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DeWalt launches the MD501 rugged Android smartphone

by Mark Tyson on 28 April 2016, 11:31

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qac2i4

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Power tools specialist DeWalt intends to drill deep into the rugged smartphone market with its MS501 Android device. As you would expect, this smartphone is overtly ruggedized in style and checks off an impressive list of specs such as IP68 dust and water proofing/resistance, MIL810G impact and shock proofing and general toughness to extremes of weather, pressure, chemicals and vibration. Other key aspects of the design that will appeal to those on-site or in-the-field include Dual-SIM functionality, 4G connectivity, 'rapid' GPS, NFC, and Qi wireless charging.

I've listed most of the 'tough' specs above, but what about the regular non-outdoor features on offer? You will find that the rest of the smartphone specs are not cutting edge but of an appealing mid-range level. For brevity these are bullet point listed below:

  • Processor: MT6735 1.3 GHz, 64-bit quad core with ARM Mali-T720 GPU
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB storage (+ up to 64GB microSD)
  • Cameras: 13MP main, 5MP front
  • Battery: 3950mAh with Qi wireless charging. Standby 450 hrs. Talktime 2G/3G: 480/420 min
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM 4G LTE-FDD Band 1/3/7/20/28, LTE-TDD Band 39/40/41, GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100 MHz, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Size/Weight: 156 x 82 x 14 mm, 245g
  • OS: Android 5.1
  • Other features: Radio, USB OTG, G-sensor, gyroscope, pressure, magnetic, light & range sensors, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS.

Looking through the general spec bullet point list above, you can see there is a penalty to pay for the toughness of the smartphone in its size and weight – the thickness and weight of this device are both twice that of a modern regular non-tough smartphone.

Features of particular appeal to those working in the great outdoors or other challenging conditions are the IP68, MIL810G certifications mentioned in the intro. In addition DeWalt says that the MS501 can operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 60°C and can be used when wearing gloves.

The DeWalt MD501 rugged Android smartphone is due to become available in the UK late this month (or early May), availability in other countries will follow later this year. In the box you will get the phone, a charger, a USB cable, a USB OTG adapter cable, a headset, a Quickstart Manual, an additional display protection foil, a cleaning towel, a screwdriver, and a warranty card. Unfortunately we don't have a price for you as yet.

HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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Definitely not for me but I really like it :)
the MS501 can operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 6°C

I suspect that's supposed to be -20°C to 60°C ;)
I want the Caterpillar one with the FLIR camera.
Hmmmm, currently have a cheap-as-chips second-hand-off-a-mate android phone for use as a bike gps/computer. One that's actually designed to cope with water & muck, operate with gloves on, and would bounce if it fell off the handlebar mount is actually pretty tempting…

edit: hmm, found a listing. £450 sim free! https://www.clove.co.uk/the-dewalt-phone (disclaimer - I have no knowledge of that company beyond the fact that they're the only listing I could find for the phone).
I can't find any details on the screen size or resolution.