The Sonim XP1 is a rugged, IP54 rated, MIL-810F drop tested mobile phone that is pretty close to unbreakable… That is until this BBC reporter got hold of it (Click on the screenshot to watch the video):
As you can see, the weak point of this phone is its glass screen. We find that the glass screen is the weak point on many of the Tablet PCs on the market too – even the rugged ones. Even though standard screens are made from chemically hardened glass, they are still prone to break when a little force is applied.
Corning turned this problem on its head when they released Gorilla Glass last year – Gorilla Glass is strengthened with a process that achieves a much deeper level of strengthening. You can see a demonstration of Gorilla Glass by Andrew Moore-Crispin of butterscotch.com here at CES in Las Vegas last week.
Motion Computing were the first Tablet PC manufacturer with Corning Gorilla Glass on the rugged F5 and C5 tablets last year. Gorilla Glass is up to four times stronger than other glass used in Tablet PCs and as yet, Motion are still the only Tablet manufacturer using the technology.
Having used Tablet PCs for nearly 10 years (and broken at least 4 screens), I can attest to the value of this glass. It should be an essential component on all Tablet PCs along with a low power Hydis AFFS+ outdoor viewable display – another Motion Computing first.
Sonim should plan a visit to Corning to make their rugged phone even tougher (so that this doesn’t happen in future)!