Panasonic unveils two rugged 5-inch Toughpad smartphones at MWC 2014

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Panasonic announced its first two enterprise-oriented rugged smartphones, dubbed the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 and Toughpad FZ-X1, at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. 

The Panasonic Toughpad smartphones are likely to hit the shelves with a price tag of $1,300 (Rs. 80,000). The Toughpad FZ-E1 will launch in Japan in June, while the FZ-X1 will launch in August. Panasonic does plan to offer the smartphones in other countries, but hasn’t detailed plans.

Both the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 and Toughpad FZ-X1 smartphones come with 5-inch LCD displays with a 720×1280 pixel resolution, apart from 2GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage and microSD card expandability. Notably, the rugged smartphones weigh as much as many 10-inch tablets, at 430 grams. 

While the Japanese firm’s Toughpad FZ-E1 runs on the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld and is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974AB processor, the Toughpad FZ-X1 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064T processor.

“We decided to use Windows Embedded 8 Handheld instead of Windows Phone 8 because it offers more customizability,” stated Masaki Mutou, general manager at Panasonic System Networks’ Terminal Systems Business Unit.

Both the Toughpad devices besides sporting a 5-inch display are the said to be the first ones to include 3G and LTE connectivity, according to PC World. The Toughpad FZ-E1 and Toughpad FZ-X1 phablets feature 8-megapixel rear cameras, and 1.3-megapixel front-facing cameras.

It has been additionally noted that the new Toughpad smartphones feature a MIL-STD-810G military rating, and can resist a drop from the height of 3 metres, and be submerged up to 1.5 metres of underwater for up to 30 minutes. The phablets can also work in extreme temperatures, ranging from minus 20 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius.

The Toughpad FZ-E1 and Toughpad FZ-X1 phablets are both backed up by fast-charging 6200mAh batteries, along with the such connectivity options as Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.0, Micro-USB, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, and NFC.

The firm also launched its Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet at CES 2014. The rugged tablet, unlike previous iterations, is targeted at the enterprise segment. The tablet comes with a 7-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1200×800 pixels with glove-touch technology and also comes with stylus support (optional).

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