Raptor R5 – A first look

9 07 2014
Meet the most powerful, feature packed Rugged device we sell!

Meet the most powerful, feature packed Rugged device we sell!

So to conclude our look at the Raptor range of devices we’re taking a first look at the R5.  The R5 brings so much to the table it’s got us all really excited here at RAM.

Spec

Not only is it the first 5″ screen Rugged smartphone we’ve seen here, that’s actually working and ready to go, not still being developed!! but it also has an awesome spec.

If the quad core 1.5GHz CPU, 2GB RAM and 32GB on board storage ROM weren’t enough for you then perhaps the 13MP camera, 5″ full 1920 x 1080p HD screen and 4200mAh battery should hopefully rattle your cage a bit.

To put this into perspective, the Pidion BM180 which is still yet to be launched, will have only a dual core CPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, 8MP camera and 1280 x 720 5″ screen with paltry 3000 mAh battery, so this is going to be a significant device that should mix the market up a little bit and we love kit like that here!  Oh by the way 3G versions of the BM180 won’t be here realistically until late 2014/2015.

The R5 is going to be an awesome device, right up there with current smartphone specs and I can’t wait to give it a full test.

The whopping 4200mAh battery is hsared with the R4 (R5 on left, R4 on right)

The whopping 4200mAh battery is hsared with the R4 (R5 on left, R4 on right)

In the hand

So the first thing that strikes you is the size of the R5.  The screen is simply awesome.  It’s big, brash and beautiful, bright and I could easily use it outdoors in direct sunlight.  if anything it’s a little deep, but to house such a big battery the device needs to put it somewhere but in the hand and using the hand strap it felt pretty easy to use and a lot lighter and smaller than a 7″ tablet.  The R5 really does fill a gap in the market with the 5″ screen and it won’t look stupid stuck to your ear taking calls either.

I like to see a dedicated camera button on rugged devices because it can be a pain to use the screen with gloves on, there are also power, volume, SOS and 2 other buttons on the device.

The R5 feels and looks a lot like it’s smaller brother device the R4.  In fact it shares the battery with it and design cues.  I like the rounded off corners and rubber detailing.

Meet the Raptors!  R4, R4s, R5, R7

Meet the Raptors! R4, R4s, R5, R7

Ruggedness

IP67 means the device is dust proof and submersible in water if you want to do that!, a drop spec of 1.5M means it’s droppable and fully rugged and there are some nice design features like recessed screen which will stop you scratching your screen when you put it down and also the rubber edging provides some cushioning from falls as well as making for a grippy device.

This is a very rugged device and will be able to take some abuse.

Not too big to handle, the Raptor R5 is big but easy to use

Not too big to handle, the Raptor R5 is big but easy to use

What we rate

There’s just so much to rate!

  • Beautiful full HD 5″ screen
  • Big 4200mAh battery
  • quad core 1.5GHz CPU
  • 2GB RAm, 32GB onboard storage expandable to 64GB with microSD card.
  • 13MP camera
  • 3G/phone as standard
  • Its super rugged

What’s 2000 and late!

  • The size won’t be to everyone’s taste, this is definitely a rugged smartphone.

Price and availability

Pricing is yet to be set 100%, that I’m told will be done next week though but expect 1 full featured device with 1 price that won’t be  £600.  If that’s right then this is going to be such great value for money it’s unreal!  The device is taking orders now and should be available next week.  We belive this will make the Raptor R5 the first fully available 5″ rugged smartphone.

Just pop us an email if you want to know more.

http://www.ruggedandmobile.com





Raptor R4s – A first look

7 07 2014
The Raptor R4s brings ruggedness with smartphone familiarity

The Raptor R4s brings ruggedness with smartphone familiarity

Continuing our Raptor series launch week, today I’m looking at the R4s.  The first thing that strikes me is why is there an R4 and R4s in the Raptor range and what are the main differences?

Well whilst the Raptor R4 has a fine spec and does a really great job of being a rugged smartphone, the R4s brings a more “Smartphone” look and feel to a rugged device.  This brings a slimmer depth, the same 4.5″ screen but this time it’s flush rather than recessed and it also has a slightly improved spec with quad core CPU and IP68 waterproofing too.  There is a cost to this and it’s a smaller 3000mah battery.  So the R4s brings choice to those looking for as near to the smartphone familiarity as possible but in a rugged, supported package.

