Kill my phone: the videos
Last week I took delivery of what Vodafone bills as its “toughest handset”: the Sonim XP3. Then I tried to destroy it.
How tough is the XP3? Vodafone says if an XP3 ($799) breaks “from everyday use” within three years, it’ll replace it free.
California-based Sonim is a tough-phone specialist and, certainly, XP3 doesn’t feel iPhone-delicate and prissy, wrapped as it is chunky, hardened rubber armour, and a battery cover held in place by three flat-head screws.
Sonim claims the 160g, 118.8mm x 56.3mm x 24.6mm XP3 is waterproof to 1m, shock-proof, “impervious to mud” and (slightly less dramatically) dust-proof.
It can also stand temperatures as high as low as -20C and as high as 60C, or survive a 2m fall onto concrete (otherwise this 2.5G/GPRS handset specs are unremarkable, with no camera, and a small, low-rez 128x160 colour screen. You do get Bluetooth, an Opera Mini web browser and some PC sync software, but that’s about it by way of frills. This is a down and dirty phone. See full specs here).
In the videos that follow, I put the XP3’s rugged reputation to the test (apologies for the Wayne’s World production values, mouth-breathing and inappropriate Sopranos T-shirt but it’s Web 2.0, innit?).
Test no. 1: being left out in the rain.
Test no. 2: the coffee dunk. Starring a large, three-shot flat white
from Eiffel in 3 Kings.
Test no. 3: a drop from two meters (known in the industry as One
Standard Reynolds) onto concrete.
Test no 4: Exposure to swine flu (well, I was stupid enough to ask
Keallhauled readers for their suggestions).
Test no. 5: the salamander tank (I know, I know, most NBR readers
don't keep salamanders, but this test serves as a proxy for several
other waterlogged scenarios suggested by readers, including a
cellphone falling out of a top pocket into a baby bath, and a
cellphone being soaked inside a bag by a leaking water bottle).
Test no. 6: hit the surf. This test aimed to simulate another real-life
reader scenario - forgetting your cellphone is in your board shorts'
pocket as you go for a dip. It was too cold, and I'm not about to strip
off on camera - and the Mairangi Bay surf life savers loitering nearby
refused to participate. So I just threw the XP3 into the surf. I immediatly
lost track of it was it was swirled in the surf, and it took 10 minutes of
wading in in my jeans - my good party jeans, mind - before I retreived it.
Test no. 7: cooked. The XP3 is rated to stand temperatures of up to
60 degrees. One real-life scenario suggested by a reader was leaving
your phone by a lit BBQ. But it was raining and dark by the time I
shot this, leading to the aesthetically unpleasant yet technically
trying mince test. Again the XP3 survived to dial directory.
Up to this this point, the XP3 worked fine after every test. Impressive
by any stanards.
Test no. 8: the deep freeze. This is were it all started to go wrong.
The XP3 wouldn't work initially, with the call button sticking. I ran
it under hot water to thaw it, and it did then work - but with reduced
Still the XP3 is hanging in there and working, to a fashion. Think you
can finish it off. Leave a suggestion below for test no. 9.