The Push-to-Talk Over Cellular Capabilities of the Sonim XP8 Rugged Smartphone

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The Push-to-Talk Over Cellular Capabilities of the Sonim XP8 Rugged Smartphone

Whether on site, enroute, in-the-field or on the manufacturing line, the simplicity and reliability of instant Push-to-Talk (PTT) communications is essential for critical communications. Radio systems are often considered the easiest answer when it comes to PTT, but with tremendous advances in cellular communications PTT over Cellular (PTToC) has emerged as an invaluable solution or addition to mobile critical communications.

Sonim’s ultra-rugged XP8 offers PTToC and smartphone capabilities providing mission critical industries with much more than just two-way communication. From interoperability and price to accessory and application support, the XP8 is a smart option for those looking to replace or add to an existing radio solution.

Expand and enhance communication for a more effective response with PTToC.

The interoperability provided by a rugged smartphone with PTToC capabilities, like the Sonim XP8 extends the communication opportunities that are inherently limited by an LMR network, allowing for a more effective response.

Utilizing Sonim’s powerful XP8 rugged smartphone as a PTToC solution enables users to communicate and connect with other Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled devices, such as body cameras and wireless headsets to send and receive information. These devices natively provide location information and can also receive images and video feeds, providing improved situational awareness.

A real-life example of the interoperability and durability of the XP8 can be seen in this testimonial from South Walton County Fire District’s Beach Safety Division:

In a dynamic outdoor environment, it’s crucial that lifeguards have reliable and durable communication. David Vaughan, South Walton Fire District’s Beach Safety Director, had repeatedly seen significant equipment failure in the saltwater environment that his team consistently operates in.

“Every other phone we had previously tried would go down within months of the first seasons use,” said Vaughan. “This was a major issue when it came to communication operations. We not only needed to find a lifeguard proof phone, but we also needed technological capabilities to gather and analyze data and provide real time communications with sophistication.”

As the EMS provider for South Walton County, the Beach Safety Division was also seeking a smart phone with EMS related GPS mapping that allowed them to effectively respond to emergencies in a timely manner; Push-to-Talk reliability; and volume and alert features for rescue and EMS incidents. The Sonim XP8 fit every need for South Walton County and exceeded their expectations when it came to durability.

“The XP8s have performed consistently for two full seasons,” said Vaughan. “The phones take a beating daily and have performed very well overall. We like most that they are still in service and have made equipment warranty issues and replacement devices a secondary in-season concern. We recently had a tourist fish out a Sonim device lost on a JetSki patrol in mid-2019. We dried the device off and turned it on to find it fully functioning after a year of being underwater.” Read the full testimonial here.

Sonim devices can provide significant cost savings over traditional LMR systems.

One of the newest users of Sonim Technologies’ solutions is a global leader in energy and environmental technologies and services for the power and industrial markets. This organization is referenced as “Company X” in the example below.

In giving our technology a chance, Company X performed a cost comparison of the Sonim XP5s and Sonim XP8 to their current solution of using rented LMR units. Their analysis shows a direct and material impact to their average deployed devices of almost $2,800 per communication device.

XP8 and XP5s Mobile Communication Savings Example

Built to withstand and perform in the harshest and most extreme conditions and work environments.

Like all Sonim devices, the Sonim XP8 is designed, built and tested to industry-leading Rugged Performance Standards, including:

  • Military rated durability
  • Completely sealed from dust and micro particles (Rated IP-6x)
  • Fully submersible in fresh water and harsh chemical cleaners such as bleach
  • Pressure-washable and safe to aggressively clean and disinfect
  • Shock, vibration, drop and impact-resistant
  • Puncture and pressure resistant
  • Operational in extreme temperatures and more

Read more about how tough the XP8 is or view the device enduring Sonim’s Rugged Performance standards here.

The XP8’s ultra-rugged performance is backed by an ultra-powerful, comprehensive 3-year warranty that isn’t voided by using heavy-duty cleansers and disinfectants such as bleach or isopropyl alcohol.

Additional features like a dedicated PTT button provides instant communications with no need to wake up the device or launch the app like consumer smartphones. The XP8 also features a red emergency button that will instantly alert dispatch and/or emergency services which can be customized with the free Sonim SOS application.

Application Support

SonimWare, Sonim’s comprehensive suite of software tools, applications, and utilities, is featured free of charge on all Sonim devices and is designed to improve the productivity of both workers and management, making it an essential tool that delivers results throughout your entire organization.

