Licensed handsets from JCB and Cat have proven successful, along with some other new brands and specialists. This has resulted in a slew of devices marketed at trades people, those who enjoy active pursuits, or just anyone who wants something more robust than the average smartphone.
Much like standard consumer phones, the tough and rugged sector now has a lot of choice. Where only a couple of years ago this was pretty limited, you can now pick from a range of screen sizes, body designs, differences in protection levels, cameras… the list goes on.
The first generation of rugged phones were a little behind the curve in terms of technology. Generally they had out of date operating systems that didn't get updated. Attempts at anything approaching fashionable design were non-existent, instead thick rubber surrounds were favoured. The main specifications were generally lacking too.
A new generation of tough devices has now been released though. These match up to the power and capabilities of their consumer counterparts. The DeWalt MD501 wants to be seen as part of this range.