In use the XP1 behaves exactly the way you’d expect a basic phone to behave. There’s nothing flashy or clever about it, it just does what it’s supposed to do, allowing you to make and receive phone calls. You can store up to 500 contacts, which should be enough for even the most friend laden user.
The design of the keypad also holds no surprises. You get call and end buttons, with soft keys above each of these for accessing sub menus. Nestling in the centre of this cluster of buttons is a four-way navigation pad with the select button in the centre – all standard stuff. Below this is a bog standard numeric pad made up of buttons that are easy to access compared to many of today’s touch sensitive handsets.
On the left edge you’ll find dedicated volume buttons and a push-to-talk button. The latter isn’t going to be of too much interest to UK users, although PTT has received reasonable usage in the US. On the right edge is a rubber bung that protects a connector for an external antenna, in case you find yourself with poor reception. Finally at the bottom is another rubber bung that protects the 2.5mm headset jack and the mini-USB port that’s used for charging the phone.
The XP1 managed to grab a decent signal and hold onto it using a variety of SIM cards on different networks, which is more than I can say for my iPhone! Call quality is clear and the ruggedisation of the phone doesn’t seem to have affected its performance in any way. Battery life is also pretty impressive, which is handy for anyone who doesn’t want to carry the charger with them when going away for a few days trekking or cycling.