The box of the Sonim XP1 is nothing spectacular - we were a bit disappointed as we expected some impressive heavy duty box to go along with the handset reputation. The retail package contents are as scarce and unassuming as the handset itself.
A charger and a plastic belt clip is all you get - there's not even a headset to go along for hands-free usage.
Sonim XP1 measures the respectable 114 x 50 x 22 mm and weighs 130.3 grams. Its casing is made of plastic and hardened rubber with no metal elements whatsoever. We've seen the all black and black-on-yellow variety, but Sonim offers customizable colors on large orders so you can pretty much have it in your construction company signature colors (just joking, aye?).
Designwise, the black Sonim XP1 can easily go unnoticed and that makes things all the sweeter. Unimposing, but utterly reliable: that must be music to the ears of enough people out there. And no, we wouldn't call it ugly either, considering what it's meant for. You'll do best to take a look at the photos and judge for yourselves.
The top of the front panel of XP1 houses the protected earpiece. Right under it is the 65K-color scratch-resistant display of 128 x 160 pixel resolution and a 1.77" diagonal. Legibility suffers under direct sunlight, but indoors is quite OK. Anyway, that's not the biggest of issues given that browsing the phonebook and reading texts is pretty much all you need it for.
Still, we guess Sonim should have increased the screen font a bit - that way they could have snatched a second target group too - that of the elderly DIY fixers that never miss a chance to step on their phone while trimming their latest bird house project (that's enough now, we guess you should have got the joke by now).
All you get at the top of the handset is a wide lanyard eyelet.
The right side of XP1 is pretty neat, with the external antenna connector only sealed under a rubber cap. The left side features the PTT combo with volume controls and transmit key.
There are several apertures at the bottom of the handset. The miniUSB port is here, hidden under a tough rubber lid. Next to it is the 2.5mm audio jack.
We expected the keys on the keypad to be quite rigid but were surprised to find them quite responsive. They are officially stated to withstand 500.000 pushes, good luck trying to text that keypad off! The keypad backlighting is a pleasing blue color but not that even.
Rearside of Sonim XP1 are the loudspeaker grill and the battery cover with its special lock, which makes sure an accidental drop won't pop it off. As you will se later on, the loudspeaker is capable of quite a feats (meaning you will be able to hear your calls even with a stone crusher working by).
The back panel is released by a half turn of the latch at the bottom. It's easier said than done though and some kind of tool will definitely come in handy. You have to be very determined to remove the tight battery cover. Under it is the powerful 1100 mAh Li-Ion battery and the SIM card slot.
The manufacturer promises up to 200 h of standby time and up to 5 h of talk time. That doesn't sound much, but our Sonim XP1 worked flawless almost a week on a single charge - so it offers excellent battery life by our standards.
The rubber enhancements and the 22 mm thickness give the Sonim XP1 one of the best grips we've experienced. Handling the phone instills a feeling of trust and reliability. It's only that we couldn't help but wish that the Sonim XP 1 had some other hardware features such as a compass, a light torch or perhaps, even a spirit level - that way you could really put the Sonim XP1 at work.