From ToughBook to ToughPad, Panasonic has been the one popular company in the consumer market producing mobile gadgets with the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger, not literally. The company has been producing some strong military grade laptops under the name ToughBook, and this week they released two smartphones with a rugged persona that will make a soldier smile. The phones are named ToughPad FZ-N1 and ToughPad FZ-F1 and even though the company is marketing them as “handheld tablet”, we are pretty sure that they fit into the class of phones.
Both of the phones run on Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and Ardeno 330 GPU coupled with 2 gigabytes of RAM. Both of them have 4.7 inch HD 720p displays, an internal storage of 16 gigabytes and connectivity features like NFC, GPS, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. The battery is 3200mAh Li-Ion which lasts more than the typical 8 hour work shift and can be replaced by the user. However the company provides an external battery back with a capacity of 6200 mAh. The phones feature an 8-MP main camera and a 5-MP front camera and both of them support dual-SIM functionality. The specs are okayish but where the device really stands out is the strong design and durability.
The ToughPad comes with an IP65 and IP67 rating which means that the devices can be submerged into 3.3 feet of water for 30 minutes. The ToughPad can handle drops from up to 6-feet of height. The device when in tests was dropped continuously 2000 times from a height of 3.3 feet resulting into no issues. The devices are also dust-resistant and wear a strong glass screen that ensures display durability and reliability.
The only difference between FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 is the operating system and the price. The FZ-F1 runs on Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise while the FZ-N1 runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. The FZ-N1 is priced at a massive $1,499 for the Wi-Fi only version; the voice version will be available later this summer. The Wi-Fi version will be available in March. The FZ-F1 is priced at $1,599 and will be available in second-half of 2016.
Clearly this level of ruggedness does not come cheap. Panasonic has always taken care of the tougher side of consumer electronics and we believe that these phones will perform well in the real world.