Bell Sonim XP5520 Bolt Review (Video)


  • NienorGT

    If you would not have mentioned Bell, I would have thought it was a Videotron phone with that yellow, silver and black xD

  • Alex Perrier

    According to a document posted at TELUS dealers, the Sonim Bolt and a new PTT service are both coming to TELUS soon. i’d say this year, but have no way to tell for sure, nor do i have any means to post the document in question. Makes sense for them: why would they let Bell push ’em around with a superior PTT network?

    i wonder what Rogers will bring to the market, if anything, to compete against Bell and TELUS. It seems like all the Big 3 run identical types of high-speed networks: HSPA+ and LTE. The only difference is with the older technologies they use, such as CDMA2000, GSM and iDEN.

    Nice news and video to have. Some people who break their phones easily may want to get this instead.

  • Brian

    Telus won’t be launching the bolt nor a PTT system on Kodiak as Bell has exclusivity with those vendors for the next little while.

  • NewBB10

    Is that the new Blackberry with BB10?

  • MonkeyFace

    Ok, when are they doing the giveaway contest for this bad boy?

  • vengefulspirit99

    Can not be indestructible. Nokia 3310 is the only superman

  • ag

    its such a thick phone. if you get a chance anyone get your hands on it and throw it around.

  • Malek

    Already played with this phone it’s almost industruckable, I used it like a hammer and I got some outer black cover that’s it, otherwise the os is like the one that we used to have on the Nokia in the 1990’s.

  • MG

    Here’s and idea… Why don’t ALL Bell Mobility customers toss their phones from 25 meters? Liberating experience for sure!

    Alex Perrier, you have no clue what you’re talking about. Telus has Motorola’s iDEN network which Sprint (Nextel) utilized. Sprint is turning that network off and going for Qualcomm’s QChat. Telus has not followed suit and is at least 1-2 years away of any new generation PTT. Also, as per Brian’s comment, Kodiak and Sonim have exclusivity with Bell. So the Telus folks really missed the boat on this one. Unless they discount Mike furiously as a retention play, they will hurt badly. As for Rogers, they only have a downloadable PTT solution which is nowhere nearly as robust and reliable as either iDEN or Kodiak. So don’t expect to see any competition from them.

  • John

    Ugh oh better get a Otterbox !

  • Alex Perrier

    i read the TELUS paper at the store. i have no details except that it mentions Sonim and next-generation PTT. The store doesn’t sell MiKE, but it looks like they’re on to something. The paper is probably gone by now as it is a daily message.

    • Bell

      Alex frequents Telus stores like street bums frequent coffee shops

  • Brian

    There is a chance that SONIM may have another device to launch with TELUS, but from what the SONIM rep told Bell is that SONIM has exclusivity with Bell with regards to any 3G handsets…so unless Sonim is releasing an IDEN handset…

  • Fish

    Looks pretty good, only problem is if you need to use PTT you would have to change over all phones in the company. My in-laws will be facing this problem for their 25 employees who all have MIKEs.

    Assuming this is totally incompatible with iDen.

    • MG

      You assume right. Not only incompatible with iDEN but even Bell’s 10-4 (previous generation PTT). All customers will need to buy new hardware. Current 10-4 customers on contract who want to get the SONIM will get pretty pissed off when they realize they have to wait for their contracts to expire and they need to upgrade all their handsets in order to keep them connected.

      I would recommend your in-laws to use Bell’s PTT offer as leverage in negotiating a better price with Mike, as they have no choice but to retain iDEN customers with heavy discounting. They can stay on iDEN, avoid hardware upgrade costs, and save money while waiting for Telus’ new LTE PTT service. Perfect scenario.

  • handheld addict

    Heehee, you dented your garbage can! Maybe you shouldv’e done the impact tests outside? Nice phone but the number buttons seem a bit small if the user is wearing heavy gloves.

  • AJW

    If Sonim does indeed release an android smartphone, I’ll be the first to jump on it, ICS or not.

  • Ren

    Truth is that PTT over HSPA is NOT the best solution. PTT requires a GREAT latency time to be at its best and unfortunately, HSPA has very average latency performance. TELUS commited to lauch PTT over LTE witch would be by far better than HSPA. any ptt over hspa is comparable to heytel, Zello or voxer. if you have mike and NEED PTT, think twice before switching!

  • Marcus

    @Ren – the Bell service is a data service and they also have an LTE network. I would expect Bell to likely have LTE phones on PTT far before Telus does. People who use PTT for business won’t likely go for some over the top solution because it lacks support, security and any hope for network prioritization. Also the cloud admin tool helps businesses push and manage contacts as well as back them up in the event of lost or broken phone. Bells PTT service beats any OTT solution hands down.

