16 May 2011
By Michael Lewis

Test driving the Telstra Tough 2


Back in December 2009, I wrote about the Telstra Tough™ (T90) – a ruggedised handset designed by Telstra and ZTE and built, as its name suggested, Tough.

Just over 15 months later, I was excited to test drive the latest Tough family member- the Telstra Tough™ 2 (T54)

Do you have to be a “tradie” to use this phone? Definitely not!

Telstra Tough 2
If you lead an active lifestyle, love the outdoors, want to take your phone camping, fishing or cycling, etc, then the Telstra Tough™ 2 is going to be high on your list of must-have phones.

With its IP54 rating, the T54 is water, dust and shock resistant.  While it’s  not designed to go swimming with you (this is definitely not a good idea for ANY phone or electrical device), the Telstra Tough™ 2 will not resemble the Wicked Witch from Oz and die when it gets splashed. The Telstra Tough™ 2 has a 2.4” Gorilla Glass  covered screen ensuring your phone’s display will live up to its “Tough” name. Gone are the days when a strategically placed scratch on your phone’s screen will haunt you for the life of your contract. Gorilla Glass is used on televisions, computers, smartphones and tablets.

The Telstra Tough™ 2 comes with more memory than its predecessor, now expandable to 16GB through the use of a MicroSD card – more than enough to store photos taken with the 3 megapixel camera.

As you would expect, the Telstra Tough™ 2 carries the Telstra Blue Tick – ensuring you will get great coverage from the Telstra Next G® network – no matter if you are in the city or out and about doing the things you want to do.

If you have been using the Telstra Tough™ (T90), the Telstra Explorer T165+ or the T165i Country Phone, and are ready to upgrade to the Telstra Tough™ 2, you will be pleased to know that you can use their existing in-car kit – all you need to do is change the cradle. The Bluetooth box and other parts are compatible with the new phone. As the Telstra Tough™ 2 has an external antenna port, you can also add an optional external antenna to the car kit to give you that extra coverage when driving.

To further assist your active lifestyle or fill in the hours on the job, the Telstra Tough™ 2 also comes with an FM Radio, GPS and something I find very useful in a noisy environment – a speakerphone that really gives clear sound.

The Telstra Tough™ 2 is exclusive to Telstra, and is available on a range of Post-Paid plans now.

For those of you wanting to purchase it on Pre-Paid – a network locked version will be available from 17 May for $299.

Telstra Tough™ 2 Features


UMTS: 850/1900/2100mHz
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900mHz


3.6 Mbps peak downlink rating. Actual speeds are less. (typical speeds of 550kbps –1.5Mbps)^


118mm x 53.5mm x 16mm




2.4” QVGA Colour Display

Talk Time

Up to 150 mins

Standby Time

Up to 250 hours

Additional Features

3 Megapixel Camera
Rated IP54 for water and dust protection
Shock Resistant
Scratch Resistant Display
Semi Transparent display for enhanced viewing in sunlight
Big buttons for easy dialling
Expandable memory up to 16GB
FM Radio
Blue Tick – recommended for Rural handheld network coverage

Related links:


Posts: 87


  1. Frustrated says:

    I have a Telstra Tough 2 T54 mobile phone and have just got a plan with some data in it.
    I have just wasted 3 hours on the phone with Telstra technical support trying to find out how you get to a browser screen on the internet to be able to type in a URL address to look up things on the internet.
    Guess what Telstra cant tell me so they have refered me to the phone manufacturer who is closed till tomorrow.
    Can anyone help?

    • karl says:

      I agree. Telstra is no help at all. all I wanted is a full instruction manual for what seems to be an almost impossible phone to use…. I too was put on hold for 2 hrs and, eventually got the typical Telstra run around. I can’t get the manufacturer or Telstra to download any form of instructions… good on ya Telstra.. another rip off from a service provider that.s got this country sewn up. we pay your wages. isn’t it about time you work for us?????? try another phone..

    • I cannot understand your problem.
      Hit the big pond button on the right hand side.
      Scroll down,,,,,lots,,,,,,,BINGO!

  2. sue says:

    how do you open the phone recharger on the side of the phone ??

    • Peter Kojak says:

      Sue, there is a little panel on the left of the phone (has a usb symbol on it). It flips down from the top by putting your finger nail in the gap. I have had 2 frustrated friends ask me,only to find that they have tried to open the camera button on the other side.

  3. Aslam says:

    How do you set up voice tags on the T54?

  4. Merv says:

    sometimes the phone will not transmitt DTMF tones to operate some remote phone menus

  5. Peter Kojak says:

    I have a tough2,7 months old. lately I have noticed that the charge is not holding. When new I only needed to charge every third day. I never turn the phone off and Blue tooth on.
    Now the phone goes dead after 9hrs even with Blue tooth off??
    Yes it did go through the washing machine (see previous comment’s) but that was 4 days after I bought it and has been going no problem until now.
    Has anyone else had charging problems?
    It is not the charger,that has been checked. I have no problem buying a new Batt as they are only about $23.00 but 9month’s for it to go Plrrrrrrrrrrrrrb?

  6. Keith Ogden says:

    My tough phone 2 no longer logs call list. Can anyone help?

  7. neil says:

    Can you please advise how I can get photos from this phone into my pc WITHOUT using the Joinme process.
    When Joinme is used the photos are so poor / pixelated they are useless for my customers.


  8. Justin says:

    Hi there my name is Justin
    Is there a way of emailing or saving some how my SMS messages in my phone. please assist me as I need to keep these messages

  9. Tamara Brown says:

    Do not buy these phones. Got two on a plan when we renewed our business mobiles under a year ago. Both are useless and Telstra will not warranty. Phone do not hold charge for more than a few hours despite being only used for limited calls and no internet or bluetooth activity. One of the phones has lost all its call history and does not even record missed calls. I will look at the link provided for earlier but still a pain in the butt. Anyway I don’t recommend this phone.

    • Allan says:

      I am on my third Telstra Tough phone; current phone is a T54. I upgrade my phone every two years and have never had any problems with them. I live 100 kms north of Bendigo, always have excellent reception indoors,outdoors and in vechicles with Bluetooth; travel to N.Z. regularly and have no problems over there. Best phone I have ever had and highly recommend them.

  10. Stan Hessey says:

    How to open the charging slot. It is very difficult. SJ

  11. Renata Fabisiak says:

    Is there a way to save your Messages to a computer?

  12. Ken Matts says:

    When I make a call, the listener can barely hear me. I have switched the phone off and back on again, restored setting but no difference.
    There is no microphone setting that I can find. Can you help me?

  13. malcolm says:

    All incoming call show as ‘Unknown Number’ even the numbers I have saved in the Contacts???
    But Recieved text messages show Names.

Leave a Comment

Heads up! You are attempting to upload an invalid image. If saved, this image will not display with your comment.