New Rugged Handheld Computer From Janam Offers OS Migration

Janam's new XM5 Rugged Mobile Computer allows users to start with Windows and then migrate the device to Android as they are ready to make the move.

Janam, rugged smartphones, XM5

Janam Technologies has announced its first rugged mobile handheld computer that will allow enterprises to use Windows to start but then switch the device over to Android as infrastructure needs change.

The new XM5 Rugged Mobile Computer was unveiled by the company on Jan. 21 as an addition to its family of rugged computers for workers in a wide variety of industries. The XM5 is a phablet-like handheld mobile device, with 4G, 3G and WiFi capabilities to allow users to communicate via voice, email, texting or through the Internet wherever they are working.

The ability of the device to be switched from the Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 (WEH 6.5) operating system to Android 4.2 if needed is a boon for businesses because it means they don't have to replace their devices with costly new machines if an OS switch is desired, according to Janam.

The new XM5 handheld has a list price ranging from $1,595 to $2,495, depending on configurations and features. This is the second Janam handheld that runs Android, but the first one that is capable of an operating system switchover. Operating system swaps can be done by Janam's service department. The cost of the service was not immediately available.

The XM5 is equipped with an AM3715 ARM Cortex-A8 1GHz processor, a 3.5-inch VGA fortified-glass display, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of onboard ROM storage, a 4,000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery, and a user-accessible micro SD card slot with SD and SDHC support.

The XM5 is also ruggedized to withstand accidental drops of up to five feet on concrete, and it is sealed to IP65 standards against water, dust, sand, wind and other environmental hazards to protect it under field conditions. The device is also UL-certified for hazardous environments.

The device is available with either a QWERTY or numeric keypad, depending on user preference.

Aimed at mobile workers in field sales, field service, public safety, direct store delivery, and transportation and logistics markets, the XM5 also includes a 1D/2D imager or a 1D laser scanner for reading barcodes, as well as embedded RFID and near-field communications (NFC) reading capabilities for inventory management, asset tracking, personal identification and mobile point of sale requirements.

"Janam's XM5 is one of the few rugged mobile computers that allows a customer to migrate from Windows to Android without purchasing new hardware," Harry B. Lerner, the CEO of Janam, said in a statement. "Packed with all the features that enterprise requires, built to exacting standards of quality and available at an attractive price point, the XM5 catapults Janam to the lead position among hardware providers that not only listen to what customers need, but deliver to those requirements."

The XM5 also includes Bluetooth, high-sensitivity GPS and Assisted-GPS, a motion-sensing accelerometer and a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera.

Ruggedized tablets and smartphones continue to expand in the enterprise marketplace to help equip mobile workers who require tougher devices to do their work in harsh conditions, according to an earlier eWEEK report. In December 2014, Kyocera introduced its DuraForce rugged Android 4G LTE smartphone, which is IP68-certified. Available through AT&T and U.S. Cellular, the DuraForce includes a reinforced housing and Military Standard 810G protection against shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, high altitudes, solar radiation, salt fog and humidity. The DuraForce, AT&T's first rugged smartphone, sells for $49.99 with a two-year contract, which is a discount of $349 with AT&T. U.S. Cellular offers the phone for $99.99 with a two-year contract.