Panasonic has announced a new smartphone that is built for a very niche audience – those that are interested in adventuring through harsh terrains and not worry about their electronics. The new smartphone from the brand which goes by the name of Toughbook FZ-T1 offers just that, albeit at an incredible price starting at £1,142 (~ Rs. 1,03,000). At this price, one could easily opt for an iPhone X ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Although the 2018 flagship device from Apple is just as pricey, the offering from Panasonic is much more rugged and can withstand through many gruesome conditions. The FZ-T1 features a 5-inch HD display having a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The display is definitely not the crispest one around in the market and it could have definitely have been fitted with a Full HD panel without compromising on its build design.
Underneath its hood, to the surprise of many, the phone features an entry-level Snapdragon 210 processor. This is a low power processor and ranks at the bottom of Qualcomm’s chipset lineup. This 32-bit processor is clocked at 1.1 GHz and is supported with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Although this may seem pretty ridiculous for the phone’s asking price, the phone does offer some unique features that other phones don’t.
To start with, the phone has an IP68 certification coupled with being military grade MIL-STD-810G compliant. This means that the phone isn’t just dust and water resistant but pretty durable with shocks and drops. Up next is its display. Although it has a mere 5-inch display, it allows for its usage with damp hands or even with gloves on. This is a feature found only with some high-end flagship devices.
Another nifty feature (gimmick?) is the integration of a 1D/2D integrated barcode scanner. The phone also comes with a dedicated key to quickly use the barcode scanner. The phone doesn’t fall short of ports, unlike many other smartphones in this range (*cough iPhone X*). It has a micro USB port for charging its 3,200mAh battery, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a dock connector for connecting additional accessories.
Speaking about its battery, there is more to it than the mere 3,200mAh unit, which by no means is less, considering its low power processor and HD display. The phone has a removable battery which can easily be swapped for a fresh one. But, it gets slightly better. The device is compatible with a warm battery swap. What this means is that the phone can remain switched on for a little while without a battery; during this brief interval, you can put in a new battery. This allows the phone to stay online without any downtime.
To summarise, yes this phone does feature some really interesting features which are definitely targeted for a very niche audience and isn’t something that will suit most people’s needs.