Power tool-maker DeWalt launches its very own, very rugged smartphone

Power tool-maker DeWalt launches its very own, very rugged smartphone
When considering the purchase of a new smartphone, we generally assess features such as battery life, graphics performance, speed and camera quality. By and large, design should also be aesthetically pleasing, and the device comfortable to hold while in use. For those that work in harsh environments like construction sites, a device must also withstand the elements. Whilst there's no shortage of rugged handsets on the market already, DeWalt has unveiled a tough device that looks more like toolbox fodder than a new smartphone.

The DeWalt MD501 is IP68-certified, so can hack a 30-minute submersion in up to two meters of water without issue. It can also cope with extreme changes in temperature, ranging from -20°C (-4F) all the way up to 60°C (140F). Aside from its brawn, though, the DeWalt MD501 is not too bad a smartphone when it comes to tech. specs. 

The 5-inch display is an HD offering (though only 720p resolution), and is toughened by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3. Under the hood sits MediaTek's quad-core MT6735 SoC clocked at 1.3 GHz, allied to 2 GB of RAM. Elsewhere, there's 16 GB of expandable storage space, 5- and 13-megapixel cameras on the front and back respectively, and the 3020 mAh battery is supportive of Qi wireless charging.

Along with 4G LTE, the MD501 boasts all of the usual connectivity including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, and arrives in the UK at a cost of £379 ($543). Software-wise -- though Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box would be favorable -- the MD501 instead gets Android 5.1 Lollipop. 

Of course, the specs could be better. But given the target audience of builders and engineers, DeWalt knows that folk within these fields tend to require a handset that can hold its own, rather than one that boasts a strong score on AnTuTu. 

Though it doesn't appear that the DeWalt MD 501 is available to purchase just yet, interested parties can sign up to the firm's mailing list at the source. 

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20 Comments

1. DOUBLE_BASS

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 18, 2012

Not bad if I can use it as a hammer too

2. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3935; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

IKR, if so i'm sold lol.

12. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Sonim XP 7 is a better all around device. And yeah with the XP 7 you can use it as a hammer i had it for 4 months in store and was trowing it in the air so its fall on the screen and never its broke. Sonim also cover phone for 3 years warranty including physical damage and liquid damage.

3. dimas

Posts: 3240; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I didn't know april fool's day articles will last until april 19. I can forgive every specs mentioned but a quadcore mediatek processor for $500? Could have at least used a sd 615 for the chip right?

18. Kratos7

Posts: 62; Member since: May 15, 2015

You do realize the selling point is "Rugged" here right. It's not gonna have the latest specs. Just good enough tough work environment.

4. mattkl

Posts: 255; Member since: Feb 01, 2010

Only thing that would make it better is a huge logo on the back, maybe next time.

5. Marslander

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

These "tough" phones always have mediocre specs.

9. TmoRep

Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

I couldn't imagine needing High specs while working construction, it's mainly for communication or simple searching/directions

19. Kratos7

Posts: 62; Member since: May 15, 2015

A heavy duty "tough" smartphone with all the latest specs would be like $1200. Not to mention people who a phone that tough for work. don't care about crazy specs.

6. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Nice to see all the heavy-duty tool makers are jumping on the Android platform. First CAT and now DeWalt, next up Black & Decker?

14. Charv24

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 21, 2016

DeWalt is part of Stanley Black & Decker

15. Doakie

Posts: 2457; Member since: May 06, 2009

I'd steer clear of the Ryobi phone if one ever came out. Or maybe the Harbour Freight brand Chicago whatever. You'd use the phone once and then throw it away and buy another one.

16. AlikMalix unregistered

Wow someone here knows their tools. 100% agree. Especially harbor fright Chicago tools - that stuff is junk.

7. ishaqthkr

Posts: 138; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Naaaah! I expected it to have a grinder too. Fail.

8. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Nice renders.

10. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

500$ for that piece of crap? Gorilla glass 3 in 500$ phone in 2016? Meanwhile moto has a phone you cant actually break the screen unless you try it hard. I bet you this POS will break down after few drops on concrete.

13. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

All depend on the thickness of the gorilla glass 3. Sonim XP7 only have gorilla glass 2 and i can use the screen as a hammer on nail and its wont break. Even trowing it 5-10 time a day on concrete its did not broke and had minimal scratch on it.

20. Kratos7

Posts: 62; Member since: May 15, 2015

"piece of crap" because it doesn't have the latest specs? You serious?

11. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I worked at Home Depot for almost a year. They use smartphones in their stores for assisting customers and just doing work. I can see them switching to theses. They could use them to help sell DeWalt tools too. Might even offer the phone for sell in the store.

17. Andr01d

Posts: 63; Member since: Mar 08, 2016

The fact that the pics show android 4.4 is definitely quite disturbing.

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