IFA 2014 Panasonic has added a rugged Android-powered smartphone to the deluge of hardware coming out of IFA this week. The announcement of the Toughpad FZ-X1 goes all the way back to Mobile World Congress, but today marks retail availability of the Android version of the handset for £1024. The Windows model will be coming out in November.

Some of the more interesting features here include a built-in barcode scanner and programmable hardware keys, but here's a rundown of the specs.

  • Android 4.2.2
  • 4G LTE / 3G Data and Voice capability
  • Qualcomm APQ8064T 1.7GHz Quad-core processor
  • 2 GB RAM and 32GB flash storage
  • 5-inch 1280 x 720 daylight-readable display with Glove & Rain mode
  • MIL-STD 810G certified with 3 meter drop resistance
  • IP68 rated (Submersible in water up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes)
  • -20°C to +60°C operating temperature
  • User replaceable high capacity battery with hot swap function
  • Up to 14 hours continuous data access time; up to 23 hours talk time; up to 1000 hours standby time
  • Integrated 1D/2D Barcode reader
  • Enterprise level security (FIPS140-2 level-1 compliant & Built-in ARM TrustZone)

Though the specs might not blow you away, this is exactly the kind of thing many businesses need in rough-and-tumble industrial applications, and no doubt are willing to pay for the right tool for the job.

Anybody interested in snagging an FZ-X1 Toughpad can find them at Panasonic's online store.

Source: Panasonic


Reader comments

Panasonic's ultra-rugged FZ-X1 Toughpad now available


Because most of the industries that need these phones don't breed the latest and greatest specs anyway, and because the development, testing, and certification cycle for a device like this is probably twice as long as that of a regular smartphone.

It's clearly not lowballing for the heck of it, I haven't looked but I'm sure it costs more than an SGS5 or One, it probably costs so much more that having a higher res display or the latest SoC wouldn't impact the price much, but those things may not have been available when the device was conceived.

Can confirm, I support mobile devices in an industrial setting. These companies couldn't care less about specs. They'll pay thousands of dollars for a device with 2005 specs that passes all of the industrial certifications under the sun.

Exactly this. The most expensive phone Sprint sells is a basic phone (Sonim XP Strike IS, $1,099). Why? Because it's IS-rated for use in hazardous environments. The businesses that buy these devices are more worried about a phone making it through the day than how well it will play Asphalt 8.

TL;DR a phone like that isn't for the average consumer or even the spec conscious tech enthusiast, and you probably won't find it at carrier stores or advertised on billboards. Edit: Bleh, was meant as a reply to my previous post, new comment system looks sleek but it has some quirks.

Panasonic has been in the tough specs business for a long time. They build "tough" products for the military and law enforcement agencies too. As example the CF series laptops. They build these products for the industry clients in mind and not the retail consumer at large.

I agree with the author's comment
"Though the specs might not blow you away, this is exactly the kind of thing many businesses need in rough-and-tumble industrial applications, and no doubt are willing to pay for the right tool for the job."

Again, this is not built with the retail consumer in mind and as such the OS will be designed around purpose specific apps that agency customers might have either already custom built or are refined and stable on a certain generation of OS.

My guess is that this version of Android is the most stable for the software that the Tough Pads will be running/designed to run. These devices are used in the field (engineering, utilities, etc) and they absolutely cannot risk the phone crashing/freezing whilst being used.

The Tough Book line doesn't run at a particularly high spec, yet is even more expensive than a MacBook Pro (their realitvely large HDD's are taken up by industry specific software that uses huge amounts of memory). It's all about making the most reliable product for the intended market.