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Honeywell Dolphin CT50

Available with Windows or Android, Honeywell's new rugged handheld brings state-of-the-art technology onto the job and into the field
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Honeywell unveiled the Dolphin CT50 on September 28, 2015 as a modern, versatile and very tough mobile computer to help streamline operations and maximize worker efficiencies in transport and logistics, field service, direct store delivery, and warehouse environments. Compared to Honeywell's Dolphin 70e and 75e that were conceived as more durable, more ruggeds version of consumer smartphones, the CT50 places more emphasis on the handheld computer side. This is both a productivity tool as well as an industrial-grade scanner.

The Dolphin CT50's 3.3 x 6.3 inch footprint is roughly that of an Apple iPhone 6 Plus in a protective case. Designed to be far more durable than consumer devices adds weight, but at just over 12 ounces, the CT50 won't weigh you down. Despite the largish footprint, the CT50 display measures "only" 4.7 inches diagonally, like that of the basic iPhone 6. The display features 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, or 312 (dpi dots per inch). That's a bit less than state-of-the-art consumer phones, but far sharper than anything on a desktop or notebook, and also a good deal more than the retina iPad. The CT50 uses capacitive multi-touch with what Honeywell calls "rugged multi input." We assume this means it works with gloves and a stylus in addition to bare finger touch.

When the Dolphin 75e was introduced earlier in 2015, Honeywell presented it as the first in a series of the company's next-generation workforce solutions. That referred to its adoption of state-of-the-art hardware and software technology as the foundation of products to come. The new CT50 clearly benefits from this pioneering design work, and builds on it in several areas. There was no need to replace the 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, and storage is the same 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 16GB of eMMC Flash. If more is needed, there' a micro SDHC card slot. WiFi is of the speedy 802.11ac variety, Bluetooth is at Version 4.0, and there's an 8-megapixel camera. We lauded the Dolphin 75e for having no fewer than five sensors (light, proximity, magnetometer, gyro, accelerometer). The CT50 has that, and adds a pressure sensor.

On the OS side the CT50 continues the trail blazed by the original Dolphin 70e Black. You can get the CT50 with either Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld (one of the very few devices we know of with this Windows OS) or with Android 4.4.4. Honeywell promised seamless upgrades to Windows Embedded 10 Handheld and Android 5.0 for the Dolphin 75e, and that goes for the new CT50 as well. Note, though, that you can't switch back and forth between Windows and Android. (As of August 2016, Honeywell lists Windows 10 IoT Enterprise Mobile and Android 6.0)

Honeywell emphasizes the multiple input mode capabilities of the CT50, those presumably being speech, stylus, and touch. And that's on top of NFC communication and 1D/2D scans, so that this new Dolphin cannot only scan, but also record voice notes, capture digital signatures and allow image annotations. And while WWAN was conspicuously absent from the Dolphin 75e, the CT50 includes virtually all varieties of 3G and 4G LTE mobile broadband. Voice over IP is supported, as well as Push-To-Talk. There's also integrated GNSS (GPS and GLONASS).

Designed as a handy, modern mobile computer that's rugged enough for the toughest work environments, the CT50 carries IP67 sealing, which means it's completely dust and waterproof, including full immersion. It can also survive 5-foot drops to concrete, operate in extreme temperatures, and exceed the toughest tumble tests. Obviously, this mobile computer can go where no consumer device can.

With the Dolphin CT50, Honeywell offers a productivity device that combines the speed, elegance and advanced communication and display technologies virtually everyone expects from a handheld today, with the industrial-grade data collection features needed in the field and on the job, and also with enough toughness to make it last.

Specifications Honeywell Dolphin CT50
Added/updated Added 09/2015, updated 08/2016
Form-factor Handheld mobile computer
CPU 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
OS Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise or Android 6.0 "Marshmallow"
Card slots 1 x microSDHC/SDIO
Display type Outdoor-viewable TFT, >400 nits luminance
Display size/res 4.66"/720p HD (720 x 1280 pixel)
Digitizer/pens "Rugged multi input" capacitive multi-touch (works with gloves and when wet)
Keyboard/keys onscreen
Navigation Speech, touch, stylus, gestures
Housing Unknown
Operating Temp -4° to 122°F (-20° to 50°C)
Sealing IP67
Shock Multiple 5-foot drops
Tumble Exceeds 1,000 1.0 meter tumbles per IEC 60068-2-32
ESD ±15KV air and ±8KV contact
Size (WxHxD) 3.27 x 6.3 x 0.75 inches (83 x 160 x 19 mm)
Weight 12.1 oz. (342g) with battery pack
Power Standard 3.6V, 3,950 mAH, 14.2 watt-hour Li-Ion with integrated fuel gauge ("12+ hours")
Interface Custom I/O connector
Scanner Dedicated Honeywell Slim engine 1D/2D imager
Sensors Accelerometer, ambient light, proximity, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure
Camera 8.0 mega pixel autofocus camera with flash LED
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, GNSS (GPS, GLONASS), VoIP, PTT, UMTS/HSPA+, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 4G LTE
List price inquire
Web Dolphin CT50 product page
Spec sheet Dolphin CT50 brochure (PDF)
Honeywell Dolphin CT50