AT&T is launching the core of its FirstNet cellular network, an optimized service for first responders. In most regions across the United States and its territories, police, firefighters and other emergency service workers will get bandwidth priority and exclusive access to the reserved LTE Band 14.
But with that privilege, clients will need to invest in a set fleet. Oddly enough, Samsung has made its Galaxy S9 and S9+ ready for FirstNet as well as mobile hotspot maker Nighthawk. Customers can also get the standard iPhones, too. But there’s also a new player coming into the fray.
Sonim has announced that its XP5S feature phone and XP8 Android smartphone will be FirstNet-ready as well. Both phones come ruggedized to 810G standards. The XP5S is rated IP68 while the XP8 is rated IP69K — both are impervious to dust, but while the XP5S can survive immersion, the XP8 can endure high-pressure, high-temperature spray.
More specifically to the XP8, the 5-inch full HD display can be used with gloves and has quick PTT access. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (with up to 128GB more with a microSD card), Bluetooth 5.0, a 12-megapixel camera (just the one), a 4,900mAh battery and Android Nougat. If it weren’t for the fact that it was 18 millimeters thick and 335 grams, we’d want to carry this, too. We’re just not the audience for the XP8, though.
The phone costs $699 and is available on a 24-month finance plan.