Review: Panasonic's Toughbook N1 handheld is built for the road warrior - TechRepublic

 

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The Best Rugged Smartphones of – MBReviews


The Panasonic Toughbook FZ-N1mk2 is targeted toward industrial use cases, and offers functionality beyond what is possible with a smartphone and ruggedized case. Panasonic's Toughbook brand of ruggedized devices is strongly associated with notebook computers running Windows, rather than Android-powered devices.

Despite the handheld size—and ostensible phone capability, given that it supports LTE—the Panasonic Toughbook FZ-N1 is marketed as a handheld, with great emphasis on the angled rear-facing barcode reader. It's a much more purpose-built device—and it does feel purposefulin contrast to well-intentioned experiments like the Galaxy Beam or Galaxy Fold.

Generally speaking, the Toughbook FZ-N1mk2 would not be out of place among package couriers, a position that—for obvious reasons—requires the ability to scan a high number of barcodes quickly and accurately. Calling the device a glorified package scanner, however, would undersell the capabilities of the system significantly.

The N1 is well-equipped to serve the needs of the people who don't sit at a desk for eight hours a day market panasonic smart phones reviews aims for, though a head-to-head comparison with premium flagships like the Galaxy Note 10 would be a less than equitable comparison. Display: 4.

Wireless: Wi-Fi Operating System: Android 8. The Toughbook N1 is a relatively large device. The camera bump is unparalleled, though Panasonic touts the angled camera and barcode reader as a feature.

For users scanning hundreds of barcodes a day, the positioning is likely to be helpful—likewise, it prevents the user from inadvertently covering the scanner with their hand. The N1 retains a great deal of expandability—there are two SIM slots and one dedicated microSD card slot, eliminating the need to sacrifice expandable storage when adding a second SIM.

These readers use a complex ZIF-like assembly—at first glance, panasonic smart phones reviews, they appear more durable than slot-loading readers found on consumer-targeted electronics. Depending on the use case, the microSD is potentially vital, as the N1 is equipped with a relatively paltry 16 GB storage.

The screen is brightand was clearly intended for use outdoors. Colors are slightly washed out, though this is not a screen intended for content consumption. For a 4. Likewise, the front-facing speakers are rated for up to dB, though distortion is inevitable if you play it loud. At noisy worksites, it provides a clear benefit. A dedicated camera button is on the bottom right, giving it the same modality as an average point-and-shoot camera. The microUSB port is hidden behind a slider, as is the 3.

Nine contact pins cover the bottom for docked charging, with metal sliders on either side, again, for docking purposes.

Panasonic's dated Dashboard app duplicates controls in Android that are more accessible using Android's Quick Settings dropdown, panasonic smart phones reviews. Thankfully, this is the extent of bloatware on the FZ-N1mk2. Panasonic makes few visible changes to the Android 8.

There's a Dashboard app that serves no discernable purpose, as it fully duplicates the icon drawer, and visually appears to date back to the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4. Unfortunately, it cannot be deleted. The Snapdragon is a mid-tier system-on-a-chip SoC.

It's not a transparently bargain-bin chip, panasonic smart phones reviews, but it also does not deliver particular flagship-level specs. It garners a Geekbench 4 single-core score of 1, panasonic smart phones reviews multi-core score of 5, a modest decrease from the Snapdragon powered Pixel 3, which received a 2, and 7, respectively.

For lack of bloatware, there's no noticeable lag when using the system from panasonic smart phones reviews to day. The review model shipped with Android 8. Panasonic promised a revised firmware in July that brings it up to the March security level, though this is not—as of press time—available via OTA updates, or on Panasonic's website. Panasonic rates the battery for two years charging cycles of wear. Considering the battery is field-replaceable, this lifespan is standard.

Optionally, a 6, mAh battery panasonic smart phones reviews available, as well. The battery is warm-swappable. The barcode reader is quick and capable—the device comes with a demonstration app, and panasonic smart phones reviews SDK is available to create your own integrations.

In testing, the scanner successfully read a relatively small barcode from three feet away. Panasonic smart phones reviews flash LEDs activate when the reader is active, to make scanning easier. The dedicated barcode reader is noticeably faster than camera-based solutions such as Scanditwhich work on consumer smartphones. The camera is underwhelming—the relatively weak 8MP camera turns out average, pointillism-inspired snapshots.

It gets the job done, but it's nothing worth framing. The Panasonic Toughbook FZ-N1mk2 undoubtedly is fit-for-purpose, though the custom API required for using the barcode reader practically requires mass enterprise deployment of these handsets to recoup the development costs of integrating the device features into your organization's workflow.

This would be true of any Android-powered barcode reader, however, and the extensibility and relative ease of development on Android is likely to make this type of integration less costly compared to custom, bespoke panasonic smart phones reviews solutions.

Panasonic's delivery of—and messaging for—Android security updates needs work. Six months behind for an Android security level should be unacceptable for an enterprise device, particularly when mainstream consumer smartphones receive security updates at a faster cadence.

Undoubtedly, panasonic smart phones reviews, this is also going to cause a trifle of sticker shock. That price point is quite a premium over the bill of materials, though the creeping price increases of flagship smartphones make it less of a disparity. The N1, however, does not use flagship parts. Ultimately, if you work in an industry that needs these features, it's a solid solution and will serve your needs far better than a consumer smartphone in a ruggedized case.

BYOD, wearables, IoT, mobile security, remote support, and the latest phones, tablets, and apps IT pros need to know about are some of the topics we'll address. Delivered Tuesdays and Fridays. James Sanders is a staff technology writer for TechRepublic. Review: Panasonic's Toughbook N1 handheld is built for the road warrior The Panasonic Toughbook FZ-N1mk2 is targeted toward industrial use cases, and offers functionality beyond what is possible with a smartphone and ruggedized case.

Mobile Enterprise Newsletter BYOD, panasonic smart phones reviews, wearables, IoT, mobile security, remote support, and the latest phones, tablets, and apps IT pros need to know about are some of the topics we'll address. Delivered Tuesdays and Fridays Sign up today Sign up today. Editor's Picks, panasonic smart phones reviews. Python is eating the world: How one developer's side project became the hottest programming language on the planet. How iRobot used data science, cloud, and DevOps to design its next-gen smart home robots.

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7 days ago · The Panasonic Toughbook FZ-N1mk2 is targeted toward industrial use cases, and offers functionality beyond what is possible with a smartphone and ruggedized case. Panasonic. Panasonic Smart Phones, a leading smartphone brand in India believes in providing top quality devices with its one of a kind mission: to make technology available to every individual. Panasonic India’s history of connecting people came into existence with the launch of in-car phones . List of all the latest and new Panasonic smartphones. Panasonic Corporation, one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers, was founded as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. in