Sonim Land Rover S2 review: Sonim Land Rover S2

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Typical Price: £360.00
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

2 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Almost indestructible; Amazing battery life.

The Bad Bulky and heavy; Limited specifications.

The Bottom Line The Sonim Land Rover S2 is a beast of a phone. It's designed for people who work in harsh, dirty environments rather than trend-setting hipsters. It lacks many smart phone creature comforts but fulfils its purpose perfectly. If you need a phone that can survive almost any mishap, this is it.

8.3 Overall

The Sonim Land Rover S2 is a rugged phone which is able to withstand water, dust and extreme shock thanks to its IP68 certification. Shipped with a 3-year manufacturer's guarantee, it boasts a super-tough case design and a scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass screen.

The phone retails for around £360 SIM-free and unlocked to any network.

Should I buy the Sonim Land Rover S2?

Super-thin mobiles with blisteringly fast chips and massive, high-resolution displays are all well and good, but the sad fact is that most of the world’s most powerful and desirable mobiles are woefully ill-equipped to deal with accidental drops, water damage and general wear and tear.

That’s where the Sonim Land Rover S2 comes in. This is the kind of phone which laughs in the face of the elements and bounces off concrete like a rubber ball. It’s water-proof, dust-proof, shock-proof and scratch-proof, making it one of the most resilient phones on the market.

Image description
The Sonim Land Rover S2 is perfectly happy to get dirty - unlike many cutting-edge phones.

Naturally, this kind of protection -- coupled with the very basic processing power, lack of apps and small screen -- should tell you that this isn’t aimed at your inner-city fashionista.

The Sonim Land Rover S2 is for serious outdoor types and people who work in the rough and tumble outdoor world. If you spend the majority of your day on a building site or working outside no matter the weather, then you need a phone you can rely on, and this fits the bill.

Compared to the JCB Toughphone ProSmart -- which runs Android -- the Sonim Land Rover S2 looks technologically weak, but it offers more impressive protection. The JCB-backed device has IP67 certification, compared to the S2's superior IP68 -- it also lacks proper physical buttons, which makes it less suitable for wet, outdoor conditions.

If you’re looking for something which slips effortlessly into your pocket, runs all the latest apps and can record crystal-clear HD video, then you’d be better off investing your cash in a modern smart phone.

One option to consider is the waterproof Sony Xperia Z , which is infinitely more powerful and capable of surviving a dip in the wet stuff, but doesn't possess the same robust shock-resistance as the Land Rover S2.

Design and display

When Sonim’s designers sat down to draft out what they wanted from this phone, it’s likely that one of the prime objectives was to make a handset which could survive nuclear armageddon.

Fashioned from hardened rubber fused to a super-tough fibreglass frame, the Sonim Land Rover S2 is built like the proverbial brick outhouse and is capable of withstanding practically any punishment you can throw at it. It boasts IP68 certification, which means it can endure total submersion in water of up to 2 metres in depth for an hour. It’s also completely dust-resistant and can survive a drop of 2 metres onto solid concrete. In short, this is the Jason Statham of mobile phones.

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