In a world where everyone seems transfixed by the latest hi-res smart phones of every size, shape and pastel color, sometimes a man just needs to get back to basics — the rugged, waterproof, shockproof, freeze-proof, drop-it-in-concrete-proof basics, in this case. Enter the Sonim XP1300 Core, one of the toughest phones on the planet.
After reading some of the entertaining reviews online, I decided to pick one of these babies up as the centerpiece of my Cell Phone Downsizing Movement — the big plan to pry my bugged-out eyes away from the little screen, and get them refocused again back out in the real world.
Along with the handset downsize, naturally, I chose to part ways with the two-year-contract-loving juggernauts, save myself nearly 80 bucks a month, and enjoy the freedom to switch wireless providers as easily as swapping out a SIM card. I chose Straight Talk, primarily because I wanted to pick my own phone, but also because Straight Talk piggybacks on the AT&T and T-Mobile GSM networks (instead of everyone else’s CDMA nets), and GSM is pretty much the standard everywhere else in the world.
Setting Up Straight Talk on the XP1300
As soon as your SIM card is installed and your new number is working, you should be able to make phone calls and send SMS messages right away. But, as mentioned on the Straight Talk support page, in order to use the phone’s data features (MMS, email, web), you must first update the phone’s APN (Access Point Name) settings. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as straightforward on the XP1300 as it is on a smartphone. This post will walk you through the process.
Straight Talk APN Settings
You should have received a lime green packet with your Straight Talk SIM card that contains a table of APN (Access Point Name) data settings to enter into your phone. In the following steps, I’ll be referencing the information listed below, but you should use whatever came with your SIM card if it is different.
Name: Straight Talk APN: wap.tracfone Proxy: 184.108.40.206 Port: 8080 MMSC: http://mms.tracfone.com MMS Proxy: 220.127.116.11 MMS Port: 8080
Adding a Data Account
The first thing you’ll want to do is add a new Data Account on the XP1300. Using the phone’s Menu key and navigation arrows, navigate to:
Menu > Connectivity > Data account > GPRS > Options > Add
Now follow the prompts, and configure the Data Account settings exactly as you see here.
Account name: Straight Talk APN: wap.tracfone User name: [Leave Blank] Password: [Leave Blank] Auth. type: Normal Primary DNS: 000.000.000.000 Secondary DNS: 000.000.000.000
MMS Multimedia Messaging
To enable MMS messaging, navigate to:
Menu > Messages > Message settings > Multimedia message > Profiles > Add new
Now create a new MMS Profile using the following settings.
Profile name: Straight Talk MMSC address: http://mms.tracfone.com Data account: [select GPRS > Straight Talk] (created previously) Connection type: HTTP Use proxy: Yes Proxy address: 216.155.165.040 Proxy port: 8080 User name: [Leave Blank] Password: [Leave Blank]
Web Browsing with Opera Mini
There are two web browsers on the XP1300, the built-in app, and the Java-based Opera Mini browser. This should get them both working.
Menu > Browser > Settings > Profiles > Add new
Profile name: Straight Talk Homepage: wap.tracfone Data account: [select GPRS > Straight Talk] (created previously) Connection type: WAP IP address: 216.155.165.040 Security: Off
Make sure you first “Save” and then “Activate” the Straight Talk profile (it should have a green check mark next to the name to indicate that it’s active).
To open the Opera Mini web browser, go to:
Menu > Applications > Java > Opera Mini
and try to visit a robust web page, such as Google.com. It should be up and running.
Configure and Sync Gmail with IMAP
If you have the browser working, you should be able to check your Gmail account directly from Opera. If you’d like to configure the XP1300’s email client to sync with your Gmail inbox, follow the steps below.
First, you’ll need to configure your Gmail account (on your computer) to enable IMAP. Check out these Google support pages to do that.
Now, back on the XP1300, navigate to:
Menu > Messages > Email > Email accounts > Options > New account
Configure a new email account as follows, selecting
Options > Next after each step.
Email address: Your FULL Gmail address (email@example.com) Protocol: IMAP4 Data account: Straight Talk Incoming server: imap.gmail.com Outgoing server: smtp.gmail.com User name: Your FULL Gmail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) Password: Your Gmail password Account Name: Gmail (or whatever)
Be sure to select
Done and then
Options > Activate when you’re finished setting it up (you’ll see the green check mark again). But you’re NOT DONE YET!!
Next, with your new Gmail account highlighted, select
Options > Edit > Advance settings, and configure like so:
Outgoing server Outgoing port: 465 Security: SSL/TLS Authentication: On Incoming server Incoming port: 993 Security: SSL/TLS Download options: Download all Append to server: Off Account settings Email notifications: Disabled Check interval: 5 min (or whatever)
Man Up and Handle It
Congratulations, you’ve successfully set up your Sonim! There are a few other tweaks you might want to make at this point, but after having navigated through the steps above, you should be considerably more comfortable with the interface.
The Sonim XP1300 Core definitely isn’t a phone for the faint-of-heart, or for anyone afraid to get their hands dirty, but if you need a mobile device that can take a beating (and if you couldn’t care less about your neighbor’s Facebook status), then the XP1300 has you covered.
As always, feel free to post any comments or corrections below. Thanks for reading.