Tuesday , June 19 2018

Panasonic has launched a rugged Toughpad phone for the Australian market

Let’s say this at the outset: very few people will have a need for a phone such as this, the new Panasonic FZ-N1 Toughpad. Despite the name, this is a mobile phone-shaped and sized device, designed for ultraportable toughness like its bigger tablet-sized cousins. Panasonic bill this as a 3-in-1 device, combining a mobile barcode reader, smartphone and tablet, but we’re not so sold on the tablet part.

Regardless, this is a device designed to survive drops, heat, cold, vibration, dust and rain … and probably a nuclear apocalypse. Primarily, Panasonic sees a device like this being of most use in the transport and logistics sectors, in manufacturing and retail, with a variety of conceivable uses including inventory management, shipping and receiving, parcel tracking and routing and retail store use.

At $2,799, we don’t expect any consumers will be heading out to buy one, but the Panasonic FZ-N1 will undoubtedly appeal to certain markets. The phone is a 4.7-inch dual-SIM 4G mobile terminal, running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with 16GB storage and 2GB RAM. The battery is rated for standby up to 700 hours, and it weighs around 277 grams.

Look, we can’t think of a conceivable reason any consumer would go and buy one of these; Panasonic’s Toughpad customers are going to be enterprise, industry, government and perhaps even defence industries / agencies. Regardless of who you are, you can find out more information on Panasonic’s product page.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Ausdroid Reader

I would have one of these in a heartbeat if it was a) a free promotional phone from Panasonic, or b) available on a plan that didn’t break the bank. As a volunteer in the emergency services and living a reasonably rough and tumble existence this phone offers a solution to a problem that no other Android phone is able to offer. How do we make our phones rugged? And not just looking rugged, but something that will take quite some abuse and keep working. Rugged cases are only made for the select few phones and even then they only… Read more »

Ausdroid Reader

At nearly $3k, you’d think they would include more than 16GB of hard drive!

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