What is the Raptor R4s

So the R4s still brings:

  • True full ruggedness.
  • A big battery.
  • Great support with fast repairs.
  • Built in hand strap.

but this time in a slimmer package that’s designed to appeal to those looking for a more smartphone look and feel, it’s going to appeal to those in the BYOD market too with a dual SIM slot and MDM built in meaning 1 device for work and play is a reality.

R4s in the hand - Slim, light and easy to use

R4s in the hand – Slim, light and easy to use

In the hand

It is truly slim.  OK, OK, it’s not quite an iPhone 5 but its slim enough to raise an eyebrow of a rugged chap like me!  It reminds me a lot of my Samsung Galaxy actually in its width and the depth is refreshing if you’re used to a rugged device.  I can see how Raptor wanted to bring something slightly different in this area of the market.  The device will sit well against competition like the Motorola TC55, Honeywell 70e or even a Gen2Wave rugged PDA.

The R4s is also light, I think it’s 280g which is on the lower edge of what we sell here so, whilst it’s not in the 150g area of the large smartphone, this is as close as you’re going to get if you want something you can drop.  Plenty of physical buttons will also make sure taking photos, or using the SOS features are quick and easy to do.

I think this is an interesting device, it’s different, it should find a good place brining an inexpensive but feature packed device to a market that needs it.

R4, R4s and trusty Google Nexus 4

R4, R4s and trusty Google Nexus 4

Spec

The spec isn’t too shabby at all and it benchmarks very well compared to anything rugged that we sell right now.  This is down to the quad core MTK CPU, 1GB RAM and 4GB of onboard storage which can be expanded to 32GB through the microSD card reader.  An 8MP camera, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi and AGPS mean the device is ready to do anything you come across in your busy work day or whilst using the device socially.

The device performed really well under test, no glitches, it ran smoothly and Android v4.2 complete with the play store pre-installed means that you have an up to date OS that’s become mature and feature packed.

Ruggedness

IP68 is a rare level of water proofing but we’ve tested and pulled apart the device and it really is very waterproof and very dunkable!  The design itself it also rugged bringing a 1.5M drop spec and when in the hand you can clearly see it’ll last longer than anything Motorola or Honeywell currently offer in this area of the market and it will go toe to toe with many classic rugged PDA’s too.  The device is grippy, it’s easy to hold and has a handstrap too meaning you’re less lightly to drop it.  This device will definitely last a lot longer than any smartphone.

What we rate

  • 3000mAh battery is still bigger than the average smartphone.
  • Quad core CPU
  • Super tough ruggedness with 1.5M drop spec and IP68.
  • Lightweight.
  • Big screen.
  • Built in MDM, KIOSK software ready to run.
  • Great support.

What’s a bit late!

  • 3000mAh battery might not last all shift, the R4 will be a better device.
  • RFID is an option.
Tough rubber covers and plenty of buttons

Tough rubber covers and plenty of buttons

Price & Availability

The price is going to match the R4 price so if you need a more “Rugged” experience the R4 is the one for you, if looking for a more “smartphone” experience but still in a rugged device then the R4s is for you, you don’t have to choose the device based upon price, just what you feel fits best.

So, both devices are £350.  This also includes a built in warranty+ bringing fast repairs and access to all kinds of portal features to help you run the device and a lot of passion and expertise from us!  The R4s is on sale now.

http://www.ruggedandmobile.com





RAM Q&A of the week – Raptors

4 07 2014

Devices_Raptor

Our Q&A summary of the week, covers everything Raptor this week!.  Keep the questions rolling in @ruggedandmobile or using #RAMQQ or using Facebook.

1.How does the Raptor R4 size screen compare to other devices in the rugged market?

It has a 4.5″ screen with qHD resolution of 960×540.  Typically we see rugged devices that run Android have 4.3″ screens running WVGA at 800 x 480 resolution or even the 3.5″ VGA screens that Windows Mobile likes.

2. What sized battery does a typical smartphone have?

Well the iPhone has a 1540mAh battery size, the Samsung Galaxy S4 had a 2600mAh battery and the S5 has a standard battery size of 2800mAh. My Samsung note 3 has a 3200mAh battery but that has to run a 6″ screen.  Battery is one of the most demanded quality indicators that a business mobile solution needs.

3. Does the Raptor R7 have a phone?

The R7 has 3G and a phone as standard making it more of a “phablet” than a tablet.  The 3G will be useful for syncing data over your mobile network but using it as a phone might be a push unless you use the provided headset.

4. Can I use a BT headset with the R7?

Yes you can, it even has AD2P streaming for your music if you want!

5. How do the dual SIMs work?  I had them on an old Nokia phone and they were rubbish.

Well Android handles dual SIM much better.  You put any 2 SIM cards in your device, say your business SIM and your personal one. The phone will then simply receive calls on either of them but tells you as the call comes in.  If you want to make calls then you have 2 call buttons, just tap the number and hit the right green key!

6. I noticed the Raptor R4 isn’t drop tested to MILSTD-810G does that make any difference?

not really.  MILSTD, although it is useful as a standard, is just that.  It’s a standard that some manufacturers test against and some don’t.  We drop test everything here we sell anyway to double-check it works and this is done to MILSTD-810G or H.

7. Do I get Warranty+ free with any Raptor?

Yes you do.  They’re well and truly loved, cared for and looked after via the warranty+ service. For many this is all you need.

I’ve had to limit this week to the top 5 due to time but keep sending those questions in, use #RAMQQ on twitter @ruggedandmobile or just email them in.

http://www.ruggedanmdobile.com





The Raptor R7 Rugged Android Tablet – A first look

2 07 2014
The Raptor R7 rugged Android Tablet is  quite simply stunning value for money

The Raptor R7 rugged Android Tablet is quite simply stunning value for money

Following on from our Raptor product launch theme this week, we’re going to the top of the range of rugged mobile devices where the R7 Tablet sits proudly. We take a first look at the rugged 7″ Android based tablet and share our thoughts right here.

What is the Raptor R7

The whole idea of the Raptor range is to put a rugged mobile business tool into the hands of any business, small or large so value for money is key in this market and the R7 doesn’t disappoint in that area.  In fact the spec puts devices twice the price to shame with a quad core QUALCOMM processor running at 1.2GHz, 1GB RAM and a total of 48GB of storage (16GB ROM + 32GB microSD card). It has a lovely bright 1280 x 800 screen, big 7000mAh battery and also has a full smartphone spec bringing 8MP camera, 3G and phone along with the usual WiFi, Bluetooth and AGPS features. Quite frankly I was taken already by the spec sheet but I eagerly awaited until I saw the device with my own eyes.

Corners can help tether the device and cushion drops

Corners can help tether the device and cushion drops

In the hand

The R7 is a real joy to hold.  It’s light for a rugged device, belying the 7000mAh battery and full feature set it has at it’s disposal and you immediately warm to the fabulous handstrap it has which is big, comfortable and adjustable too.  This will make the device so usable.  There are 3 physical buttons on the front of the device for the main 3 Android home, Back and menu options and the device has a number of buttons about it including power, volume, SOS and dedicated Camera button.

You can just feel the quad core CPU working as the R7 is so fast and slick it quite frankly puts my Note 3 tablet to shame and the screen is bright enough to see easily in the Liverpool sun we’re having here today!

The other thing that strikes me is the solid feel of the device.  OK so it’s not light compared to an iPAD and that’s largely due to the monster battery but it is slim and the shape makes it easy to hold and use with grippy edges.

The other thing I noticed were a 30 PIN expansion port which I’m told can be used with the Android accessory SDK.  There’s also copper dots on the back for rugged charging accessories as well as the microUSB and sd card ports we have come to expect from any Android device now.

The other thing the R7 has that is amazing at this price is a 3G chip.  This just worked as did the GPS and WiFi and together with the Android V4.1 OS it sports it was just simple and easy to use.

In the box it’s a simple affair with just a power plug, vehicle charger, stylus/tether, USB lead and headset, however all kinds of accessories are available for this device.

The R7 has a superb hand strap. A joy to use all day.

The R7 has a superb hand strap. A joy to use all day.

Ruggedness

IP67 makes the R7 dust tight and submersible in water so no rain or dust is getting in to this rugged little tablet.  I tested one by dunking it in the River Mersey, much to everyone elses disbelief, and I reckon I got it down to about 4M of water for about 10 minutes with no hassles.  Striking up a conversation with a local fisherman for 10 minutes on what the hell I was doing I also found out that that the river still has plenty of decent fish in it you can fish for and eat!!  Anyway back to the review! The device also has a 1.5M drop spec.  I should mention though that the device also has some nice design features when it comes to ruggedness.  The hand strap we already mentioned is great and will help stop you dropping the device before you start, however there are also some nice soft corners to the device that definitely absorb impacts on the usually rigid corners of the device.  These can also double up as anchor points so you can tether the device easily to yourself to again stop it actually falling.  In fact a tether accessory is in the box to do just this which is a nice touch and thought that you don’t see that often these days.

3G included in the spec as standard

3G included in the spec as standard

What we rate

  • Big battery means this is built for all day working. 7000mAh is 50% at least bigger than anything else we currently sell.
  • Super tough ruggedness and a design that helps with ruggedness.
  • Hand strap makes the device a joy to hold and use.
  • Big bright screen.
  • Built in MDM, KIOSK software ready to run.
  • Rugged charging connector means you don’t have to use the microUSB port.
  • Great support.

What’s 2008!

  • The battery is a sealed unit so there’s no way to field replace it, although with 7000mAh you shouldn’t need to.
  • No built in barcode scanner option, although we’re working on that with the expansion port!
  • RFID is an option.

Price & Availability

The price is going to be around the £400 which is simply a steal in my view as this undercuts anything else we sell in this market by almost half.  This also includes a built in warranty+ bringing fast repairs and access to all kinds of portal features to help you run the device and a lot of passion and expertise from us!

The R7 is on sale now so go have your cake and eat it, what are you waiting for!!!

http://www.ruggedandmobile.com





The Raptor R4 – A first look

30 06 2014
The Raptor R4 Rugged Android Smartphone

The Raptor R4 Rugged Android Smartphone

The Raptor R4 has been on test here for some time here and the reason for that is we’ve simply been trying to find the chinks in it’s armour.  We’ve dropped it, dunked it, kicked it, installed things on it, clocked the CPU’s battery and RAM but it just carries on! It’s starting to gain some friends here and we love the character this rugged device has already.

What is the Raptor R4

The whole idea of the R4 was to put a business tool into the hands of any business, small or large so value for money is key in this market.  The R4 is a 4.5″ fully rugged Android smartphone with what we call a full smartphone spec but with the 3 vital things that smartphone’s don’t have.

  • True full ruggedness.
  • A big battery.
  • Great support with fast repairs.
  • Built in hand strap.

In the hand

Before I saw one of these I was told all about it and I was expecting a huge big thing, but when I got the beautiful little box hand delivered direct from the factory I knew that couldn’t be right.  Seeing it for the first time I could see that it was easily small enough to use one handed, really light at only 300g too but it did indeed sport a big beautiful 4.5″ qHD screen and had an enormous 4200mAh battery too.  The case is a mix of hard plastic and really well made rubber that make it easy to grip and hold but the rubber has been designed in places to give the LCD a small recess.  not enough to remove from the Android, capacitive screen experience but just enough to help protect those screen breaks and stop the screen from scratching when put down, a nice touch. The device has to house the big battery somehow and that shows in the depth of the device.  However at just 25mm, all this does is make the device feel more substantial and easy to hold and use. There are lots of moulded in buttons that by just pressing you know will last for years. A dedicated camera button, SOS and PTT buttons along with a power and volume keys.  All great for workers in gloves! Powering on for the first time there was just a feeling of quality.  The splash screens were lovely and the OS booted up quickly. GMS is present on this device but we can take that off for anyone not wanting Google Play, however it gave the device a homely “smartphone” familiarity that many people look for.

R4 Recessed bezel will protect your screen

R4 Recessed bezel will protect your screen

Spec

The spec is pretty good.  Firstly I would say that Android V4 ran with no glitches, I was able to install all kinds of apps on the device with no issue and the dual core 1GHz chip along with 1GB RAM, 4GB onboard storage and 32GB SD card means i’m not going to worry about the core spec.  The Camera is an 8MP affair, it takes pictures swiftly, accurately and the onboard camera app has lots of settings. The screen was also a joy to use.  The R4 uses a bigger 4.5″ screen than we’re used to sporting a big 960 x 540 qHD display.  This gives the devices a longer thinner feel, much like the iPhone which packs in the pixels but into a compact design.  The screen is also super bright, I had no trouble in using it under the rare but oddly strong sun Liverpool has had the past week! The best part of the spec is the battery. The 4200mAh battery is going to be a boon and should give most users an all day device on one charge.  If not then you can replace it or use the Domestic or vehicle Micro USB chargers that come with the device. Please go and take a look at the spec sheet to see all

Ruggedness

IP67 means the R4 is dust tight and you can submerse the device in water.  We had one in 1M of water for 2 weeks and we also dunk tested one in the Mersey with no issues but officially it’ll take <2M for 30 minutes The device is really well built though, the battery cover is screwed down but easily removed with the provided tool. The screen is slightly recessed, the rubber helps it to bounce and we drop tested this well over 2M on our own rig with no issues.  The R4 is not going to let you down if you don’t look after it so well and when judged against devices like the Motorola TC55 and Honeywell 70e well these simply aren’t in the same league in my view.

