Inspecting gadgets

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from the new Sonim armoured phone to the solar powered, Puma-branded touchphone.

Tags: Samsung CorporationUnited Arab Emirates
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Inspecting gadgets Sonim XP3.2 Quest Pro.
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By  Imthishan Giado Published  March 14, 2010 Channel Middle East Logo
Tougher than the average bear

A very long time ago – somewhere around the Mesozoic age – mobile vendors jumped on a bandwagon to build “tough” devices, targeted at ‘extreme’ lifestyle enthusiasts; ie, people you typically find on the sides of billboards snowboarding, skiing or climbing Alpine peaks. The phones were invariably advertised as being toughened up with thicker screens, dust and waterproof cases to protect delicate innards against whatever Mother Nature could throw at them, while shockproof enough to withstand a stamp from an angry rugby player.

Now, I don’t enjoy what anyone would describe as an “active” lifestyle, but I’m ashamed to admit that I bought into the marketing and picked up one. After all, I reasoned, if it could deal with being dropped into the snow, what harm could a few raindrops do? Quite a bit, as it turns out.

While I’m still very sceptical about the supposed toughness of these devices, there’s no denying that Sonim has built up an impressive reputation over the years for rugged devices that are specced at military levels of durability. But the phones themselves remained quite basic devices – until the release of this, the XP3.2 Quest Pro, which brings it bang up to date.

By which I mean, it now features A-GPS to let you figure out exactly how lost you are. For an outdoorsy kind of phone, that actually is a useful addition and one we thought Sonim would have added on earlier. In other respects the handset is largely unchanged, although it now does feature Pilkington’s “Gorilla Glass” for the screen and lens which claims to be even more scratch and shock-proof than earlier versions.

Apparently, Sonim claims the XP3 supports a number of “enterprise applications” such as e-mail. Take our advice – put your Blackberry in a Perspex case and take that on your next camping holiday instead.

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