You might not know it, but you've heard about the XP3: It's that phone that's always getting drenched, elephant-smooshed or shot, and surviving. Well, I finally got one, and the timing couldn't be better. XP3, I'm going to eat you.
The Sonim XP3 is by no means a new phone, either as a product or a piece of technology. For the US, though, it's still semi-fresh: It's just been announced on regional carriers around the country, and as of last week you can pick one up unlocked for about $400 at Best Buy.
As you can see, this thing is a brick. It's a heavy, Tonka-yellow slab of plastic and rubber that sometimes makes calls, sends texts and visits a website or two. In a way it's the ultimate dumbphone: It's not annoyingly dumb—it's actually got a decently attractive UI, and it's worlds easier to use than the not-as-tough Casio G'zOne—and the battery life is conversely related to the phone's feature set, just like it should be. (I've been playing with this thing on and off for more than a week, and I still don't need to charge it.) Also, of course, it's tough, like all my favorite dumb people. It's the anti-iPhone, and not necessarily in a bad way.
When I say tough, I don't mean to say this is a phone for people who go through a lot of handsets, or hate that their Pre's backplate keeps getting scratched—this is in a different league, for a different type of human: Do you work on an oil rig? As a stuntman? Underwater, sometimes? Did you sign a 100-page insurance waiver before starting your current job? Have you ever watched a coworker get crushed to death, along with his phone? No?
Ok, but would you like the option to occasionally cook your phone?
Gallery or video, take your pick:
Sonim never claimed this wouldn't kill the phone, and the battery clearly states that it shouldn't be heated past 130 degrees. After a brief speaker fritz that solved itself, though, the XP3 works perfectly.
You can boil it, like pasta, for at least three minutes
It's surprisingly pleasant to use, for what it is
Battery lasts forever
It's not terribly huge, but not thin either
It's fundamentally ridiculous, though necessary for a select group of people
No 3G, or major carriers (yet)
Extremely hard to chew, even harder to pass
Taste Test is our weeklong tribute to the leaps that occur when technology meets cuisine, spanning everything from the historic breakthroughs that made food tastier and safer to the Earl-Grey-friendly replicators we impatiently await in the future.