Sonim XP8 Review – This Device Could Outlive You [2020 Update]

This phone can endure some serious conditions. Whether you are a klutz or an adventurer, you’ve come to the right place. In this Sonim XP8 review, you will find out what exactly the XP8 has to offer and why it is called The Rugged Smartphone.

Let’s Dive Into Details

Because the XP8 can. It has been submerged in about 1-meter deep water and come out intact. This is just one of the conditions it can endure.

Offered by both Verizon and AT&T, this dual SIM phone does not fall short of expectations. Here are the Sonim XP8 specs:

Device Specifications:


 Dimensions

 5.98 x 3.13 x 0.71 in (152 x 79.5 x 18 mm)

 Weight

0.74 lbs (335 g)

 Display

 5.0 in (127 mm) IPS LCD

 Resolution

 1080 x 1920 pixels

 RAM

 4 GB

Internal storage 

 64 GB (expandable)

 Operating System

 Android 8.0 Oreo

 Camera

 12 MP (main), 8 MP (front)

 Battery

4900 Li-ion mAh 

 Audio

 Dual loudspeakers with 100dB+ output, 3 mic with noise cancellation

 Connectivity

 Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, FM radio

Sensors 

 Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Proximity sensor

What Makes It Stand Out?

It is too strong to be a smartphone, at least by current standards (consider how easily an iPhone can break). This device was made to be used by military and emergency workers. That is how the design, especially, the hardware has been constructed.

Design

The XP8 is a bulky device that is 18 mm thick and has a solid material that protects it from various kinds of damage. It has a Power button, volume controllers, and a push-to-talk button on the left side. On the other side, there is a programmable key and a red emergency SOS key. It also has a Sonim SecureAudio connecting port for remote mic and speaker.

There are three physical navigation buttons at the front and the USB Type-C charging port at the bottom has a rubber covering. This is not something you will see in smartphones these days, but it is essential to seal off any entrances for water.

Endurance

The device is meant to resist dust, water, high impact, and high temperatures (up to a certain limit). The following are the endurance ratings this device has:

  • IP-68 and IP-69: This refers to protection against dust and water.
    1. The first digit, 6, is indicative of the level of dust protection – this is the highest level. This means it provides complete protection against dust, tested for about 8 hours’ duration.
    2. The second digits, 8 and 9, refer to protection in liquid. 9 is the highest level of protection possible against water. It means the device can be dunked about 1 meter deep in water and even survive high temperature running water, tested for about 3 minutes.
  • MIL 810G: This rating is for military-grade equipment. This means that the device has passed endurance tests in conditions that military personnel is generally expected to encounter in their service.
  • Non-incendive Class I, II, and III div 2: These ratings refer to hazardous environment locations. Class I refers to locations where flammable gases may be present and class II defines locations where combustible dust may be present. Class III refers to locations where easily ignitable materials are stored or manufactured.

Battery

Surprise, surprise – the Sonim XP8 battery is removable. Bet you didn’t expect that, did you? As great as that might sound, it is doubtful you will want to replace it in the first place. The 4900 mAh battery has a standby time of up to 720 hours. It supports quick charging and can give you up to 30 hours of talk time on a single charge.

Sonim XP8 wireless charging does not work with all third-party chargers. However, the AdvanceTec Desktop charger is just as sturdy as the phone and has been specifically designed for it.

Sonim XP8

System

Under the hood, there is an octa-core CPU and Snapdragon 630 chipset that makes for a good combination. It currently runs Android 8.0 Oreo, although it may not receive future updates. The 4 GB RAM and 2.2 GHz processor give quite a smooth performance.

Other features

By now you know this device’s forte. On top of that, it does have some regular features like other smartphones:

  • The camera quality is pretty good. There is an LED flash and you can take panorama shots too. Both front and rear cameras can record 1080p videos.
  • It has a high-resolution display that is pretty bright and looks sharp.
  • The audio on the device, without the use of an external speaker, gets loud. This is a phone made for the outdoors.

Is it all that great though?

Most of its features meet the current standards and are pretty good for a daily driver. However, like every great gadget, this one has its good and bad.

Pros:

  • It is very strong. The endurance ratings speak for themselves.
  • Despite have a thick outer layer, it is pretty light.
  • The device can very comfortably be used with gloves as well as with wet fingers.
  • You can use several accessories with it.
  • The battery is long, which is a great plus point.
  • Dual SIM, expandable storage – all advantageous if you are a frequent traveler.
  • Sonim provides a 3-year warranty that they take very seriously. You can rely on them to fix any issue that falls within this warranty.

Cons:

  • As great as it seems in every way, several users have complained of call dropping with this phone.
  • It is quite bulky and not a looker compared to current smartphone models.
  • The price is only reasonable for those who need it – who happen to be in ‘hazardous environments’. If your only problem is dropping the phone, the price is not worth it.

Final Thoughts

The Sonim XP8 is not indestructible and Sonim does not claim it is, either. However, it is meant to survive in difficult situations where other smartphones would have long given up. It is typically suited for professionals who have to encounter hazardous environments but can be a great choice for those who love the outdoors as well – frequent campers, hikers, etc.

This is an admirable innovation in the smartphone industry and is much-needed. It might not be the device for everyone, but if do buy it, you won’t regret your decision.

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