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Construction giant Dewalt unveils smartphone

April 19th, 2016 by Mark Daly in Industry News No Comments »
Construction giant Dewalt unveils smartphone ilicomm Technology Solutions

Construction giant Dewalt has entered the smartphone market with a tough Android-powered handset designed for building industry workers.

The £379 ($544) device is designed to survive a 2m drop on to concrete and can operate in temperatures ranging from -20C to 60C.

Rival firm Caterpillar has already established itself as a brand in the physically tougher smartphone sector.

The so-called “tough phone” market is flourishing, a retailer told the BBC.

“Lots of people in the trade and construction industries, as well as outdoor sports enthusiasts, have realised that just having a thicker case isn’t going to see them through,” said James Booker, purchasing manager at UK firm Tuffphones.

Construction giant Dewalt unveils smartphone ilicomm Technology Solutions
Image copyright Caterpillar
Image caption Caterpillar’s latest model features a thermal imaging camera

To be be certified as a “tough phone”, handsets have to undergo more rigorous physical tests, including being subjected to tumbling – turned over and over inside a device for long periods of time, Mr Booker explained.

They also have to be water and dust proof.

Because they are sturdier, they can also incorporate a bigger battery, he added – the Dewalt phone claims to offer up to eight hours of talk time.

“One of the main things about traditional smartphones is that they are svelte and slim – there’s an obvious correlation with how large a battery they can get in there,” Mr Booker said.

While most of its specifications are fairly standard for the sector, Dewalt’s MD501 phone comes with in-built QI wireless charging, which is unusual, he added.

Its touchscreen is made of commercially manufactured Gorilla Glass – a highly robust but thin type of glass that works with gloved hands.

The handset is a collaboration with Global Mobile Communications, a rugged phone specialist.

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