Galaxy & Xperia devices aren't suited for enterprise use, says Panasonic

Customers want large, 5in, fully ruggedised devices with voice calling capabilities, claims Panasonic

Hazardous materials

Panasonic claims popular consumer smartphones and tablets are not satisfying enterprise needs, based on customer feedback it has received.

The Japanese firm believes the 5in Android and Windows 8.1 phablets it detailed at IFA will plug this gap in the manufacturing, transportation and retail markets where smart and rugged devices are needed.

Customers asked Panasonic to combine features of consumer tablets with voice functionality and a rugged, portable design, according to Mark Thorne, director of business at Panasonic.

"What we did with this product [ToughPad] is combine the benefits which tablets provide - large display and high capacity battery - with the advantages of a typical handheld, such as the security, barcode functionality [and] voice," he explained.

During the presentation, Panasonic compared the 5in ToughPads with similar sized devices such as the Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2. Although these are consumer-grade products, some businesses may be tempted to invest in them because of a perceived ruggedness due to IP ratings, and of course, the lower price.

But according to Panasonic they cannot compete when it comes to operating temperatures, battery capacity (with hot-swap functionality) and the ability to survive drops from up to 3 metres.

Panasonic also allows users to customise devices based on the use cases. The phablet can be shipped with an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash or configured to include serial USB buses, smart cards readers or barcode readers.

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