So back from a little break, we’re diving right back into it with a first look at Honeywell’s newest rugged smartphone, the Dolphin 70e. Honeywell coin this as a “hybrid device” as it’s supposed to offer the usability of a consumer device but with the reliability and longevity of a rugged PDA and at first look it’s certainly doing just that. With a 4.3″ capacitive touch LCD and slim 18mm deep case, it’s arguably in the realms of smartphone in terms of size, but with an IP54 dust and waterproof rating and 1.2M drop spec it’s just about rugged enough to be called a rugged smartphone in our eyes.
Lets take a closer look:
What we rate
Here’s where we pick out some of the things we really like about the Honeywell Dolphin 70e.
- Extended battery option brings a whopping 3340mAh sized battery to this class. This will genuinely give you a shot at all day usage if you’re careful.
- There’s not only a built in barcode scanner as standard but it’s slim and sleek enough to not affect the overall size of the device.
- Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android 4.0 operating system choice.
- Dedicated physical buttons, including ones that will aid WEH6.5 use.
- Micro SD slot will expand your storage significantly.
- Honeywell SDK is very complete for bot OS’s and a whole host of Honeywell apps come as part of the package.
- NFC reader is included as standard.
- 700 NIT screen is super bright and will stand out against an average smartphone.
- Various configurations, essentially without 3G or with it.
- Snap on devices add EPOS card reader functionality to the device.
- Good amount of accessories, including quad cradle kits.
What we hate
There’s not much to hate! but lets pick out some things we don’t like so much about the Dolphin 70e.
- Larger battery puts a pretty sizable bump onto the back of the device.
- 2 point capacitive screen, means only 2 finger points are registered.
- Price is the biggest factor here. £500 starting price for WiFi only models with 3G enabled devices rising to £700. The equivalent Winmate e430 is nearly £200 less and more rugged.
What we think
As I said at the start of this blog, Honeywell are positioning the Dolphin 70e as direct, but rugged smartphone replacement. Damn, they even mention “Angry Birds” on their sales literature!! With this in mind I think Honeywell are on the right track with the Dolphin 70e getting a lot right…BUT…there is one issue I have.
Would a business considering smartphone want to shell out £700 for a device when there is also rugged choice at £500 or under? There is now a lot of choice in the rugged smartphone sector of the rugged market with others that do Android, 4.3″ and rugged better and at a lower price so whilst the Honeywell Dolphin 70e is a very nice device on paper, it could be flawed before it starts. We’ll have to see.
We’ll be putting the device up against the rest as soon as we get hold of our demo kit.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.