We had a little break from blogging, sorry for not letting on about that. We had to focus on getting our websites Google mobile ready which kind of all encompassed us here for a couple of weeks, however we’re back now and feeling good about writing!!
The Rugged world is changing. It seemed only yesterday when businesses just looked for “Rugged Handhelds” or “Rugged PDA” but these days those terms are almost unheard of, being replaced by ones like “Rugged Smartphone” or even “Android Warehouse Device” which prompted me to think that we should update our knowledge here on the types of device that you can buy.
Forgive the terminology, this is what we call the devices but feel free to comment and put your names over to us, we’d love to hear them.
Where it all began for us! Designed for the field with 3G and Phone, these come with qwerty or numeric keypads, have all the features of smartphones but in a classic “Candy Bar” form factor that’s rugged.
Small Rugged PDA
Just like the above device but smaller! Typically bringing 2.8 to 3.0″ screens, but other than that exactly the same but for their size. These devices should have barcode scanner options in them.
Optimised for warehouse or retail where high frequency barcode scanning is paramount, these devices tend to come as WiFi only but usually have optimised WiFi chips for demanding “live scanning” network connectivity. They tend to have multiple keypad options that are more focussed on stock control so expect to see an A to Z keypad stacked on top of a numeric one. They also have trigger handles and are super rugged!
Lightweight Rugged Handheld
Like a Rugged handheld but lighter weight design. Often cheaper and lighter but almost make buying their more costly sister devices a bit irrelevant these days.
Windows Mobile Rugged Smartphone
These bad boys are new to the block and they give users of today what they want. A smartphone form factor, with no keypad other than maybe a few essential buttons and screens that no longer reflect the classic VGA ratio. These are designed to bring the smartphone experience to users but in a rugged package.
Rugged Android Smartphone
Rugged is no longer dominated by Microsoft and Windows Mobile and we’re now seeing a wave of Android focussed, rugged devices that are built for Android form the ground up. Expect to see an even more “Smartphone-like” device, slimmer thinner but with a far more up to date spec, all in a rugged design.
Hybrid Rugged Smartphone
The device that’s in demand right now. Thin, light, powerful, Android based, big batteries, supported and above all rugged. These devices are also much less expensive than the classic rugged brands unyet they are often better in many ways.
Once the wonder of the rugged world, these devices are now being superseded somewhat by the Hybrid Android devices above. However they still give the smallest, lightest Windows Mobile experience you can get. Semi rugged because they are droppable but not waterproof.
Slim rugged PDA
Like a Rugged PDA, with all the same features and spec options but slimmer. Surprisingly popular these devices put a better priced, lighter device into the hands of users. Usually at the expense of the battery, however some have extended battery options if needed.
So there we have it, these are the most popular device types we seel anyway, next up we’ll talk about Rugged tablets!