Sonim RS80 in hand with box

Review of Sonim RS80

Sonim’s newest RS line of rugged mobile devices offers some of the best solutions for companies that need peak performance and connectivity during daily tasks. The Sonim RS80 is a ruggedized tablet that aims to make life easier for front-line workers who need a reliable device at their side at all times. We’re here to tell you more about this fantastic piece of tech and whether it truly meets high industry standards.

The Overview

Sonim RS80 Front View

Powered by one of the most robust and performance-oriented CPUs in the industry. The RS80 takes demanding apps and programs in stride. The eight cores work flawlessly to plow through the strenuous workload and take up to 30 scans in a minute.

The tablet is protected by Gorilla Glass. Ensuring that it survives falls and remains scratch-free even in dangerous and adverse environments. The tablet can be used with both gloved and wet hands. Pushing its versatility to the extremes and allowing a wider range of industries to use it as their workflow device of choice. The exteriors are coated to protect against dust, dirt, or chemicals, and survive higher working temperatures. Which is a bonus to emergency responders who need reliable results in a pinch.

The integrated barcode scanner is beneficial to factory and warehouse workers who need to rush through codes during a single day. The proprietary SonimWare to optimizes the scanner’s performance and detection capabilities. To help minimize human error from most tasks and ensure a higher turnover and better results.

With a stellar battery life, thanks to one of the highest battery capacities on the market. The Sonim RS80 tablet can easily last for multiple shifts on a single charge or run intensive programs for hours on end. The screen size is optimized for performance and battery life but is usually somewhat smaller than a traditional tablet’s screen. This might be a limiting factor if you’re working with huge data sheets and need perpetual visibility for the job.

Overall Score: 4.6/5

The Pros and Cons of Sonim RS80

Sonim RS80 Back View

Before we delve deep into what makes this tablet a near-perfect choice for anyone who needs a reliable and rugged mobile device for work. Here is a quick breakdown of the best benefits and some minor drawbacks:

  • Military-grade ruggedness
  • Extreme battery life
  • Usable with gloves or wet fingers
  • Push-to-talk ready
  • Powerful barcode scanner
  • Excellent storage capacity and memory
  • Performance-oriented CPU
  • Solid tablet camera


  • Bulkier
  • Relatively small screen size

Key Specifications of Sonim RS80

Sonin RS80 top view

While the RS80 is built for high workloads. Particularly in the logistics, manufacturing, and emergency or field response department, it doesn’t mean its specs lag behind “regular” tablets. In fact, most of the RS80 system details are comparable to modern midrange devices. Here’s what you can get with your fleet of Sonim RS80s:

  • General dimensions: 9.25” x 5.75” x 0.59” (235mm x 146mm x 15mm)
  • Weight: 1.52 lbs (673g)
  • Screen: 8.0 inches IPS
  • Resolution: 1920×1200 (283 ppi)
  • Glass protection: Gorilla Glass 3
  • Additional glass features: Anti-fingerprint coating for wet and gloved fingers
  • Rugged specifications: MIL-STD-810G, IP-67
  • Humidity rating: 0 to 95% non-condensing
  • Operational temperatures: -4 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to 55 degrees Celsius)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 MSM8953 Pro, Octa-core 2.2GHz
  • Memory: 4GB RAM and 64 GB ROM
  • Memory upgrades: up to 256GB microSD
  • Battery: 8200mAh Li-Ion removable, charges with QuickCharge 3.0 via USB-C
  • Camera: 13MP main (flash + autofocus), 5MP front (selfie)
  • Operating system: Android 10.0
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, a-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, NFC
  • Sensors: barometer, gyro, accelerometer, compass, proximity, ambient light, barcode scanner
  • Keys: 2 programmable keys, 4 navigation buttons, volume up/down on on the front
  • Ports: USB-C, headphone jack, 4FF Nano SIM

With these system specifications, the RS80 is very similar to traditional mid-range tablets when it comes to sheer performance. However, it vastly outcompetes most devices due to its durability, military-grade ruggedness, and seamlessly integrated barcode scanner.

History of the Company and the Device

Sonim RS80 Bottom View

Sonim Technologies Inc is at the forefront of innovation and development of rugged devices. In addition to specialized communication appliances, and software designed specifically for industrial and large-scale use. Based in Austin, TX, Sonim is usually the first place to go for a reliable, top-performing device that can withstand harsh working conditions.

Sonim specializes in designing, developing, and integrating specialized devices and software tools for emergency services, field use, and various manufacturing and industrial processes. The company has been among the top in its field ever since its foundation in 1999. They aim to provide software and hardware solutions. That improve workflow, reduce risk of human error, and improve connectivity between front-line employees or responders.

The company’s portfolio is constantly evolving to satisfy the growing need for communication and near-instantaneous response times required in the digital age. Their most recent devices, the RS line and the XP8, have already proven to be a giant leap forward.


woman using RS80 tablet scanner

The RS80 is one of the company’s first forays into the tablet market. But their attention to detail and current performance requirements means you should always expect great things. With longer battery life and improved ruggedness over traditional tablets, the RS80 caters to the front-line worker who needs a larger screen than an average phone offers and handles huge amounts of data daily.

The RS80 was announced in late 2020. It aims to cut down on a company’s total cost of ownership by replacing obsolete devices with a tablet with an integrated scanner with communication capabilities. The rugged tablet should vastly improve performance and company workflow. By streamlining previously disjointed channels and operations into a single piece of hardware.

The device has entered the global market in May 2021 to excellent reviews. In addition, praised for reliability and focus on productivity and performance in the workplace.

Sonim has continued to impress with its advancements in the industry. The inclusion of top-notch processors with modern OS and high-performing system configuration for a work-first tablet is excellent news for companies that want a solution that will last for years to come.

