Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1, FZ-N1 Rugged Smartphones Launched at MWC 2016

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Panasonic on Monday unveiled two new Toughpad handheld devices – the Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 – at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Android-powered Panasonic Toughpad FZ-N1 will be initially available as a Wi-Fi model in March at an estimated street price of $1,499 (approximately Rs. 103,000) while the voice model will be launched in summer. The Windows 10-based Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 will be launched at an estimated street price of $1,599 (approximately Rs. 110,000) and will be available starting in the second half of 2016. The company says that the new Panasonic handheld Toughpads will be available via authorised Panasonic handheld resellers and come with standard 3-year warranty. Notably, the Panasonic is touting its new Toughpad devices as handheld tablets but we classify voice-calling devices below 7-inches as phones.

The Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 feature angled rear barcode reader that allows the user to scan items and also pack barcode reader activation buttons on either side making it easy for use by left- or right-handed users. Other features of the handsets include a glove enabled display and sunlight adaptive display with rain sensing mode. The company says that the new Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 feature a drop rating of 6 feet and have also passed tumble test from 3.3 feet. The devices come with IP65 and IP67 certification requirements which means can withstand in up to 3.3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

For specifications, the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 feature 4.7-inch (720×1280 pixels) display and are powered by 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AB) processor with Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB RAM.

They pack 16GB inbuilt storage and also support expandable memory up to 64GB with microSD. Both these devices essentially differ only on the OS front. The FZ-F1 runs Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise while the FZ-N1 runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Both support dual-SIM functionality apart from Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS connectivity issues. The devices sport an 8-megapixel rear with LED flash as well as 5-megapixel front camera. Both come with a 3200mAh battery while the company will offer an optional 6200mAh long-life battery back.

Commenting on the launch, Jan Ruderman, Vice President, Business Mobility Group, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, said, “Enterprise and government users are looking to do more with handheld tablets than ever before. The majority of handheld computer solutions in market today are using an antiquated OS and are vastly underpowered. Additionally, older devices aren’t compatible with today’s standard enterprise applications, offer poor voice and data features and are larger and heavier than they need to be. The Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 handheld tablets give companies looking for an up-to-date, powerful, flexible and purpose-built solution, an excellent option that will improve efficiency, productivity and bottom-line performance for years to come.”

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