The Raptor R4 – A first look

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.

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.

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!! www.ruggedandmobile.com

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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