. A good pick for the tradie or kids that need a smart phone but seem to break them all to easily.

A missed opportunity is the ability to choose different colours apart from the industrial black and orange. Even a simple black on black or black on grey would be a more understated option that does not scream FIFO worker. Even tough guys need to be able to blend in to the boardroom.

It takes a pretty good shot underwater too!