In-Depth Review of System Specifications and Features

Sonim RS80 Side View

If you’re not already convinced that the Sonim RS80 is a perfect piece of tech for your workers and management, here are more details on what is hiding behind (and around) its screen.

Physical Characteristics and Ruggedness Ratings

The RS80 was designed for high performance in a demanding workplace. It has the physical specs to match those requirements. The device is primarily a smaller version of a ruggedized tablet, focusing more on performance over large viewing screens and graphical fidelity.

With only an eight-inch screen, the RS80 has a notably small screen size for a tablet. That doesn’t hurt its performance and image quality. However, since it has a respectable resolution and a high-quality IPS screen to match.

The screen is protected with extremely durable Gorilla Glass 3. While this is one of the older Gorilla Glass models, developed way back in 2013. It still has some top rankings for scratch and chemical resistance even when compared to newer Gorilla Glass designs. The GG3 can withstand 33lbs of direct pressure, and is made to last in a harsh environment.


Person holding RS80 on forklift

The entire phone has an IP67 rating, ensuring it’s entirely resistant to dust and small debris. It can be submerged under a meter of water for up to 30 minutes without any lasting effects, and can easily survive spills, drops, and bouts of bad weather.

Another critical ruggedness rating is the military-grade MIL-STD-810G. This test has shown that the RS80 has extremely favorable protective qualities and lives up to the company’s high standards.

The tablet has rubberized corners for improved drop protection and grip. However, most users will probably frequently use the included hand strap to provide a better range of motion and mobility.

While the tablet only has eight inches of screen size. The added navigational buttons, ruggedness, barcode scanner, and protection quickly bulk it up. The device weighs more than one-and-a-half pounds. It is around twice the mass of a traditional tablet with the same effective screen size. This might pose a problem when carrying the tablet around and handling it with one hand. Users are encouraged to use the hand strap for added comfort and security.

Operating System

The RS80 comes with Android 10.0, one of the most popular contemporary Android systems in use. Even if it’s not the newest system, that being the 2020-release of Android 11. The tenth Android version ensures seamless operation and excellent customization options. The relatively new OS means that innovative apps and programs are more likely to be backward-compatible with this tablet even after several years.

The device also comes with Sonim’s proprietary SonimWare software package. SonimWare allows full use of the tablet’s integrated scanner, improving efficiency, accuracy, and trigger times while reducing the chance for human error.

CPU and Battery

While tablets traditionally have lackluster processing power. The RS80 is outfitted with one of the most popular and performance-intensive CPUs on the market. The Snapdragon 626 can power some of the most demanding apps and company-exclusive programs. In addition, switch between processes quickly, improving the device’s versatility and battery life.

The 8200 mAh replaceable battery can work for multiple shifts when using relatively economical programs. Also, it can last for hours with some of the most demanding applications.

Memory and Storage

The tablet has a respectable 4GB of RAM for fast access to important programs. Also it has the ability to work with a few applications at the same time. This amount of RAM is in line with most modern devices that don’t need graphics-heavy apps.

The RS80 also has 64GB of storage, although users don’t get the full amount. You’ll need to account for about 15-20GB for the operating system and pre-installed applications. However, the remainder should easily handle expansive data sheets and most applications without a problem. If the need for more storage arises at a later date, the tablet can fit a microSD card (up to 256GB guaranteed).

Connectivity and Features

People looking at RS80 tablet

While the tablet doesn’t have the call-over-Wi-Fi features that have become relatively commonplace in phones. It can still function relatively well as a mobile communication device.

The full range of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 4G LTE modes allows the tablet to hold a signal well. Which can be incredibly useful in overloaded warehouses or sparse open fields. This makes it a great choice for companies that handle large amounts of data uploads and downloads and still need proper and timely communication.

The tablet has two programmable buttons on the front, and the standard suite of navigational keys. Since all the buttons are near the device’s screen, users can operate the RS80 effectively with only one hand.

The RS80 also has an included gyro, barometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, and compass. It can also use NFC for streamlined inter-device communication.

Sound Quality

While tablets generally don’t have powerful speakers and microphones on account of being primarily productivity-focused rather than a communications device, the RS80 doesn’t disappoint. The robust rear speaker can deliver crisp sound, while the microphone has minor noise cancellation to alleviate contacts in crowded areas.


The RS80 has a respectable camera when compared to “regular” tablets. The 13MP back camera with flash and autofocus can deliver solid results. While pictures won’t look as flawless as on a traditional camera setup, the camera works well in dim settings and conserves power well.

The tablet’s front camera has 5MP, allowing for higher-quality video calls and bolstering the device as a versatile, all-purpose work tablet.

Overall, while the camera’s performance isn’t as great as a modern smartphone, it’s still in line with most recent tablets that have appeared on the market for private users.

Final Thoughts

Sonim RS80 Front and Back View

If your company needs a robust tablet that can fill both the demand for communication and data gathering and processing, then the RS80 can be a perfect fit. It is one of the best tablets on the market with superior ruggedness that allows it to function extremely well in challenging work environments.

Sonim’s focus on delivering stellar results to a wide array of industries has really shown with their most recent line of smart devices. The RS80 can be excellent in the hands of first responders, law enforcement, and manufacturing or logistics workers.

Our only possible complaint is that the tablet could maybe have a bit larger screen size to accommodate larger data sheets, but that can be easily managed with better app selection. It would’ve also probably blown the tablet’s weight beyond feasible proportions, and it’s already quite heavy.

While the RS60 has similar system specs in a more compact package befitting a premium rugged smartphone, both devices can prove to be invaluable for industry leaders across the globe. Sonim has clearly reached a highly effective design that will serve as the flagship for rugged mobile products for the next few years.

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