Or should I title this post “from one ruggedized phone to the next”? Ruggedized means more or less that it’s designed for use in harsh environments.
I don’t consider myself hard on my phones. My first few cell phones were all Nokia. I started on a 8110 and have used the 5110, 6110, 6150 and all of these spend a lot of time in my pocket or on my belt. They all suffered the occasional drop and handled it well. In the early years of this decade I switched to Siemens for an S55, lovely little phone but after a year or so it distinctly showed signs of wear and tear. The Motorola V3 I bought after that died a little under two years.
So, when I was due for a new phone in early 2008 I decided to buy something that was durable and loud enough to use in the noisy server rooms where I spent some of my time. At that time there wasn’t much to choose from on the European market. Nokia had withdrawn the 5210 years ago and had not released anything else. Siemens had tried a few models such as the M65 but Siemens sold the GSM division and that died soon after.
The only serious player at that time was Sonim. A company almost unknown in Europe if you didn’t work in the building industry. In early 2008 they had just introduced their first cell phone, the XP1 and the Xp1BT (With bluetooth). My review of the XP1BT is still the most popular page on my website.
After a little over a year I got tired of the constant echo of the phone and the fact that it couldn’t be without battery power for a second without losing it’s internal clock settings so I mailed sonim support and after some weeks they send me a replacement. That developed some sort of phone altzheimer’s in september. It would miss calls without letting me know. By then I was thoroughly sick of the 1990s user interface, the short battery life and the call quality which could range from abysmal to ok in 5 minutes. So I started looking for a replacement. Of course the new sonim xp3 came up but I found it a bit expensive and I didn’t have much faith left in the Sonim designers. Unlike the american market where several companies offer ruggedized and mil-spec phones there is not that much on the European market. Samsung has the B2100 and B2700. And then came nokia with it’s 3720 classic. Now my wife had bought a 2330 a few weeks early and I was impressed with the Series 40 user interface and the call quality. So I ordered a 3720.
It’s a basic candy bar with a charger port at the bottom. Nice, big 2.2” TFT with 320x240 resolution which makes for a nice crispy image. Comes complete with charger, 1gb memory card, earbuds and a 25 euros coupon for the german nokia music store. All that for 136 euros including shipping.
First impressions: nice screen, fits the hand well, easy buttons. It does not come across as a very sturdy phone unlike the Sonim which felt like you could use it to drive nails with. Well, that’s not all you could do with it, there’s a load of clips on youtube of people trying to kill a sonim, This one is my favorite:
Now breaking stuff is fun to the people doing gadget
tests for a living and so the guys from phonearena tried to break a 3720:
and it can also swim.
So, despite it’s elegance I should be ok. For the moment I’m enjoying that wonderful screen, nice call quality and the fact that I can have it talk to my pc quick and easy with the standard Nokia tools.
I’ll let you know first time it needs charging.