When the time comes around to replacing or upgrading the hardware in your business, the options can seem endless.

We’ve discussed some of the key considerations when upgrading driver phones; the merits of using Android, over other OS (operating systems); and what makes enterprise-grade devices stand out over consumer smartphones.

Both the STREAM Mobile Driver App and the STREAM Driver Daily Walkaround Check App work on any Android phone, but the extended lifetime, business functionality, and reliability associated with enterprise-level, ruggedised hardware makes it the preferred option for STREAM users.

Even when you’ve settled on choosing enterprise-grade hardware to for your logistics operations, looking at all the options out there can feel overwhelming – so much technical jargon.

Why isn’t a phone just a phone?

What is the difference between a touch mobile computer and a pda?

The short answer? There is no difference

Touch mobile computers and PDAs are essentially names for the same thing: a smartphone built for industrial use, with enterprise-class capabilities.

PDA though, is a more outdated term, stemming from the pre-smartphone era, when handheld computers (or Personal Digital Assistants) were out of the norm and used purely for business functionality. With the rise of powerful handheld computers for the consumer (AKA smartphones), touch mobile computers (or PDAs) for industry have had to evolve too.

Zebra’s touch mobile computers run on the Android OS – so they have a similar look, feel and usability to an Android consumer smartphone (like a Samsung Galaxy, or a Google Pixel), removing the need for specialist training, so drivers and warehouse operatives are able to ‘grab-and-go’ straight out of the box. They also have the powerful enterprise capabilities associated with devices used for business:

  • Ruggedisation – With impressive drop & tumble specs; dust and waterproofing; temperature resistance & toughened, shatter-proof Gorilla Glass screens, Zebra devices are virtually indestructable…
  • No-Quibble Warraty – …And an optional one-three year warranty means that devices will be immediately repaired or replaced if they do fail, so downtime is kept to a minimum
  • Extended Battery Life – Zebra devices feature battery life of upto 14 hours – long enough for any shift – as well as in-cab chargers and replaceable battery packs, further reducing the risk of downtime due to hardware
  • Inbuilt Scanner – Many devices from Zebra feature an inbuilt scanner, to speed up scanning goods on and off vehicles, and make the whole delivery process more accurate
  • Accessories – With everything from in-cab chargers and holsters, to wearables, replacable battery packs and protective boots (to add further ruggedisation), you can make you Zebra devices truly fit the needs of your business
  • Security Features – Zebra’s added security features keep data safe in a way that consumer devices can’t, with Mobility Mx extention, which upgrades Android to a truly enterprise-level OS
  • Advanced Connectivity – With fast and dependable wireless connectivity capabilities, including WiFi and 4G, your team can always be connected, whether in the warehouse or out on the road.
  • Remote Device Management – Remotely manage devices and upgrades with Zebra’s Mobility DNA, for added security and peace of mind

So, is there a difference between touch mobile computers and PDAs? Not really. But there is a difference between enterprise-level devices and high street consumer smartphones, which likely have a lower upfront cost, but a shorter lifespan and lack some of the functionality of enterprise-level devices. This is really where the decision needs to be made about what kind of device will best serve your business.

Zebra Technologies‘ ruggedised, business-ready touch mobile computers (or PDAs), like the TC56/55, TC70/75> and MC40 rugged touch mobile computers, or ET55 rugged tablet computer, are a great solution for drivers or warehouse operatives in the logistics sector.

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