Difference Between Rugged, Consumer and Hybrid? – Batteries

In the last blog, we started to see how a hybrid rugged device really does start to take the best of the consumer and rugged device worlds. We’re also seeing how it truly is possible to have a durable work phone who’s size resembles that of a consumer smartphone. However today surely we’re going to meet our match as we’re talking about batteries!

The problem with battery life.

Consumer phones have awful battery life. It’s not up for debate. I’m not going to get lured into a Samsung Note 8 Vs iPhone X argument over 3 minutes of difference in video play time. In a business/work environment battery becomes life or death for a business!

On the one side, we have consumer devices. These are slim and sexy, so in terms of battery life they’re already fighting a losing battle, as space for one of the largest components in a mobile devices body is already severely limited. This is also where the very latest in technology is not a great thing. Just think about it. All those pixels needed for that beautiful 4K screen need power. Every single one of them. 4G and GPS need power and the latest and greatest tech usually needs a bit more power than previous iterations.

So turning to classic rugged devices, these solved that problem by simply being bigger and therefore being able to have larger batteries installed. They also have field replaceable batteries, which allow you to replace depleted batteries throughout your working day. There, problem solved!  Well not quite, because remember what I said in the first in this series of articles about users needing smaller, slimmer, devices with the latest tech now?

Well, Hybrid devices manage this in a really clever way. Let’s see how they do it?

Clever technology

First off, while hybrid devices do have a nice new technology, they still pick and choose the tech they have. So 4G is in, however big 4K screens are out. The truth is, you or I won’t even know the difference in a 4K and HD screen and we also don’t need 6.3″ screens for business when a 5.0 or 5.5 one will do. All of this cleverly helps out the battery life!

Add to this, our Raptors have battery applications and have tweaks to the OS that are all aimed at saving battery life even further. So we’re winning already against consumer devices.

Huge batteries and not so huge batteries

Also, some of our hybrid phones have replaceable batteries that are 6000mAh in size. Still, all within a lovely smartphone-like form factor and we’d put our Raptor R5 device up against any device in the world on a battery test in full High capacity battery configuration!

However, to be pure 100% hybrid you need to be even slimmer than this and to achieve the high levels of ruggedness, the batteries need to be sealed and non-replaceable. Despite this, hybrid phones still manage to pack in 3300mAh batteries which are pretty decent in the smartphone world so they’re at least comparable in size to anything else out there.

Easy charging

You have to accept that sometimes, even the largest battery isn’t enough. The other thing a hybrid device needs to have is standard ways of charging. So whilst Micro-USB or even USB-C aren’t regarded as super rugged connectors, they at least give users the ability to charge the device anywhere. A quick 15-minute charge in the van between customers, using a £5 USB lead can be the difference between running the day or not.

Batteries and battery life is an eternally difficult thing to balance. Focus on it too much and you have a big, clunky device, not enough and you have poor battery life. This is why Hybrid devices try to bring the best of both worlds to users and are actually the best you can do in the size they are.

Next up we’re going to talk about price and why this is the silver bullet for a true hybrid device.


Posted by "Durable" Dave

My background is web/mobile software, mobile hardware, where I worked with some of the earliest PDA's on the market from HP and Microsoft and data capture where i've sold all of the main brands of rugged kit you'll find!

  1. […] main problem with ruggedness testing is that there is actually no true “certification”. Contrary to belief, […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *