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Talking Tough: First look at the Telstra Tough T90

Tech and Innovation

Posted on December 3, 2009

3 min read

Wanted:

A phone that is easy to use, must work equally well in both remote areas of the country and the city, be built to last, and cope with whatever the Australian elements have to offer.

Compromised features NOT welcome.

Car kit optional, but desired.

If this is you… CALL ME… PLEASE.

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Ok, maybe the brief was not that simple, but I do know the amount of work the product teams at Telstra and ZTE put in to design the new Telstra Tough T90.

This is a truly ruggedized handset featuring big buttons, an enhanced screen that copes well in both sun and shade, and actually looks the part – without resembling a Transformer. Being water and dust resistant, the T90 is perfect if you lead an active lifestyle, and its anti-shock casing protects it from the usual drops and bumps that might render another phone useless.

Road test:

Using the T90 today, I was really excited to see that this phone was not lacking in power or features. The speakerphone was clear – I could hear and be heard clearly. The T90 can provide audible key tones when making a call – a nice feature that will appeal to some users.

Mobile Scan Codes, BigPond TV and 31 Mobile Foxtel from Telstra channels all worked well.

A great feature on this phone is the Help File. Accessed via the My Place screen, you can find out information on Making Calls, Personalise Your Phone, Messages, Photos/Videos, Use With Hearing Aides.

The User Guide is well set out – and I found the Menu Quick Reference Guide a handy checklist when evaluating the T90.

Physical Design:

From the outset let me state that I do drop phones. Sometimes intentionally, mostly not. The Tough T90 is a serial phone dropper’s delight. Designed for tough workplaces or your weekend adventures, it is rated IP54 for water and dust protection, and drop tested for shock resistant reliability. With all that – it still only weighs 130grams. The screw at the base of the back cover adds that extra peace of mind that it really is tightly sealed when closed.

The direct connect RF port at the back of the handset is a fairly rare sight these days. Its good to see the design team took on board consumer needs for a car kit. With a Blue Tick rating from Telstra, the Tough T90 will be popular with rural customers, and the soon to be available in-car kit is keenly anticipated.

The FM Radio, MP3 player , 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, expandable memory (up to 8GB) and A-GPS round out the Tough T90 as feature rich, yet affordable handset.

Exclusive to Telstra, the Tough T90 is a refreshing experience – whether your needs are work or play.

Telstra T90

Specifications
Network UMTS 850/1900/2100MHz
GSM: 850/1800/1900 MHz
HSDPA 3.6Mbps peak downlink rating (Typical speeds 550kbps – 1.5Mbps)
Dimensions 115 x 51.5 x 18.6mm
Weight 130g
Talk Time Up to 180 minutes
Standby Time Up to 200 hours
In Box Handset, Battery (1000mAh), AC Charger, USB data cable, Stereo PHF, User manual and software
Coverage Rating Blue Tick