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Sonim XP2.10 Spirit early review: Takes a beating, keeps on 3Ging

Look at you, with your iPhone and your nice teeth. The Sonim XP2.10 Spirit would break you in half and then eat you

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Richard Trenholm

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Sonim, maker of rugged phones, is at it again. The Sonim XP2.10 Spirit is the first 3G model from the roughty-toughty handset makers, in case you need to check Facebook while trekking the Arctic or watch YouTube while snorkelling the Mariana Trench. You can also listen to music while climbing into a volcano.

It's so outdoors-y, the speaker is covered with Gore-Tex. We got our hands on it at Mobile World Congress, where it made us feel about as manly as a ballerina in a cushion shop.

The outer shell is made from hardened rubber, fibreglass and nylon, with angled sides for a tougher structure. Imagine Ranulph Fiennes bench-pressing Vin Diesel while eating a Yorkie: that's how tough it is.

The 51mm (2-inch) screen is tougher than a bouncer at the Mos Eisley cantina. It's so tough you can hammer a nail with it, although here at Crave the only nails we've ever paid any attention to are our new acrylics. Our more manly colleagues over at ZDNet UK took up the Spirit challenge -- check out the video to see what happens when unbreakable object means unstoppable journalist.

The interface is pretty basic, but like the HTC Smart, it's based on Qualcomm's simple Brew platform, so it will add Java apps so you can download Opera Mini. There are customisable hotkeys on the side, which you can program for push-to-talk. It's a chunky beast compared to today's fashion phones, but who cares: the Spirit could eat an iPhone without breaking a sweat.

Click through our extra-manly gallery for more testosterone-fuelled pictures.

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In the glass-filled polyurethane back of the phone is a 3-megapixel camera, a torch and an extra-loud speaker. Should you manage to come up against a thermal shock, extreme temperature, transport shock or some solar radiation bad-assed enough to overcome the Spirit's military-standard MIL 810G certificate of 'ardness, Sonim offers an unconditional three-year warranty.
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The Spirit is aimed at construction workers and other people harder than us. Let's face it: you're probably never going to own one of these. You're probably never going to know anyone who owns one. But we still love it -- look at the box it comes in! -- in the same way we like films about war and football 'ooligans.

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