Review: Sonim XP5

I've been using my XP5 a little over the last few months and I wrote a small review of it. The phone is, as I wanted, a total brick. Here's a rather rigorous test of it's toughness!

The XP5 is an 3G AT&T phone (no VoLTE on the ATT XP5, unlike the VZW XP5). Mine uses FreeUp's 'Free' plan (which is more than enough for me). The call/voice quality is fine.

However, there is one thing that bug me a lot! And that is the small size of the 'enter' button. Here's a picture of the XP5 (real size):

I don't have fat fingers, but I don't have skinny fingers either. I have normal fingers. But due to the small size of the 'enter' button, every time you press the 'enter' button, half or more of the times you do so, you first press one of the four navigational numbers too. So, you have to go back and try again.

Before the XP5, I used a Kyocera DuraXT. Here's a picture of the DuraXT (real size):

The 'enter' button isn't small so there's no accidental pressing of the navigation buttons on the DuraXT.

One more thing. The battery life on my XP5 isn't good. I bought a used XP5 on Ebay. The XP5 specs say its battery has a 3180 mAh capacity. The DuraXT specs say its battery has a 1360 mAh capacity. But even though the DuraXT never shuts down, is used more, and has multiple daily alarms it lasts much more (~2 weeks) than the XP5 (3-4 days). So, I use 'Airplane mode' or shut down the XP5 when I don't use it. If I use 'Airplane mode' the battery doesn't drain at all. But 'Airplane mode' means no phone calls. So, I stop I stop 'Airplane mode' to make a call. Does

'Airplane mode' on = no battery drain
'Airplane mode' off = a lot battery drain

tell you, that the battery is bad or that the phone uses the battery a lot?

My first thought is that the difference in battery life was probably the operating system. The Dura runs a java-based OS, while the Sonim is Android. (Although older 4.4.)

I'm not sure that explains your results with airplane mode, though. Turning off the radios definitely will extend battery life-- perhaps the SONIM struggles more to maintain contact with towers.

Although you don't intentionally have data on your plan, have you tried turning off cellular data (and confirming that bluetooth is off) instead of the more aggressive airplane mode?

And thanks very much for the review! I've been hoping to see this.
Do you have any thoughts about call quality comparison, or speaker volume? I know the Dura series was considered very good in those aspects.

I turned 'Airplane Mode' off, 'Data' off, and 'Bluetooth' off. Turning those on and off is rather easy. You press the 'Option' button on the main screen and go to 'Quick settings.' So far (~30 minutes) the battery hasn't been drained at all.

The voice quality of the XP5 is fine. For me the voice quality of both my DuraXTs (both first on RingPlus and now on Tello) isn't as good. I'd say worse than the voice quality of my AT&T landline. I'm not familiar with the speaker voice quality. I'll take a look!

PS. No problem! Thanks for you and everyone here for your help on the various technology subjects!

PS2. Yes, the DuraXTs run BrewMP 3.4.

Is there anything precluding continued usage of the DuraXT?

If Tello hadn't changed its 'terms of use' the answer would be 'no'. But now, since I use the cell phone so little (~2 minutes a month!), I'm very hesitant to buy more credit on Tello. If Tello enforces their 'new order every 90 days' rule I'd be screwed. So, I bought a used XP5 and signed up for FreeUp's 'Free' plan just before FreeUp discontinued the 'Free' plan. If FreeUp's 'Free' plan goes away, I think I'll go with TruPhone.

Speaker volume is fine. There is a button on the top of the phone:

that activates the loudspeaker. When you make/receive a call, the loudspeaker is off and a blue LED on it is on. If you press the button, the loudspeaker is activated and the blue LED turns off. I thought when the loudspeaker comes on, so will the light. Anyway. The loudspeaker is pretty loud though. The XP5 manual says:

About the battery: after day 1 with wifi off, bluetooth off, data off, airplane mode off, while the phone was on all the time, the battery lost only 1%. I was stunned! On day 2 though it lost 15% (from 40% to 25%). I charged it fully and will try with the same settings again.

After charging the phone fully while the phone was on all the time, with wifi off, bluetooth off, data off, airplane mode off, the battery lost 6% on day 1, 14% on day 2, and 6% again on day 3. So, a decrease in battery use, but a smaller decrease than when 'airplane mode' is on.

If I understand correctly, in what I did only wifi is off, but in airplane mode both wifi and cellurar communication are off, hence the bigger battery savings?