Telstra ZTE Dave 4G
The Telstra Dave, which launched on Australias largest mobile network last month last month, is a ruggedised beast built by ZTE. Telstra has obviously seen the need for a ruggedised phone in their range, carrying the Xperia Z and Z1 and now the lower end ‘Dave’.

In a survey which Telstra commissioned, which interviewed over 1,000 people, they found some interesting statistics regarding how many people damage or break their phones and also found some interesting ways in which they break them :

  • 58% of people have damaged or completely broken a mobile phone.
  • 79% of offenders do so by dropping it, with 23% dropping it into water.
  • 9% of damaged phones were done so by having it fall in the toilet.
  • Other responses included having it stepped on by a camel on holiday and getting raw egg in the charger socket while more popular responses included phones being driven over, left on the roof of cars, stepped on, sat on, and chewed by family pets.

This is obviously whrere Dave comes in. Telstra’s Director of Device Management Andrew Volard says that

We’re an Australian company with Australian customers and we wanted to give them a phone designed to handle the tough Aussie conditions.

Everyone knows a Dave and we think this phone represents the Aussie persona. The Dave is more board shorts than board room, more tradie than stock trader. And Dave is built to survive the Australian conditions, no matter if that means the beach, the bush, the building site or the backyard.

It is water proof to one metre for up to 30 minutes, dust resistant, has scratch resistant glass and a shock resistant casing to protect from impact. Importantly, it’s had a really good response from customers and sales have been really positive.

Dave is IP67 certified meaning it’s impervious to dust penetration and water resistant to a depth of about 1m, with the addition of the shock resistant casing, it seems that Telstra are pretty confident in the way that it can handle anything the environment can throw at it and this includes the Mother of all Obstacle Courses – Tough Mudder!!

It’s interesting to note, that we did approach a number of companies regarding doing this exact experiment with their ‘life-proof’ phones for Tough Mudder earlier in the year, but were unable to find any takers, so kudos to Telstra for actually testing this out in full.

The Telstra Dave is a ZTE built phone, specifically the ZTE T83, spec wise it contains :

  • 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

You can check out the Telstra Dave in-store at any Telstra outlet or online on the Telstra Website where the phone is available on both Personal and Business Plans.

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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… WTH??? Why say it’s waterproof when it’s not???… Read more »


Still disappointed that this runs a old version of android that will never be updated by zte or Telstra


Depending on outright pricing I may pick one up next week.
I need a decent phone that can take a bashing and not have a premium price tag.
A tough case is useless if you drop you phone either in a 20m tank of mud or a crusher.
Sadly I have seen both just last week.


$360 is the outright price for this phone

Stephen Crisafulli

Water proof phones are cool, but not at the expense of features, The Sonys are good, this ZTE thing look terrible, jut put a big rubber case eg otterbox on any High end phone and keep out of the mud. See how this ZTE thig runns when its syncing 2 full email accounts and contact lists running dopbox hangounds facebook chat, then compare it to a Neuxs 5.