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printed October 22, 2017
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Review: Sonim XP7

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Screen

The XP7 has a four-inch screen with 800 x 480 pixels. It's just barely big enough, but the smaller size helps the resolution a great deal. Were it any larger, the pixel density would be rather low. Despite the lack of pixels, most on-screen elements looked good. I didn't see any obvious jagged edges, but text could have looked smoother. More importantly, the LCD is plenty bright enough for indoor and outdoor use. I had no trouble using the XP7 outdoors under a sunny sky. It's certainly not the best screen I've seen, but for this class of device it gets the job done.

Signal

I tested the XP7 on AT&T's network in and around New York City. It performed well. It held onto a signal everywhere I took it, including areas with weak coverage. It connected most calls on the first dial and dropped just one call. I was pleased with data speeds most of the time. With LTE on board, the XP7 never had a problem updating my email, Twitter feed, or Instagram shots. Data speeds were good even when there was little signal available.

Sound

Phone calls I made with the XP7 sounded average to my ears. They were good most of the time as far as quality is concerned, with little interference or other problems. The main earpiece produces excellent volume. In fact, you can leave it set at about halfway most of the time. If you pump it all the way up you can hear calls darned near anywhere no matter how loud the background is. People I called through the XP7 said I sounded "OK, but not great." The speakerphone is insane. It produces decent call quality and you can hear conversations a mile away. The speakerphone is very, very loud, but is sometimes prone to distortion. If you take a call via the speakerphone when out in the woods, you're going to scare away any wildlife in the area. In a construction zone? The speakerphone should be loud enough to hear over anything but a jack hammer. Ringers and alerts can be set to nerve-shattering volumes, but I was disappointed with the strength of the vibrate alert.

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Battery

Battery life is incredible. With a 4,800mAh battery tucked inside, the XP7 delivered two days of battery life quite easily with moderate use. It still got one and a half days with heavy usage. It's a crazy big battery and it really gets the job done. This makes it an excellent device to have on hand outside when the closest power source is miles away.

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