    • Ren

      Agreed with most of your comments but non of the devices that bell is selling with Kodiak now are LTE handsets, the bell-telus HSPA-LTE network is shared therfore there is a LOT of ppl sharing hspa right now… giving even more reasons for PTT over LTE, your right about the company’s who absolutly need PTT, they wont want to use a heytel or Zello for your reasons AND their need for a voice only device. situationis good for bell. that being said, ptt over LTE will be way supperior. Mike is still a GREAT ptt solution for real PTT users. i would feel bad being bell and selling ptt over hspa when +-12 months from now, ptt over LTE should be availible on all carriers. a sonim device for 1yr is quite expensive + the fee for ptt services!

  • trafsta

    We are a Telus Mike company with 100+ PTT Rugged motorola phones and about 20-30 or so BlackBerry 8350i’s. We have been with Telus for 8+ years now. The 8350i and 7100i’s before them have been quite poor with data speed (expected) so we are now trialing Bell’s PTT service as the aging 8350i’s are just not cutting it anymore (and breaking down all the time!). Bell’s PTT is working well when the signal is good (HSPA signal is an issue for us due to our location, iDEN seems to be much better, perhaps because it is on a lower MHz…). Bell’s PTT is much clearer that iDEN PTT, however there is a slightly longer delay quite often. We are stuck in a contract with Telus for another year, however, all points indicate that Telus is still another 6+ months away from launching LTE PTT (at least thats what I have been told by our Telus reps, they think it may be available by the end of the year). Personally I think its easily 1-2 years away… and if that’s the case we will likely switch to Bell (buy-out existing phones that are still on contract) as long as signal issues can be fixed with boosters/repeaters… All this being said, the problem still lies with knowing how far out Telus’ LTE PTT service really is from being available… I have read here and elsewhere that it is anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to “never going to happen” lol… my meetings with our Telus Corporate Account Manager made it appear that they are trying to get as many customers off of Mike PTT and over to their PCS side whenever possible (not possible for us since we have many Mike-Only phones (60+) that cannot be used for regular phone calls (they need Mike). I am glad to see the comments on here, and hope that more people with legit information on Telus LTE PTT launch date and other Telus vs Bell PTT info will keep posting here about it 🙂 If anyone knows any other good places to talk about this as well I would appreciate a heads-up. Thanks!

    • Ed Novosky


      I am a Bell rep and I have a buddy who is a Telus rep. The Telus reps are instructed to “keep MiKE clients hopes alive” with a new solution. Truth is, Sprint has decommisioned their entire iDEN system and will do a massive shut down of 9600 cites in September 2012(complete shut down June 2013). What does that mean? Telus is continuing its iDEN program, BUT, who’s going to build them iDEN handsets as current clients units break? With Sprint no longer buying millions of units from Motorola and RIM you can expect those companies to cease production (if they haven’t already). Also, Telus hasn’t expanded their iDEN network in western Canada since 2006, one of Canada’s fastest growing environments. Sprint is switching to a CDMA solution (similar to Bell’s from 8 years ago) and Telus is maintaining their iDEN as long a possible.

      I would love the opportunity to look at your needs and help offer solutions and pricing. We can try and get buyouts etc.

  • AllanVS

    Has anyone tried yet to call the number on the back of the phone? LOL
    I’m tempted just to bug the video guy! *LOL* j/k j/k maybe.

  • Alex

    We switched to the new Sonim devices with Bell from Telus Mike service. 25 phones, and Bell paid our buyouts with Telus on the phones that still had contracts (approx $2600). The Sonim phone is good, but the biggest problem we’ve encountered is the actual sound alert you get when someone alerts you is WAY too quiet. In the construction industry, there should be a louder alert!!! The phone has a very obnoxious option for ring tone, unfortunately it doesn’t have that option on the PTT and only a short chime/tune that rings out very quietly. If you were in an office, it’d be fine, but they’ve marketed these “indestructable” phones to the construction industry and you can’t hear when someone alerts you!!! Very stupid. I’ve been told that there will be updates that can be downloaded in the near future but i get the feeling that’s my rep bs’ing me to calm me down. We find we’re missing far too many calls from within the company and production lags because of it!!

  • murray

    has anybody found a case for this phone yet a clip would be great

  • richard

    I found a phone case at a small shop that unlocks phones in a mall

  • Nick


    I’m actually considering the bolt (and the subsequent switch from rogers to bell) even though it isn’t a droid, since I put my phone through so much abuse at work.

  • Rob

    for being a “tuff” phone, Sonim doesnt back it very well. Has 3 year warranty but has to be registered when purchased. so now i have a phone thats about 1 month over the 1year warranty and is completly useless.

    Stay away from this supposedly “tuff” phone.

    • SomeSchmoe

      And why is your phone completely useless??

  • Michael T. Babcock

    GPS would be a nice feature … sadly missing, as well as an API for rugged industrial mobile apps for it.