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Panasonic announces the FZ-E1, a new Windows Embedded 8 Handheld device

Panasonic FZ-E1

Panasonic returns to the smartphone market with a new device running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld. The announcement comes from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We don’t cover Windows Embedded too much, because these are devices that are more oriented towards enterprise users. Plus it was only just last month that we first learned Panasonic was working with Microsoft to build a new handheld device for enterprise, the FZ-E1 is it. Specs and more info below.

The FZ-E1 isn’t going to win any awards in the consumer space, but again, that’s because this is geared towards enterprise scenarios. That said, you do get a 5-inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution. It’s powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 at 2.3 GHz. Inside it has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The rear camera is 8MP, while the front-facing camera is 1.3 MP. The battery capacity is 6,200 mAh. Talk about battery life. You also get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/n/n/ac, micro USB port, GSP and NFC.

This is a very, very tough phone. It features a MIL-STD-810G military rating, survive a drop from 3 meters and stay submerged in 1.5 meters of water for 30 minute. The Panasonic FZ-E1 can operate in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius.

If you’re a superhero in your spare time you might want the FZ-E1.

However, this isn’t a phone aimed at the consumer space. The FZ-E1 is running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld for the OS. Sure, it’s build on Windows Phone 8 and can run apps from the Windows Phone Store, but it goes beyond that.

Windows Embedded 8 Handheld allows businesses and developers to create specific applications for enterprises. Devices running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, like the Panasonic FZ-E1, can easily be outfitted with extra peripherals like barcode scanners and credit card readers. Developers can then create line-of-business applications aimed directly at Windows Embedded 8 Handheld devices.

So imagine checking out at a store, a sales associate could use the FZ-E1 outfitted with a credit card reader and barcode scanner to complete the transaction.

The FZ-E1 will be available in Japan first, followed by a rollout in the United States and Europe. Retail pricing starts at $1,300.

We’ll hit up the Panasonic booth tomorrow for some hands-on photos and coverage.

Source: Panasonic, Via/Image: Reuters

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Reader comments

Panasonic announces the FZ-E1, a new Windows Embedded 8 Handheld device

74 Comments

The most interesting part of the article to me was the fact that Windows Embedded wad sharing the store with Windows Phone and not Windows Store. Looks like WP is the one that will survive once WP and WinRT are merged.

Somebody can also hit you in the head with that thing and it'll crack your skull - so it's also a deadly weapon! LOL!

People would complain about the weight. This phone is designed for rugged use where you might not have a charger nearby (industrial floor doing inventory or field work). Those applications it's better to have battery life than shave a few ounces.

Screw weight, give me a bigger battery in a 4.5 - 5" form factor and I'll be pleased. I don't need a phone that is as  light as a feather, and I'm certainly not willing to give up on features for its weight and thickness.

Haven't you seen all action movies? All the secret agents carry Panasonic Toughbook notebooks like Mr. and Mrs. Smith. So no it's not for consumers.

Yeah!

They cut some corners, I think!
I expected over 2000 €uros (or about  2500 USD)
Miracast and 1920 x 1080b screen with Windows Phone 8.1 and I'll surely buy it,
but I also expect quad SIM and 22 4G frequences plus USB 3 (at least)
I need a custom silicone shell because 10 ft drop survival is not enough...

That's why you can buy yourself a new Vertu for every Christmas!
BTW: they changed the OS to Android...
One can also special order through a gemsmith.
I can give you the address in London, if you need it

Wouldn't be surprised if the new monkey incharge of Ms decides to scrap WP altogether and focus on scamdroid devices....

Smells like a plant and I LOL at the orginal post and Haters gonna hate they're just Jealous... #LumiaTakinOverEurope #MicrosoftIstheFuture ##arepointless

hmm, they make the exact phone in wp and android versions. nice. i'll be getting one of the android versions if it makes it to the states. 

So you need a $1300 phone to swipe a card? Doesn't every iPhone and android so that already? That battery is drool worthy though.

These are ruggedized. That means they won't break so easily as consumer phones. They can be found in warehouses, flight attendants will use them, military, police, and anywhere where people are doing heavy lifting.

You also get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/n/n/ac, micro USB port, GSP and NFC

 

It MUST be tough.  It comes with Georges St. Pierre as standard.
 

I would love to have this phone! I loved the G'zOne because of its rugged design and toughness. The battery is absolutely amazing too!

Oooohhhhh... So THAT'S what those Lumia 900's at the Microsoft Store use.... I was curious as to what special build of Windows Phone they use. (and I would assume the Lumia 900's at the Microsoft Store would be Windows Embedded 7.X or an equivalent, rather than Windows Embedded 8).

I wish I could see these as cases for the L1520 phone. Too bad Otterbox and other rugged case makers don't care for us...

I would love for Panny to take a stab at a consumer-oriented (windows) phone. I'd wager they could come up with something really cool...

That scenario of going to a retail store and having a rep scanning your items with a phone and swiping a credit card with the phone, as described in the article, already exists for iOS, and it doesn't require a special version of the OS. I experienced this first hand when I went out shopping with my wife last weekend. Doesn't the regular Windows Phone 8 OS allow for that type of attachments already?

Think the Schwan's man, inventory folks, etc.  Folks who are going to beat the crap out of the device on a daily basis.

Our Schwan's guy still comes do the door with an ancient WinCE device.  Perfect solution for them!

For everyone here who is drooling at the above device, did you notice that neither the WE or the Android version have the Phone Tile/Icon? It might not even have a Phone radio.