River deep, mountain high
All this adds up to the perfect phone if you find yourself regularly stuck in the back of beyond or on the side of a mountain worrying about being found frozen stiff next spring. It’s equally handy for those who work knee deep in muck and bullets without convenient access to a power point.
Battery removal needs a screwdriver
As phones go, at 185g and 126 x 60 x 25mm the XP is a bit of a lump but the thickness makes for a very secure grip and allows plenty of room for the two rubber flaps that seal the 3.5mm USB/charger and audio jacks. The battery cover is actually screwed in place so you’ll need a flat-head screwdriver to remove it but thankfully Sonim supplies a tool with a keying attachment along with a 3.5mm-to-micro USB adapter and belt clip.
Visually, the keypad and controls look a little cheap but that’s because aesthetics have been sacrificed in the name of easy use with gloves on. All the controls – including the navigation pad – have extremely positive actions and I even managed to use them while wearing ski gloves. The two large side keys – one for the camera and one to open the Java applications menu – are especially easy to use.
The XP comes with a decent 2Mp camera and a very bright LED flash that doubles up as an emergency torch when you give a long press of the camera shutter key. Though the camera has a handy multi-shoot feature there’s no option to shoot video.
Screen visuals are practical rather than eye candy
In order to hear, and be heard, on noisy building sites or in Force 9 gales, you get a 23mm speaker, capable of chucking out 100dB, and active noise cancellation. To test audio quality I made a few calls from the apron of an airport and can confirm that, telephonically, the XP3300 is very impressive – conversation was easily manageable even against the background roar of four Rolls-Royce Trent turbofans.
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If you watch the video the phone works perfectly well when it comes out of the drink, it's the slamming of the handset against the corner of the fish tank that seems to crack the screen.
Erik, the handset is A-GPS equipped but I tested it in a local zero-GSM-reception black spot in the Pennines and still got a position lock in 15 seconds.
dave46 - reception was good everywhere I tried it - not better than my Nokia C1-01 but invariably I had an extra bar compared to my Motorola Defy so the radio stack is good if not exceptional.
As for the BBC's bash-it-against- a-fish-tank test, well, as I said, I'm pretty sure you could break it if you hit it with something hard and sharp enough but you would really need to try. Running it over with a two-tonne people carrier on a gravel drive seemed a more realistic test to me!
You 'fessed up to owning a Previa...you're a brave man.
Thankfully it's mostly out of shot, so I'll be able to keep my breakfast down.
It looks like a Nokia that's been on a steroid binge. For once, I can see the price justification in a phone. I suspect in the wild, you could put it in a sock and club a bear to death with it.
..that's a phone.
As in Crocodile Dundee telling you that in fact, no, that is not a knife you have right there.