DeWALT and Global Mobile Communications unveil rugged Android smartphone

DeWALT, the construction site equipment and powertool manufacturer, has entered the rugged smartphone market by introducting the MD501 Android-based mobile phone. The company said it had identified a need amongst its professional end-users for a high performance Android smartphone, specifically suited for continuous, day-to-day use within the construction industry.

DeWALT has teamed up with Global Mobile Communications, described as the UK’s largest supplier of rugged mobile devices, to develop the DeWALT MD501 Android smartphone - a dual-SIM 4G Android 5.1 rugged handset.

Protection features

The MD501 features all the functionality of a high-end smartphone, but engineered to meet the needs of trade professionals. DEWALT said that this means more than just offering a hard case wrapped around a standard phone. Instead, it claims to provide ‘a system designed to maximise end-user productivity’.

The MD501 is waterproof, dustproof and weatherproof in line with industry standard IP68, and MIL-STD 810G approved to withstand up to two metre drops onto solid concrete. It has an operating range of -20°C to 60°C, and features a 5-inch screen comprised of HD Bright View Gorilla Toughened Glass 3 to withstand the inevitable stresses that accompany daily jobsite use.

Performance enhancing features

The MD501 incorporates a multitude of ‘performance enhancing features intended to boost end-user productivity, management and efficiency’. The HD screen is compatible for use with gloves for maximum ease-of-use while on-site, and houses a 13 MP rear camera for when jobsite conditions, results or methods need to be logged and recorded.

Advanced battery technology provides up to seven to eight hours talk-time, intended to eradicate scenarios in which end-users are left on-site with zero communications. The MD501 also incorporates wireless Qi charging as standard and is designed to ensure the phone remains fully compatible with increasing advances in all forms of wireless, cordless charging.

Work or personal

The MD501 is 4G in both its dual SIM slots, which function at the same time in order to offer dual network connection for business/personal differentiation, voice/data or roaming/core network.

The function is designed to offer good connectivity for any and all areas of a tradesperson’s life, be that on-site or out-of-hours, with the amplified loudspeaker providing increased ringtone volume and improved call clarity, designed to be heard above the high noise levels associated with large-scale construction.

The MD501 ultimately succeeds in providing enterprise-grade communication capabilities, within a durable, reliable and trade-focused rugged mobile device; guaranteed to surpass expectations in any and all trade functions.

Pricing and availability

The suggested retail price of the DeWALT MD501 Android smartphone excluding VAT is £379.00 and the product will be on general release from 25 April 2016.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.