We’ve covered Sonim’s hardy devices before – bare-basic handsets like the monochrome-screened Sonim XP3 Enduro, which is rated to withstand shock, water immersion in depths of up to one meter, a drop to a concrete surface from a two-meter height, and protection against dust incursion – but they’ve always lacked a little in the modern features.
Sonim’s next device looks to change all that, however. While it’s still a ‘featurephone’ rather than a ‘smartphone,’ the company has at least attempted to add some new features to the platform and bring the device up to date.
The device, dubbed the Sonim XP1300 Core, features IP68 certification – which means that, unlike the company’s prior models, the Sonim XP1300 Core will survive complete immersion in water at depths greater than 1M for long periods of time.
The XP1300 Core keeps the rubberized coating of its predecessors, meaning that it should still feature the same protection against shock and drops that the older models have – and that the keypad will be fully sealed to prevent dust from getting in should you be trying to send an SMS in a sandstorm.
However, it’s under the hood where the changes have taken place. Gone is the monochrome display of older models, replaced instead with a shiny new screen with full-color display. GPRS and EDGE connectivity is included as standard – although, sadly, there’s no mention of 3G or LTE (4G) connectivity on this particular model – and can be taken advantage of thanks to an in-built web browser.
Bluetooth support for both headsets and earphones also makes an appearance, and an integrated media player lets you listen to your tunes in the harshest of climates.
It’s a shame that Sonim couldn’t include 3G or LTE support, but perhaps that’s the significance of the ‘Core’ portion of its name – it would certainly be nice to see an X1300 3G version launched some time early next year, although so far Sonim appears to have no plans to do so. A rugged smartphone, rather than featurephone, would also be welcome – perhaps a waterproof Android handset could be next on Sonim’s list?
According to PortableGear.nl, the handset will be launching early next month – although US launch dates and pricing information has yet to be confirmed by Sonim. With older models fetching around $500 thanks to their robust nature, you’ll likely be paying a premium for the advanced feature set of the Sonim X1300 Core if you’re after a rugged featurephone.