+ Saturday August 24th, 2019

Telstra is boosting its ‘tough’ range of devices with a mashup of the more classic candybar style phone powered by the modern Android OS, which is also tough and ready for the rough and tumble of everyday life.

The Telstra Tough Max 5 – boy, that’s a mouthful – is a re-badged ZTE T57 phone but the main interest here is that the device is housed into a familiar candybar style housing for the retro loving mobile users out there. The phone may look classic in style, but its powered by Android, and in a nod to the touch-based interface, it includes a 2.8″ touchscreen to help you navigate the interface.

So lets see what you get for hard earned dollars:

Key Specifications:Telstra Tough 5
Release dateApril 2018
Screen size2.8-inch
Screen technologyTFT-LCD
Resolution480 x 320
Rear camera8MP
Front camera2MP
Core configQuad-Core 1.1GHz
MicroSDYes, up to 128GB
Battery3,200 mAh
Battery removable
Headphone Port
Headphone Location
Speaker Configuration
Android OSAndroid 7.1.2 (Nougat)
Vendor skin
Dimensions139.2 x 62.75 x 18.2mm

We’re sure whether this device will ever see an update past Android 7.1.2 (Nougat), and given that ZTE generally haven’t updated their Telstra branded devices past their launch OS firmware, we kinda doubt it.

The Telstra Tough 5 is available on selected plans starting from $64 a month on the small contract plan for 24 months with 2GB data through to the Premium Plan with 120GB and includes 3 months basic access to Foxtel Now again on a 24 month contract. You can click this link to see the plans available for the Telstra Tough 5.

Are you in the market for a basic phone that is tough, or what you think of the Tough 5 overall, let us know your thoughts below.

Source: Telstra - Tough 5 Plans.
Thanks: ZTE Mobile Australia - Telstra/T57.

Alex Dennis   Associate


By day, Alex works within the Industrial Relations field/occupation but by night and in his spare down time he searches the net for anything and everything relating to Android and Chrome related products and news.

Other various interests Alex has include, Accessible transport for people with disabilities along with LGBTIQ and Health related fields and interests for again for people with disabilities.

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Tibb So
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Tibb So

$64 with 2gb a month for a phone that is probably worth $40 outright somewhere before Telstra gimps it. Trust Telstra to rort prices. Also, they think adding Foxtel to overpriced phone plans is a bonus worth having, it most definitely is not.


There is a good chance this phone may be banned. Dealing with a company that violates the trading ban on Iran etc by the US is also applicable here if you want to do business in the states. As such I would not be surprised to see this phone dissapear as Telstra is forced to cut ties to ZTE

Daniel Tyson

ZTE has simply being stopped from purchasing goods from the US. It is not a mandate for companies worldwide to stop doing business with them. They can definitely no longer use Qualcomm processors going forward (at least for 7 years) – that said, there’s nothing to stop them using a stockpile of Qualcomm processors they’ve already purchased in bulk. If however, ZTE decided to change the Qualcomm processor to Mediatek on this phone – or all their other Telstra branded phones there is no reason for them to cut ties. We’re yet to have it spelled out if this means… Read more »

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