Panasonic launches rugged smartphone, FZ-T1

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At an event in Cardiff Castle attended by Tech Digest earlier today (21st June, 2018), Panasonic launched its latest rugged mobile device aimed at business users.

Dubbed the FZ-T1, and branded Toughbook, it will be available in two versions: a wi-fi model for £1142 on sale from August and a 4G model for £1214 which will be available in September.

The high price tag is down to its extreme toughness, using technology developed for Panasonic’s Toughbook range of laptop computers.

Not only can the FZ-T1 be placed in water to a depth of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes (IP68), it’s also able to resist a 300g ball dropping onto the screen from a height of 80cm!

We put the new Panasonic Toughbook FZ-T1 smartphone under water

Boasting a 5inch Dragon Trail anti-reflection screen, other features include an 8 Megapixel camera with a screen resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels and a built in barcode reader, supporting 44 different types of barcode.

Aimed at various types of users including restaurant, manufacturing and warehouse workers, the FZ-T1 also comes with a three year warranty as standard and incorporates Panasonic’s ‘Compass’ customisation and cyber security service.

We demonstrate using the new Panasonic Toughbook FZ-1 smartphone even with really thick gloves on

Businesses will be able to change the look and feel of the software depending on their needs and choose different apps they want to be pre-installed.

Also on board the FZ-T1 are a powerful 95dB loudspeaker, front facing speakers and a triple microphone that can filter excess noises out. Panasonic claims the battery can last for 12 hours at a time and can be swapped over without having to power off the phone.

About double the weight of a standard smartphone at 13.1mm, the FZ-T1 is being billed by Panasonic as the slimmest rugged smartphone on the market. It tips the scales at 240g which is around 4 per cent lighter than its competition, claims Panasonic. 

Charging is via a micro USB connector rather than the increasingly popular USB-C socket because Panasonic claims it is more rugged. 

See our YouTube interview with Kevin Jones, Panasonic’s Managing Director – Mobile Solutions Business Division, Europe:

Chris Price