Arbor Gladius 5 Rugged Android Phablet - A first look
Lots of features, spec is up to date but not the best you'll find but the price is well balanced. Worth a look.
Value for money70%
What's great!
  • Lots of features
  • 1D/2D barcode scanner
  • Good price level
What ain't!
  • Battery might be a little small
  • Spec is not top notch
  • Large device not for everyone
67%First look
we’re seeing screen sizes get bigger and bigger!!  The iPhone now has a 5.5″ option, the BM180 is on it’s way and the Raptor R5 was already here as the first Phablet we sold touting it’s own 5″ screen in a super rugged housing, so we were a little bit sceptical of the Gladius when we were shown it but it does have a few tricks up it’s sleeve.  We give you our first look of the device right here.

In the hand

The first thing that strikes you is that this device is a lot larger than expected, it’s more the size of the Mitac Mio device than say a Galaxy Note3 so it’s not as mobile but it does feel substantial and more tablet-like in the hand without being a full tablet if that makes sense!  The resolution of the screen is also pretty good at 1280 x 720 you get a full HD screen which makes real use of the big 5.5″ screen. Underneath you find the 1D or 2D dedicated barcode scanner, built in and ready to scan!

Arbor say that the Gladius 5 is aimed at the hospitality market and I can see that in this environment it owuld not only look right but would also be a durable device.


The spec is up to date but at the same time isn’t going to set anyones hair on fire.   The MTK based quad core CPU runs at 1GHz, theres 1GB RAM, 8GB storage ROM, 8MP/2MP cameras and all of the sensors and readers you’ll need including NFC and even a barometer! WiFi ocmes in standard b/g/n and theres a 3G chip for calls and data usage whilst on the move. The device is Micro USB based and comes with a charger and cable in the box.

Accessory-wise there’s a desktop and vehicle cradle options and there are options to include a mag strip reader for payments.


MILSTD-810G certified with a 1.5M drop sepc and IP65 waterproofing mean the Gladius 5 is fully rugged and some of the build details also give it a nice rugged design such as the way the battery cover screws down and the decent edging to the screen. Nothing special these days but the device is built well and should be good for most rugged scenarios.

What we rate
  • Built in barcode scanners should make this a versatile all in one device.
  • Spec is all there, its not the greatest in this category but all the featires you’ll ever  need are included.
  • Nice full HD resolution to the 5.5″ screen
  • Gorilla glass
  • 2 SIM slots
What’s 2000 and late!
  • 3600mAh battery, is OK but will it really drive a big screen like this for that long?
  • Large size might not put some off.
  • No physical buttons for glove wearers!
price & Availability

As far as we have been told the device is going to be here imminently and the pricing will be sub £600 which isn’t too bad for a device that includes 3G and a barcode scanner with this kind of screen. This price level will mean that it can be a decent alternative and price doesn;t have to be a factor.


Well it’s a 5.5″rugged phablet with a barcode scanner.  On the one hand it does bring something new to the table and it is different but on the other I do wonder if devices like the Raptor r% or Pidion BM180 will just do this kind of thing in a better package.  Time will tell.


About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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