Welcome to the Telstra/ZTE T90 mobile phone review.  This is one of the newest models (late 2009) that has been released.  The Telstra/ZTE T90 as you see a is a ruggerized phone meaning it for those who drop phones or like to keep one handy for outdoor activities.  It’s IP54 rated which means its much tougher than your average mobile phone.  The stand out feature is that it is one of the few ruggerised 3G capable phone. Sure its not designed to the extent as the Sonim XP3 for example, which also has GPS but the T90 looks as if it could.

(The new T90 is not a  replacement for the Testra/ZTE F159 since the 159 has A-GPS)

The T90’s construction is solid and the edgy design makes it one of the best looking and practical phones in this category.  Sure the pictures does not reflect the actual physical phone but it is pretty close.   However it is still toy like but may just be a best seller based on this purpose.  It’s a man’s phone!  It is not a small phone but light enough and feels quite sturdy.  Not sure how the screen would stand up to scratches so an additional screen protector is probably essential.  The T90 is better than the F159 in this regard.

The functionality offered by the phone is no different from the other Telstra or re-branded ZTE models so you get all the basics for voice and video calls, texts, music, pictures, contacts, calendar, FM radio and internet.  You have to purchase other apps to get more interesting stuff.  Like the other phones in the Telstra/ZTE product range the web browser is next to useless on all but the Telstra WAP site.

They say the screen can be read in day light but we think it is a tad dim.  The F159 seems to have better go at day light visibility.

Being a dedicated 3G or NextG phone it also has all the GSM and UTMS frequencies. So you should be able to use the phone anywhere in the world.  As a bonus it has better transceiver hardware so it can still pull a signal in areas where a normal mobile phone give up.

All the latest Telstra branded mobile phones are now Windows and MacOS compatible.  However you must install the new ‘JoinME’ application on your PC or Mac before it you can Sync or backup data.  The ‘JoinME’ software is included with the phone and is relatively simple to use.  With the software installed you can also use the phone as a wireless broadband modem but you’d better have a decent data plan for that.


All up the Telstra/ZTE T90 is a perfect phone for outdoors adventure types, in particular trades people.  Although the underlying functionality is identical to most of the other Telstra/ZTE phones available but at least this one has a genuine selling point compared to most.  Unfortunately the outright price is quite high too.


  • Telstra/ZTE T90
  • Features
    IP54 standard compliant shock resistant water and dust protection
  • Network
    Tri-band UMTS 850 / 1900 / 2100 / MHz 3G HSDPA 3.6
    Quad-band GSM 850 / 900/1800 /1900 MHz
  • Design
    Rugged – Standard
    L107 x W47 x D14 mm
    Weight 108 grams
  • Display/s
    Intenal TFT 176 x 220
  • Camera
    Dual cameras
    2MP auto-focus main camera
  • Connectivity
    Bluetooth V1.2 – Supports FTP / HFC / A2DP
  • Memory
    64MB internal memory
    40MB available to user
    Up to 8Gig MicroSD or Trans Flash cards
  • Ring tones
    MP3, MMF, MIDI, Vibration
  • Features
    FM Radio
    MyWords predictive text
    JAVA MIDP 2.0
    Speaker Phone/Hands free
    Customizable backgrounds
    Picture Viewer
    Video calling
    Voice memos
    Calender and organizer
    200Hrs Standby, 3.5 hours Talk Time
  • Package contents
    XP/Vista Compatible PC suite
    Mac OSX Compatible software
    Personal hands free kit
    Travel charger
    USB cable
    User manual
  • Price history
    Approx $xxx
    Available only on a monthly plan.


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