Telstra ZTE Dave 4G

It seems ZTE who make most of Telstra’s cheaper devices, such as smartphone, modem dongles/wifi and tablets are set to launch a new ruggedised 4G Android smartphone, which given their relationship, will probably launch as a Telstra branded device.

The device, which has been given the name Telstra Dave 4G, is being described as a ruggedised 4G Android smart phone with IP67 certification – waterproof to 1 metre and dustproof – and has been given the Telstra blue tick for improved rural and metro coverage both on the Telstra 4G and Next G networks.

The specs for the T83 Dave include:

  • 4.0″ capacitive touch screen with Gorilla glass
  • 1.2GHz dual core processor
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 5 MP rear facing camera
  • 2.5GB internal storage onboard – expandable to 32GB via microSD card
  • Android 4.1.2

The history of updates to ZTE/Telstra branded devices hasn’t been stellar and it’s sad that a device launching with a now older version of Jelly Bean and may not get any further upgrades past Jelly Bean 4.1.2, but we will have to wait and see. As a device aimed at the lower end/pre-paid market if the reception is there it may receive further attention on the software update front.

There is no pricing at this stage announced but its good to see more devices including 4G/LTE devices coming to our big 3 telcos one way or another.

UPDATE: We have been tipped that the Telstra ‘Dave’ will launch at an outright price of $360 but will also be available on a $60 per month Telstra Business Plan with a $5 per month handset fee.

Would you consider buying the Telstra Dave 4G? Are you in the market for a ruggedised 4G device

Source: ZTE.
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Put a micro sim into the phone by accident and it broke the sim slot,, does anyone know if telstra dave cane be repaired and is it costly?


Put a micro sim into the phone by accident and it broke the sim slot


Well this explains that weird trademark application they made:


Another point is, the full phone specs can be obtained from the ZTE site….
So for more clarification, extra specs…
4.0″ 800 x 480 pixels
1.2GHz Snapdragon dual core, 1GB RAM, Adreno 305(v4) GPU
Front camera, 0.3MP
Battery 2500 mAh, up to 8 hrs talk time, up to 375 hours standby
Size & weight128.4 x 66.1 x 12.1mm. 160g
External Antenna port


This appears to be the LTE/GSM version of what is sold overseas as the ‘ZTE Reef’ for Virgin Mobile (CDMA) in the US.


Took my Dave out of my pocket and the screen was smashed. Not cracked but shattered. Pretty sure I would have felt a knock on my leg if it was big enough to break this rugged phone. Guess Telstra is just lying again but hey what’s new


Don’t get Dave wet, If you do nobody can hear you and you cant hear them. even on loud speaker everything becomes a whisper, and stupid Dave thinks he has a head phone stuck in his jack so normal speaker does not work . nice attempt telstra all signs looked promising but no he is a dud… no flip case available for him either……


It is the toughest phone im a scaffolder and ive dropped it 15 meters to the ground bounces off not a scratch on it and drop it down the toilet and it its clearly under priced they could of charged. more I recommend it to all tradies


Rubbish! The screen on my Dave CRACKed when it slipped from my hand to the floor from waist height in my Lounge room. Didn’t last 24 hours! And a cracked screen voids the warranty.


Dropped my phone from waist hieght and smashed the screen. I feel it landed face down and therefore smashed. Have dropped it before and this has not happened.

jonathan johns

cant find a belt pouch anywhere to fit it. telstra says “tough” i think i will just repair my motorola defy….

Thai Luan Nguyen

Waterproof my foot!!! I went to the beach and had it in the pocket of my shorts, didn’t even go for a swim, just stood and wade in the water but enough to get the shorts wet, anyways the phone seems to work but when I went to take a video there’s no sound in the playback… it was completely mute! Also when I made a phone call the other person can’t hear me, tried everything and finally the other side can hear me only if I turn on speaker phone function… WTF??? Why say it’s waterproof when it’s not???… Read more »


mine is 2 days old and the blue tick is rubbish. In the house the old Motorola defy had 4 bars ( service) while this thing has none…have to go outside to get a signal. And keeps trying to find 4G which is non existent in hervey bay. Can connect to motorobo even tho it tries to identify the phone manufacturer. Battery life seems good but seriously doubt the blue tick specification.


We have travelled all over Australia and have had more coverage than average. Very pleased with the blue tick


I will tell you one thing for sure, the camera is rubbish, in particular low light or in an auditorium. As much a I thought Dave is ideal for the main reason I purchased it, that being rugged and waterproof, I could have thought a decent camera would have been in there as well. The camera technology harks back a good 7 years or more in regards to level of the technology. It has become evident to me that a camera is important too as I never have my traditional camera handy anymore. The times you see something and want… Read more »


Had Dave as a mate for a couple of days now and am quite impress with service and useability. Hope it lasts longer than my useless Motorola Defy


Other than being a Blue Tick phone do we know how it compares in marginal reception areas without an external antenna? Is it any better than an I Phone 4S ?

Phillip McIntosh

It’s the question that I and many others ask. Yes, it has a blue tick and an external aerial connector but the big question is how it compares in marginal reception areas.


Being in a marginal area I updated to a Dave because I couldn’t get decent reception. No need to us an external antenna in this area of limited towers

Phillip McIntosh

Yes Ann, this whole blue tick thing is rather vague when it comes to the simple question of which mobiles work best in marginal areas. For this reason I decided to go with a blue tick “cheapie” by buying HTC desire 510. Only $189 and no more drop outs!


Sadly my phone knowledge has not progressed to far from my trusty nokia 5110, but time has come for me to update. As someone travelling around in the fruit picking game, i’ve had to use two phones to keep reception, one on optus and the other on telstra, Seems the best way to stay connected? so have sussed out this dave for the telstra and thinking to get something higher up to use on my optus $2 days plan? Just glad i found this site,valuable info thanks, but is it worthwhile getting the newer ‘Dave’ or just going with the… Read more »

John Thompson

Not as tough as it looks this one…looks like a cheap light weight housing and the screen goes all the way to the edge. I asked the salesman if it could handle a drop on concrete – he backed off real fast and said “no guarantees”. I just wish phone companies would stop calling waterproof phones rugged. This “rugged” phone still needs a case – good luck finding one for a ZTE.


Yes Last Month Telstra sold me the ZTE T82’t buy a case anywhere in the world…I rang Telstra and a Fantastic Girl Told me they would Change it for the New DAVE..FREE I sent my Easytouch back and will recieve my New Dave..The Dave is for The MAN ON THE LAND.THANK YOU TELSTRA..


Release it in the range of colours the Telstra logo is in, and you’d have a ruggedized fashion phone. Pink-purple is the one I’d grab.

Daniel Tyson

I love this plan!!


I have prices for you.
The phone is free on any plan from $60 and above.
Outright it is $360.
Thats a good deal. Although not a high spec phone, its quite acceptable, and as its the best phone on the market with an external antenna and an IP67 rating. Well worth it.


Impressive. Also this now makes sense why Telstra had discounted the T81 Frontier to $149 and set it as EOL.
Just for a heads up, no review site or information site bothers to mention. But the ZTE phones for Telstra, all have External Antenna plugs on them. So if you have an old Nokia car kit or similar, with an external antenna, this phone is ideal. Good for country driving.