Rugged handheld PDA’s aren’t what they used to be with more and with more different styles and form factors of device being added every month just what do you buy?
Well one category of rugged device is the “rugged smartphone” and the rise of this form factor has been largely down to the fact that as mobile becomes the norm in business, we look for what we use in every day life…only rugged for business and enterprise means that it lasts. This blog looks at the top 7 differences that set apart the rugged smartphone from the trusty old rugged handheld.
1. Screen size rules!
The standard screen size on a classic PDA device is 3.5″, a rugged smartphone we start at 4.3″ and we’re seeing 4.5, 5.0″ and more already as people seek to replicate the same experience they have on their own smartphone devices.
2. No keypads
Gone are the numeric or qwerty keypads of yesterday. These days any buttons needed are programmed into the applications running on the screen.
3. Capacitive screens
Capacitive screens make for a much more fluid and usable device and whilst a few years ago even we were dubious about them, they’re now here to stay and allow applications to be way more productive than they used to be with stylus and drop down boxes!!
4. Light and small
Despite a larger screen rugged smartphones tend to be smaller, lighter and are easier to carry and store away than their “mobile computer” counterparts. The Gen2Wave RP1300 will easily go in a pocket unyet its still fully rugged with 4000mAh battery.
5. Built for Android
Whereas the older keypad and VGA format devices suited Windows Mobile down to the ground, these newer smart devices are as at home running Android too. many devices we sell run Windows Mobile or Android quite happily, whereas Android retro-fitted to a PDA with a qwerty keypad somehow doesn’t quite feel right to us.
Give a rugged handheld to an employee and they now need to unlearn what they know about their iPhone or Android smartphone. Give a rugged smartphone to an employee and they know exactly what it is. With familiarity comes sponsorship of the tool which means less training costs and frustration with learning a new tool.
Yes, the price of a rugged smartphone is usually less than even the cheaper rugged handheld computers that we sell. Often due to the omission of unneeded barcode scanners and peripherals. Look out for non-fully rugged versions that skimp on the drop specs!
So if smartphones are working for you in terms of form factor, but you need something more rugged that will last a few years and spend far less time in repair centres then a Rugged smartphone might just be for you!