The SonimWare toolbox includes:


A comprehensive, web-based toolbox loaded with helpful setup, utility and support solutions that allow administrators to communicate, manage, and update devices.


SonimWare’s free, pre-loaded intelligent application for device configuration, management and support.


Turn your XP8 into a powerful on-device 1D/2D barcode scanner and capture large amounts of data quickly and confidently.


A powerful app connected to an easy-to-use alarm key that offers an array of safety-first options you won’t find on other devices.

Sonim also partners with an assortment of innovative Push to Talk applications that enhance the PTT experience on our handsets. The following applications provide solutions that make utilizing PTToC an easy and productive experience:


The Enterprise Secure Chat (ESChat) product suite includes encrypted Push-To-Talk, secure group messaging and location tracking and mapping. ESChat also supports a Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) interface that allows it to be interfaced to first responder dispatch and Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks providing a seamless and secure communication environment.


Zello provides the leading push-to-talk solution for increasing communication and collaboration in businesses with mobile workforces. Companies and organizations of all sizes use Zello’s award-winning push-to-talk app on virtually any device and network to improve productivity and efficiency on and off-site. With instant voice communication, text messages, photo sharing, location tracking, emergency alerts, and more, mobile workforces use Zello to save time and money at the push of a button.


T.Flex is TASSTA’s application designed for smartphones or tablets but also desktop computers. With T.Flex you can use MCPTT according to the 3GPP Standard in combination with Push to Video (PTV) and further features like Emergency alarm and Lone Worker Protection (LWP) solutions, Indoor localization plus GPS or organizing users with a Task Manager.

Streamwide – Team on the Run

TOTR is utilized best to track, audit and communicate with field teams, crisis management, digitalize paper-based processes and facilitate real-time communication and collaboration among all the staff. Team on the run replaces insecure public communications tools, thereby clearly separating private from business communication and preventing data and information leakage while keeping the ease-of-use and efficiency of a messenger app.


The Kodiak PTT platform enables high-performance and feature-rich instant communications. The Kodiak powered-PTT solution delivers a rich ecosystem of PTT-enabled devices, can be integrated with third-party applications, interoperates with two-way radio systems, and supports a wide scope of accessories to meet the diverse needs of customers.

For a full list of partner applications visit Applications > Sonim Technologies.

Accessory Support

Sonim’s accessory partners provide top of the line products that work together with Sonim’s PTT enabled devices and SecureAudio Connector to provide a seamless experience. An example of Sonim’s accessory support and device interoperability can be seen in this testimonial from GPSLockbox:

GPSLockbox and FirstNet outfitted Carroll County’s 311 buses with AT&T Enhanced Push-to-Talk (ePTT), allowing for secure, real-time group communication over the nationwide 4G network, as well as Sonim XP5s ruggedized feature phones for contractors and Sonim XP8 ruggedized Android phones for transportation supervisors. The Sonim XP5s, for onboard use, were installed on mounting kits provided by GPSLockbox. The GPSLockbox system secures the Sonim device, allowing for convenient locking and unlocking and handsfree operation. The mounting system’s built-in amplifier and speaker allows for cleaner communications than a cell phone, and the attached palm microphone is ergonomically very similar to a traditional driver’s mic. Read the full testimonial here.

In addition to supreme functionality, Sonim compatible accessories include cutting edge technology like that provided by Stone Mountain’s Epic RSM Series with ProClearTM Digital Signal Processing (DSP) noise cancellation. The Epic RSM Series is compatible with the Sonim XP8 and XP5s rugged phones and when combined with a PTT-over-Cellular service, provide DSP noise cancellation for clear audio even in the noisiest environments. View the technology in action in this comparative testing video.

Shop all Sonim accessories here. 

Why the Sonim XP8?

Although Sonim has other Push to Talk enabled devices, like the ultra-rugged XP5s, the XP8 can be a great solution for those wanting more sophisticated smartphone features in addition to the quick communication that comes with a PTT enabled device.

XP8-all-anglesFumble-free, large, tactile, and intuitive PTT, SOS, and volume buttons and controls located on the sides of the XP8 make quick communication easy and efficient. In addition to the easy to access buttons and controls, the device features ultra-loud speakers and a Secure Audio Connector that prevents audio transmission issues and keeps your audio accessories securely in place when on the job. The XP8 is also supported by Verizon Push-to-Talk Responder and Mission-Critical Standards-Based FirstNet® PTT Solution from AT&T.

If you have any questions regarding the rugged XP8 as a PTToC solution or you would like to purchase the device as a replacement, or addition to your existing radio solution, contact a Sonim representative or your network provider for more information.