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JCB TOUGHPHONE (Sonim XP1)

 JCG Toughphone Available now
20th November 2007

This unusual looking handset is the JCB TOUGHPHONE (yes, it really is spelled all in capitals). There are no prizes for guessing what the TOUGHPHONE's main sales proposition is - but in case you haven't guessed it, the clue is in the TOUGHPHONE's name.

The TOUGHPHONE is rated to at least IP52 specifications* which doesn't mean much to us, but it does mean that the handset is very resistant to dust, shock, moisture and impact. The handset should survive being dropped onto a concrete floor while in use, and it can also cope with temperatures ranging from -20 degrees to +40 degrees celsius to. It's pretty clear that the TOUGHPHONE actually is a tough as it looks.

The distributors of the JCB TOUGHPHONE are pitching the handset at trades such as construction, farming, transport and any other application where robustness is useful. It should also survive most outdoor leisure pursuits, or possibly even a trip down to the pub.

 

There's a glare and scratch resistant screen, and the TOUGHPHONE also has a very loud Dual Speaker phone for use in noisy environments, it has a WAP browser and Bluetooth. The standard sales package also includes a USB cable and belt clip. It's a pretty large handset at 113 x 50 x 22mm, mostly down to the chunky design. The TOUGHPHONE isn't all work and no play though - there are some fun JCB style graphics and an exclusive ringtone that sounds like a JCB digger starting up (although this is possibly less useful if you happen to work with diggers!)

 JCB TOUGHPHONE One of the TOUGHPHONE's other strong points is its Push-To-Talk support (PTT or PoC). If you have a tariff that supports it, the TOUGHPHONE can be used as walkie-talkie and it can be integrated with other PTT/PoC solutions.

The JCB TOUGHPHONE is actually manufactured by Sonim Technologies as the Sonim XP1. Sonim aren't some nameless third-tier manufacturer, they are actually specialists in enterprise and industrial communications systems.

On the negative side, the screen is only 128 x 160 pixels in resolution, and the TOUGHPHONE lacks a camera or multimedia capabilities. What you do get though is an extremely rugged and durable handset, backed by a no quibble three year guarantee.

The JCB TOUGHPHONE will be availabe from Phones4U during November (where it is free on a contract of £25/month or more), and also Speedy Hire and Plumb Center stores with other retailers following from February 2008 onwards. We also understand that Vodafone themselves will be carrying their own variant of the Sonim XP1 during 2008. The Sonim XP1 is also currently available SIM free for around £200 / €300.

Note: Sonim (who make the phone) say that it's rated IP52, Data Select (who distribute the phone) say IP54, and the JCB publicity leaflet says IP53. Whichever it is, the rating strictly speaking gives limited dust ingress protection and some protection against water spray.

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JCB TOUGHPHONE at a glance

Available:

Q4 2007

Network:

GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

128x160 pixels, 65k colours

Camera:

No

Size:

Large monoblock
113 x 50 x 22mm / 130 grams approx

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

No

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

No

Battery life:

4 hours talk / 8 days standby

 

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