If you buy a Hummer, you may want this phone

by Volker Weber

sonim xp1Not only does it look like a yellow H3, it's also about as stupid. My previous definition of a dumb phone was the Moto RAZR, but the Sonim beats it hands down. It's basically the opposite of an iPhone.

But let's start with the good news. You can abuse the phone anyway you want with the notable exception of dropping it into water. It's not waterproof, but pretty much splashproof. I am going to take it into the shower and make a phone call, as recommended in the handy test kit. I tried a few simple things like throwing it as far as I can, rinsing it with tap water, dropping it down the stairs, stepping on it. Not a scratch.

The bad news is that the software looks about ten years old. The phone ringer is not loud enough, the vibrating alarm is a joke, and the sound quality of the speaker is lousy. There is practically no way to import phone numbers, other than copying from the SIM. Sending a single vCard over Bluetooth renders a "file to large" or a "parser error" message.

The Mac recognizes the phone as "Philips 9@9R GSM Mobile Phone" when connected through USB. Bluetooth supports the profiles HSP Headset, HFP Handsfree, OPP Object Push, DUN Dial-Up Network and SPP Service Port Profile. There is no camera, no media player, nothingham.

You can take the phone to the beach, but you can't check the weather, and you won't have a camera when your dream babe comes along. And if you drop it in the water, chances are it dies.

In summary, much like the Hummer, mileage is terrible and in theory you can do things with it, that you never do anyway.


Deep freeze

Ben Rose, 2008-04-22

Thanks for the comments about our xp1 toughphone. our goal was / is to make a phone that is exactly the opposite of the iphone, a phone that you use for a phone. in fact, we're working to make the phone simplier and more ruggeded. We're proud to tailor the phone for folks that want to use a phone that will work all the time. btw, the phone is waterproof, just not yet submersible, but wait and see :-)

Bob Plaschke, CEO Sonim Technologies, 2008-04-22

Ben, the phone is specified for minus 20. That is as low as I can get in my freezer.

Volker Weber, 2008-04-22

Bob, the phone would not be any less tough if you could move some data in and out. Strong does not have to mean stupid.

Volker Weber, 2008-04-22

You found a phone which does nothing else than just phoning? No camera, no mp3-player, no this and no that? /me wants one. Now. Where can i get one?

As long as there is no phone that can make pizza i want a phone that is just a phone.

Ralf Stellmacher, 2008-04-22

In Germany? You can get one here. That would be 309 Eur plus 19% MWSt. Your local supermarket may have simple unlocked Nokia phones for about a tenth of that price. You can't take those into the shower. And they not be dumb enough. :-)

Volker Weber, 2008-04-22

If it's vertified for it, then drop the wet phonein the deep freeze for a few hours and then drop it from an upstairs window :)

Ben Rose, 2008-04-22

I second @Ben's idea. That would make for a nice movie, too, put some T2 soundtrack on it.

Sebstian Keil, 2008-04-22

Sonim have loads of videos where people are abusing the phone in any possible way, including shooting it. But that would be missing the point. In the end this is just a phone. You may drop it accidentally, but you won't use it as a hammer. It may have to survive loads of dirt, but you don't throw it in a blender. You may be sitting on it or even stepping on it, but it won't necessarily be run over with a car on a regular basis.

However, chances are that you have some phone numbers on your old mobile phone or your PC and you would really like to have them on the new one. And if those phone numbers are not on your SIM, you are lost.

Volker Weber, 2008-04-22


Love it.

Kieren Johnson, 2008-04-22

Will it blend?

Kristof Doffing, 2008-04-22

Ben and Seb(a)stian, when dropping the phone some of the ice came off.

Volker Weber, 2008-04-22

Volker, loosen up ;)

Some people want smart phone applications they never need, some want ruggedness they never need. I welcome the diversity.

Timo Stamm, 2008-04-22

@Bob: Make it loud. Make it cheap. Sell it via 'Bild' here in Germany - and you will be THE phone for german construction site workers. :)

Steffen Pelz, 2008-04-23

If OBI ever wanted to go MVNO, this would be the hardware to go with it. It´s a professional phone (just not our profession, that is).

Armin Roth, 2008-04-24

Go to Norma
get one without the bright yellow :
Norma Angebote

I think you can take this in the shower too :-) It says nothing about the deep freeze part, but with global worming.......

Stefan Beermann, 2008-04-25

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