AT&T Offering Ruggedized Sonim XP6 Smartphone

The Sonim XP6 is built for tough work environments where water and impacts can be part of the workday. The phone also includes push-to-talk capabilities.

Sonim ruggedized phone

The new ruggedized XP6 Android-powered LTE smartphone from Sonim is now available from AT&T, giving customers another option in the world of ruggedized devices that are built to survive in extremely harsh work environments.

In an announcement on Nov. 21, AT&T said the XP6 will sell for $149.99 under a two-year contract or for $524.99 with no contract. The phone will also be available on AT&T's monthly no-money-down Next payment plans that range from 20 months at $26.25 per month to 30 months for $21.88 per month. Business and government customers can get the new phone for $99.99 with AT&T Enhanced Push-to-Talk (EPTT) under a two-year contract.

The Sonim XP6's 2.64-inch touch-screen display was designed to be clearly viewed outdoors in direct sunlight and can be manipulated by a user wearing work gloves, according to AT&T. In addition, the smartphone also has a numeric keypad and advanced audio capabilities with an extra loud 103db speaker and noise cancellation features for outdoor use.

Also included is a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, up to 8GB of internal storage and a 4,820-mAh battery for long life in the field. The smartphone is 5.39 inches tall, 2.54 inches wide and 0.81 inches thick, while weighing 9.52 ounces.

It meets the MIL-STD 810G certifications for withstanding dust, shock, temperature extremes, humidity and other extreme conditions, and is rated IP68 for water immersion and IP69 for water spray, according to AT&T. The device is a quad-band world phone that can be used anywhere.

"When people talk about working smarter not harder, they think of the person working behind a desk, not the ones delivering a load of concrete or loading cargo on a flight," Tom Burton, the general manager of device maker Sonim, said in a statement. "Together with AT&T, we will change that paradigm so that employees in the field don't have to sacrifice the productivity enhancing services and feature benefits of smartphones due to their geographic location or work function."

The XP6 also has a host of traditional smartphone features, including a 5-megapixel auto-focus rear-facing camera with LED flash and a 4X zoom lens, a music player, email and text messaging capabilities, and calendar and alarm clock functions.

Unique to the XP6 is a built-in FM radio that can be used when equipped with optional wired headphones.

The smartphone runs on Android 4.4 KitKat and comes with an AC charger and a magnetic USB cable. It is backed with a three-year warranty from Sonim.

The market for rugged workplace devices has seen several other recent entrants. Earlier in November, AT&T unveiled the availability of the new Kyocera DuraForce, a waterproof 4G LTE Android smartphone that sells for $389.99 without a contract or for $49.99 with a two-year contract, according to a recent eWEEK report. Like the Sonim XP6, the DuraForce is IP68-certified and complies with Military Standard 810G standards.

In October, Samsung introduced its Galaxy Tab Active, an enterprise-ready tablet that's ruggedized for work outside the office. The Galaxy Tab Active has an 8-inch display, anti-shock protection, IP67-certified water resistance and a replaceable battery so that workers can use it for extended periods even when they don't have access to charging facilities.