Tech Solutions

Tough gets mobile: Introducing the Telstra Tough Max™

Jessica Rowe
Culture Journalist

Jessica Rowe is a Melbourne-based writer with a passion for not-for-profits, the digital world and making a difference

Jessica Rowe
Culture Journalist

Jessica Rowe is a Melbourne-based writer with a passion for not-for-profits, the digital world and making a difference

Telstra’s Tough Max blends practicality, toughness and ease of use, making it a solid choice for tradies looking for a phone that can handle the work site.

Every tradesperson has a story about a phone being broken on site, whether it’s been dropped, bashed, or left in the back of the car and had an unfortunate meeting with a sliding toolbox.

Given that connectivity is central to the life of a tradesperson when it comes to managing jobs or sorting out issues, it’s important to have a phone that can handle the rigours of the site. Enter the Tough Max – Telstra’s latest addition to its tough phone family.

We wanted to put it through its paces, so we gave one to a Melbourne electrician for a week to see how it fared. 

Telstra Tough Max on construction site

Easy to switch

The first thing that was noticed by our tradie – Alastair Gray – was that despite the Android® operating system, the interface was similar to his previous smartphone.

“The display was actually really similar to my old phone, which meant that I got the hang of it really quickly. Processing was quick, too.  When I was setting it up, I didn’t get any lag or anything, which I’ve seen in other phones.”

The Telstra Tough Max doesn’t have the easily recognised name of bigger manufacturers but its interface is designed to make the switch as easy as possible – meaning you’re productive from the get go.

Go the distance

Given that tradespeople are on the road for long periods of time, having a battery that can last the distance is important. The Tough Max has a 2500 mAH battery that can deliver up to 390 hours (or more than two weeks) in standby mode and up to 12 hours of talk time. For Alastair, the battery stacked up.

“For the first part of the week, I wanted to see how long the battery lasted so I went until it turned itself off. I ended up getting three days out of it before it ran out of juice,” says Alastair.

“I think in total, I charged it up three times [throughout the week].”

Big blue tick

“One of the other big things I noticed was that I could get coverage in a few areas I hadn’t had it before.”

The Tough Max is Blue Tick rated, which means it holds a signal longer in low-coverage areas.

“Building sites can be dangerous places, and there isn’t much room for us to make mistakes so having reception is really important, especially if we run into trouble or need critical advice.”

Built tough

The most obvious test for a phone called the Tough Max is how Tough it is. And while the box says it’s ruggerdised, shockproof, waterproof and has Gorilla Glass®, it was important Alistair put it through its paces.

“I dropped it a few times – not from a massive height, but from waist level definitely. There are still no marks on it.

“I also chucked it in water just because I could and it’s still working.”

So after a week on the site, the big question to be asked: Would Alastair recommend it to other tradies?

“As it was new, workmates were asking me about it all week. I genuinely recommended it to them. It definitely did the job.”

If it could handle tools, the Tough Max might give apprentices a run for their money.

Looking for a phone that can handle the rough and tumble of the worksite?

Check out plans with the Telstra Tough Max.

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