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Check out the rugged Sonim XP7 (pictures)

The Sonim XP7 is built to withstand the elements; let's take a closer look.

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Nate Ralph

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The Sonim XP7

The Sonim XP7 is built for businesses that need tough devices. It isn't the prettiest smartphone, but it's waterproof, can withstand falls and has a screen you can see in direct sunlight.

It's also pricey: $750 Canadian unlocked (about US $665), and starting at about $100 Canadian with a 2-year contract. We should be hearing more news about a US release later this year.

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The phone is 0.8 inch thick, and weighs 290 grams, or just over half a pound. It's bulky, but you'll appreciate that heft if the phone takes a fall.

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Raised buttons are accompanied by a glove-friendly display that has an 800x480-pixel resolution. That's rather low, but the phone is rather bright, and clearly visible in direct sunlight.

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The front-facing speaker gets pretty loud.

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The left side of the phone hosts the push-to-talk button, and the dedicated camera shutter.

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The red Sonim Protect button will offer emergency support to remote workers.

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The headphone jack is sealed up against the elements. The notification light pokes up from the top of that antenna nub.

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You'll want to keep an eye on the white balance to make the most out of the 8-megapixel camera, though it still tends to muddle the details in shots.

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The XPS 7 has a 4,800mAh battery, which isn't removable. I'm no fan of proprietary cables, but it keeps the phone sealed.

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