Telstra Tough T90 mobile phone
A rugged mobile phone designed to take a beating
- Tough plastic body, water- and dust-resistant, capable of being thrown around, decent display, solid keys and controls, BlueTick rated
- Not aesthetically pleasing, no 3.5mm headphone jack, screen reflects indoor lighting
It may not be the most pleasing mobile phone to look at, b ut Telstra's Tough T90 does what it's designed to do – provide a solution to those who require a phone that can take some punishment. It's a little expensive, though.
Price$ 679.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
- Tough 3 T55 Next Sealed 190.00
Targeted at tradespeople or those with an active lifestyle, Telstra's Tough T90 mobile phone is designed to take a beating. Water- and dust-proof, and drop tested for shock resistance, the Tough T90 includes a number of handy features.
Like most ruggedised phones, the Telstra Tough T90's style won't appeal to those looking to make a splash in the fashion stakes. Manufactured by ZTE, it's like tradespeople: effective but certainly not pretty (no offence to tradies intended). The black and dark blue plastic casing is rock solid and capable of resisting some very harsh punishment. The screw on the bottom of the pack cover seals tightly when closed and can be twisted open using a coin. We even managed to play a round of soccer using the phone as the ball on a carpeted area and it survived virtually unscathed. (This isn't recommended everyday use of the phone.)
The Tough T90 includes a basic five-way navigational pad, two selection keys, answer and end call keys and dedicated calling list and clear keys. The keypad is large and each button is well separated. Aside from a rather loud clicking sound when a key is pressed, the buttons provide good tactility and there is an option in the phone's menu to activate audible key tones. We think the keys are a little small to be pressed with gloves, which is a situation that many tradespeople are likely to find themselves in.
The Telstra Tough T90 has an IP54 rating for dust and water resistance, though it's designed to withstand being splashed with water, not taken for a swim at the beach. We held it under a running tap for a few seconds and it worked without any issues.
Surprisingly, the Telstra Tough T90 mobile phone comes equipped with a reasonable display. It's bright, clear and crisp and is easy to see in direct sunlight, though it does reflect a little too much indoor lighting. It’s a little small for watching video content, but it does an adequate job when paired with Telstra's content and services, including Mobile Foxtel. That being said, watching videos or movies isn’t a key aspect of a ruggedised phone.
The Telstra Tough T90's user interface is straightforward and relatively zippy. Unlike many previous ZTE manufactured handsets there is no keystroke lag when scrolling through lists or typing messages. The simple grid main menu and list format submenus are easy to use.
The Tough T90's features won't wow, but there is a basic 2-megapixel camera, a music player and FM radio, Bluetooth and a voice recorder. A built-in GPS receiver is also present, though there is no preinstalled GPS application. A microSD card is located underneath the rear battery cover, but there is no 3.5mm headphone jack and the included headphones aren’t ideal for music as they lack bass and clarity. The Tough T90 works on Telstra's Next G network and is capable of speeds of up to 3.6 megabits per second.
The Telstra Tough T90 is BlueTick rated, meaning it has been recommended by the telco for use in rural and regional areas of Australia. Telstra also plans to release a dedicated car kit for the Tough T90, and this will utilise the direct connect RF port on the rear of the phone.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Motorola Moto X (2nd Gen) review: Raising the bar
- 2 Xiaomi Mi4 review: Xiaomi's best yet
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: Lightly flawed, Undeniably special
- 4 Sony Xperia Z3 review: The no-frills flagship
- 5 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Google Now adds data from Lyft, Airbnb and many more apps
- Outlook app for Android and iOS boosts Microsoft's mobile comeback
- MIT randomizes tasks to speed massive multicore processors
- NEC aims at Big Data 'sweet spot' with new SAP Hana tool
- Uber will fight to keep its Boston ride data private
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.