Motorola Solutions shows off ‘fortified’ Android-powered mobile computer in London
Motorola Solutions, the part of Motorola that Google didn’t purchase, has unveiled the Motorola TC55, a new Android-powered mobile computing device targeted at the enterprise.
The company says the TC55 will offer superior security, durability, battery life, scanning options and lengthier lifecycles than comparable consumer devices, but in a form factor that is attractive enough to be deployed in a range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, logistics and transportation.
A rugged, chunky device, the TC55 boasts a 4.3-inch display that can be used in various light and weather conditions with various types of input, including gloves or a stylus. It is protected by Gorilla Glass 2, and can be dropped from a height of 1.2 metres, while IP6/7 protection ensures it is resistant to both dust and water.
Motorola Solutions TC55
Along with programmable buttons, the TC55 also has a dedicated scan button and can process barcodes in a fraction of a second and the eight megapixel camera is used for document scanning.
The handset can be used in busy environments such as vehicles and building sites thanks the dual microphones that cancel out background noise and speakers that are four times louder than consumer devices.
The TC55 also promises 11 hours of battery life with normal use and can topped up with a replacement battery, meaning it should last for most shifts.
Its specs are comparable with most consumer phones – it is powered by a 1.5 GHz processor, has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage that can be supplemented through a MicroSD card slot – and also runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
This is an acknowledgement that some businesses want the more consumer orientated offerings of Android as opposed to what is being offered by Microsoft, which Motorola’s Andy McBain is keen to stress, remains a key partner for the company.
As Android lacks many of the enterprise features required, Motorola has supplemented it with Mx Extensions, a suite that adds improved security, application management, mobile device management, data capture and wireless security options.
“Mx Extensions plugs the holes to make Android enterprise-ready,” explains McBain, who adds that the suite is available for older Motorola Solutions devices as well.
Futureproof, but no 4G
Motorola says it is not offering a proprietary version of Android, while the Rhomobile 4 framework allows businesses to create mobile applications, such as HTML5, using open web technologies that can run on any mobile platform, effectively future-proofing software. These can be stored and downloaded in custom galleries that act like internal app stores.
The TC55 starts at $1,049, but also included in the price is a customer service scheme which promises to repair and return handsets within three days. However not available at any price is compatibility with European 4G networks, but McBain says this is not a dealbreaker as the majority of its enterprise customers are focussed on capturing and transmitting data rather than downloading videos.
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