Sonim Force Review


Sonim Force Review by
Sonim Force Review by
Sonim Force Review by

Style and handling summary for Sonim Force review

This solid chunk of a phone feels like it can withstand some rough treatment, with that rubber chassis that should handle any knocks or shocks


User friendliness summary for Sonim Force review

There's not much in the way of features, which makes the phone easy to work. Typing is made reasonably speedy thanks to the well positioned and raised keys.


Feature set summary for Sonim Force review

While it's not a feature phone, the addition of GPS is really useful for a handset made for the outdoors, along with the two-megapixel snapper, Opera Mini web browser and music player


Performance summary for Sonim Force review

This is a truly tough handset - we threw it, hit it and tried to drown it - but it survived.


Battery power summary for Sonim Force review

An amazing talktime of 1,080 minutes and 800 hours standby is exactly what you would hope for from a handset made for the great outdoors.

Sonim Force Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Battery Power
Overall Score grey star


Pros : It stood up to our rough treatment, showing itself to be dust, water, shock and drop-proof.

Cons : It's a brick of a phone, is heavy and somewhat unwieldy. 


Verdict : The Sonim XP3300 Force can certainly stand up to some rough treatment - more than any phone we've seen.

Full Review and Specification for the Sonim Force

Usually when we review phones, we hope that they will be light and pocket-friendly, but when you're reviewing a tough-phone, you really are hoping for something rough, tough and chunky - and the Sonim Force doesn't disappoint. It's a hefty handset that makes a solid thud when you put it down and which you won't forget is in your pocket.


The handset is covered by a rubber coat that is designed to absorb any shocks it might receive. It may not look terribly pretty but it does have a rather rugged charm. And even while it has a rubber chassis, it actually has sharp edges, which adds to its tough appearance. 



Turn over the handset and you'll discover a pair of metallic screws that have to be undone if you want to get to the battery. Along the edges of the phone there are two ports - one for headphones, one for the charger - both of which look as if they are thoroughly sealed, as well as an on/off button for a really bright torch, volume keys and a shortcut key. This will send you to a list of Java apps, along with Opera Mini web browser and any GPS-based programmes. We are happy to see the inclusion of GPS - especially for a handset that has been made to be used outdoors, as it really should have some sort of mapping facility.


There's actually quite a lot of features on the Sonim Force - true they're not of smartphone quality, but even so we were happy to see a two-megapixel snapper, and a music player, which we've never seen before on a phone of this ilk. It's even possible to download a voice record app using the Application Manager - and Sonim says it will be adding more in the future. 


However, these are just a bonus when it comes to the phone's main attractions. What you really want to know is just how tough the Sonim Force is. Well, this is the first Sonim phone to feature a display with Gorilla Glass, measuring 1.5mm thick and promising even more in the way of scratch and shock resistance than its predecessors. Well, we had to try it out didn't we? 


Getting tough

Sonim claims the phone can withstand a two-metre drop onto concrete - and it doesn't only survive it - it sailed through the test - not a mark on it. We repeated the test angling the handset so that it landed in a more awkward way - still no discernible damage. Very impressive.


Next we had some fun stomping on the phone with a flat-heeled shoe. Sure there were a few dirty marks (which were easily wiped off) but nothing more. One of our colleagues was intrigued by the noise we were making, and asked if she could try attacking the phone with her high heels. Again, the Sonim Force survived this stiletto assault.


Okay, now it was time to get serious. We rifled through the tool box for the biggest hammer we could find. We were a bit nervous at this stage, but you know how thorough we are about our phone tests. We had no need to be concerned - we whacked it six times on the screen - not a scratch. We might as well have been jabbing it with a marshmallow. Feeling a tad embarrassed at the lack of damage from our attacks, we tried once more, still left the phone looking pristine, and walked off, feeling a bit less manly.


The wet test

It's not just hammers and stilettos that have no effect on the Sonim Force, though. It is also waterproof - not water resistant, not splashproof - waterproof. It can, apparently, be submerged in water up to two metres deep, but we don't have a pool at 3G towers (unfortunately, must talk to the management about that) so we had to settle for a pint of water for our test. We check the battery cover screws were tight, and that all the ports were sealed and dropped the phone into the water, leaving it there for 30 minutes.


We came back and tried calling the phone - and there it was, a loud ringtone calling out to us - the handset has extra loud ringing tones suitable for use outdoors.


Fall story

By now we were quite bewildered by the toughness of the handset and were wondering what else we could try to see just how tough it was. Then we had it - the five-storey building being built across the street.


Off we went and asked one of the construction workers to do what he could to destroy the phone. His choice? To hurl it (not drop it) off the top of the building. We were sure this would be the end of the Sonim Force - after all, Sonim claims it can only survive a two-metre drop.


We handed over the phone, which was lying on the concrete road after its plummet from five stories. Surely we'd have to consign it to the bin now? Not so. Sure, the body had started to separate around one half and one corner was a little scuffed, but the Gorilla Glass screen was still immaculate and the phone was definitely still working. We were completely stunned by its rough-tough credentials.


The Verdict

So, that's what we think of the Sonim XP3300 Force - it's rough and it's tough. While it does benefit from some welcome additions such as GPS and internet, it's the fact that it's so hard that is its real USP. When the makers gave us the phone to review, they declared it was the toughest phone around. And we can't dispute that - at all.


Sonim Force Specification

Type of phone:

Mobile phone


candy bar


126 x 60 x 25 mm




65,000 colours





Special Camera features:

LED flash

Video recording:


Video playback:


Video calling:


Video streaming:


Music formats played:


3.5mm jack port:


Handsfree speakerphone:


Voice Control:


Voice Dialling:


Call records:




Ringtones customization:


Display description:







Standard color:

Black, Yellow and Black

Launch Status:



Polyphonic, MP3



Operating system:




Announced date:

February 2011

What's in the Box:




International launch date:

March 2011

Battery life when playing multimedia:




FM Radio Description:

FM Radio

Internal memory:


Memory Card Slot:



MMS, Email, SMS

Internet Browser:

XHTML, Opera Mini, WAP 2.0

E-mail client:








Data speed:





1,080 mins


800 hours

Display size:




Audio recording:


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By Miles J Thomas on 03rd May, 2011

Tags: SonimSonim Force

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