Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Telstra Tough 3

Telstra toughens up the mid-range with Tough Max 3

Phones with glass backs may look pretty, but they can also shatter when dropped. Not Telstra’s latest, though, which is built to survive a little more rough and tumble.

Even though phone makers often have the best intentions, one of the downsides of releasing a phone with a glass back is that glass breaks. Drop a phone with a glass front and glass back — one of those neat wraparound designs — and you not only have a risk that you might end up with a broken screen, but also a broken back.

Broken glass isn’t particularly a nice thing to carry around, and depending on the type of glass it is, can leave your fingers with the odd abrasion, so if you’re in a line of work where dropping a phone is a bit of a regular thing, you may want to consider either a case with a heightened level of drop resistance, or even a phone. While the former is fairly easy to come across, the latter is not, and you might be looking for a while until you come across something that can survive.

Telstra, however, has offered something in that department for some time, but it hasn’t seen an update in a good four years or so.

Yet in 2020, Telstra is giving its Tough Max range the once over, updating the hardware yet keeping that durable design in place, launching the Tough Max 3.

The new phone is more than a simple refresh of the old Tough Max 2, keeping the reinforced body so that it’s still durable, supporting an IP68 water and dust resistance, making it capable of surviving an encounter with water down to 1.5 metres.

There’s an upgrade to the battery, too, jumping from 3000mAh to 3920mAh, while the port is now a more standard Type C USB, and you’ll find a fingerprint scanner alongside facial recognition, plus support for Google Pay over Near-Field Communication.

Primarily focused on folks who are hard on their phones, tradies and farmers are who Telstra is targeting with this $500 mid-range phone, but really it could be anyone, as Telstra has sold over 200,000 rugged phones in the past four years. That might be you, or it might even be a family member prone to fumbling a phone.

It’s also Blue Tick certified, meaning it’s good to go in rural Australia, though like other Telstra-branded phones, this one will be locked to Telstra. Granted, you’d need Telstra to make use of the Blue Tick certification, but if you’re with Vodafone or Optus — or any other telco — you’ll want to make the jump if the ruggedised Telstra Tough Max 3 is of interest, which is also available now outright for $499 or on plans.

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