Raptor R4 4200mAh battery, Dual SIMs and SD card on the right

Raptor R4 4200mAh battery, Dual SIMs and SD card on the right

What we rate

  • Big battery means this is a business tool.
  • Super tough ruggedness.
  • Lightweight.
  • Big screen.
  • Built in MDM, KIOSK software ready to run.
  • Lots of accessories for a smartphone.
  • Great support.

What’s 2008!

  • Not  much!
  • No built in barcode scanner option.
  • RFID is an option.
  • v4.01 Android is not bang up to date but we’re told a 4.2 refresh is on its way.

Price & Availability

The price is going to be around the £350 or under.  This also includes a built in warranty+ bringing 3 day repairs and access to all kinds of portal features to help you run the device and a lot of passion and expertise from us!  The R4 is on sale now. The Raptor R4 is the first device we’ve sold that provides a no frills, quality rugged mobile smartphone for under £400.  There’s simply no negatives here, even the support is there so apparently you can have your cake and eat it!! http://www.ruggedandmobile.com





RAM Q&A of the week – Pidion product update

27 06 2014

RAM Weekly Q & A

Our weekly Q&A summary of the week, covering everything we talk about during the week and more. Keep the questions rolling in @ruggedandmobile or using #RAMQQ or using Facebook.

1. I have the HM45 and need to buy more, can i get any?

Not according to our information, you need to find something else.  If you’re a RAM customer then you’ll have the exact same support services and support process so hopefully that will help you transition.

2.  Why such short notice?

Difficult for us to answer directly but things can happen that make life of a device difficult.  Fort example suppliers of critical parts can f=go out of business or a device might not sell well so it’s pulled.  In this case we have received no official reasons that we can publish.

3. Are my existing HM45′s supported?

Yes, there are parts to make sure any customers are supported according to their support contract lengths.

4. Are the HM40 and HM50 affected by this?

The HM40 is the same same device with a keypad and only in Windows Mobile guise.  Whilst both devices have had their issues in our experience of them, they are unaffected and remain on sale with no indication of being discontinued.

5. Seriously i’m expected to think the BM180 is a replacement device for the HM45?

Well we understand that, a 5″ screen is substantially larger than the 3.5″ one of the HM45 and the devices are slightly different in how they go about their business but thats the score.  We have lots of better alternatives anyway, try here: Rugged Android PDA’s

6. How much does the BM180 cost in identical spec to the HM45?

We haven’t officially got our pricing just yet but expect the BM180 to be somewhere form 50-80% more.  This might change as launch approaches but this is all the information we have right now.

7. Will there be a replacement for the BP70?

No, and yes it leaves Pidion with no 10″ android option to their range.  To be honest we don’t sell very many 10″ Android tablets anyway with most of our customers buying 7″ or 10″ Windows based ones so we’re not so sure how big an impact this will be.

I’ve had to limit this week to the top 5 due to time but keep sending those questions in, use #RAMQQ on twitter @ruggedandmobile or just email them in.

http://www.ruggedanmdobile.com





Bluebird Pidion BM180 update

25 06 2014
The BM180 is nearly here!

The BM180 is nearly here!

The Pidion BM180 and BP30 are 5″ screen sized Android devices, focussed on EPOS.  The BM180 is durable, the BP30 is the rugged version of the pair but other than that they’re pretty identical.

So far we’ve had the following availability update:

July 2014 – Android WiFi only versions

October 2014 – Android 3G/GSM versions available

October 2014 Windows 8 Embedded Wifi only

January 2015 – W8E 3G/GSM versions

A 5″ screen is pretty unique in the rugged market right now so it’s going to be a race to see whether the Raptor R5 or the BM180 get to the market with a first.  As soon as we can get our hands on both devices we’ll be sure to pit them against each other and let you know which one comes out on top!

We’re taking orders if people want to order, so get in touch if you’re looking for something with a 5″ screen.

http://www.ruggedandmobile.com








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