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Mobile Accessories

The rugged Sonim XP7 Extreme makes its US debut on Indiegogo

Sonim Technologies wants to woo the average adventurer with its latest rugged smartphone.

The XP7 is a glove-friendly rugged smartphone. Sonim Technologies

If you want the peace of mind that comes with owning an "extreme" smartphone and are willing to shell out $579, then Sonim Technologies' XP7 Extreme just might do the trick. The company's devices are typically aimed at folks who work in extreme conditions, but an Indiegogo campaign launching today aims to bring the rugged Android smartphone to adventurers who take part in extreme sports.

I spent a few weeks with the Sonim XP7, and it lives up to its claims. This is an all-weather workhorse that stood up to the absolute worst I had to offer with minimal fuss. Long battery life and a sturdy, waterproof shell are backed by a 3-year warranty that aims to cover mishaps. But it's also a heavy, bulky device with a lowly 800x480-pixel display -- a tool fit for professionals operating in the worst conditions, not the average consumer looking to replace the last phone they dropped.

Sonim's target audience with the XP7 Extreme are adventure-seekers: mountain climbers and kayakers who want to stay connected while they're risking life and limb. The $579 Sonim XP7 Extreme Explorer reward tier on Indiegogo gets you a phone, a bluetooth headset, and a "virtual goodie bag" chock full of partner codes and discounts. The phones also come equipped with an Ultra Mobile prepaid SIM card, and $19 of credit.

There's also a $679 Developer reward tier, which offers access to the Sonim API and SDK, as well as an hour chat with a member of the Sonim team. Other, pricier reward tiers are aimed at particular active lifestyles, including suction mounts for water sports, bike or motorcycle mounts, and holsters.

As a desk-bound wordsmith, I'd be better served by something like the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active , the Kyocera Brigadier , or just being a little more careful with my Nexus 5. But maybe you spend a bit more time in harrowing environments, in so pop over to the Sonim XP7 Extreme's Indiegogo campaign site for more info, after you've read my review to see how the phone fares.