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Rugged Android handheld offers dual GSM SIMs

Sep 25, 2014 — by Eric Brown 1,012 views

Arbor has launched a rugged, Android-based “Gladius 5” handheld with a quad-core SoC, 5.5-inch touchscreen, dual SIMs, NFC, and barcode scanning.

Arbor calls the Gladius 5 a rugged tablet, although compared to earlier Gladius models such as the 7-inch, Linux-ready Gladius G0710S, this 5.5-inch model is really more of a phablet. The handheld runs Android 4.2 on a MediaTek MT6589 system-on-chip, which features four ARM Cortex-A9 cores clocked to 1.3GHz and an Imagination Technologies PowerVR Series5XT GPU. The Gladius 5 has a big brother in the relatively new, 7.85-inch Gladius 8, which runs Android 4.4 on a newer MediaTek MT8382, a cousin of MediaTek’s MT8125.

Gladius 5

The Gladius 5 is marketed as an IoT handheld, which sort of makes sense when you consider all the Internet of Things devices it could interact with via its many wireless radios. It’s primarily designed, however, for applications such as mobile point of sale (mPOS), field service, transportation, and public safety, says Arbor.

Mobile PoS appears to be a primary focus. “For mPOS applications, the Gladius 5 will enable stores, restaurants and more to accept payments from consumers using the latest smartphones with NFC,” stated Brian Yurkiw, VP at Arbor. “Front line team members will also streamline their order taking and payment processes, whether on the floor, at a table, or virtually anywhere.”

Gladius 5 dimensions
(click image to enlarge)

The Gladius 5 runs Android 4.2, and ships with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of flash, and a microSD slot. It features a 5.5-inch, 1280 x 720-pixel display with 5-point projected capacitive touchscreen that offers support for Latex glove usage.


The display is shielded by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 anti-reflection coating. The handheld in general is protected with MIL-STD-810G and IP65 certified 5-foot drop resistance, shock resistance, and water resistant sealing, as well as support for -20 to 60°C temperatures.

The Gladius 5 is available with either 1D or 2D barcode scanning. The 1D model offers both 8- and 2-megapixel cameras while the 2D model lacks the 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

The handheld is touted for its dual SIM cards with GSM support, which enables switching between GSM carriers. This is said to enable workers to take their device home and use it in both personal and work modes. Other wireless features include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a NFC radio that offers RFID support and system access control via an RFID/NFC reader.

The Gladius 5 is further equipped with GPS and a variety of sensors. Other features include a micro-USB port, an audio jack, a microphone, and speakers. The 280-gram device integrates a 3600mAh battery that offers eight hours of life, and supports optional Qi wireless charging accessories, says Arbor. Other accessories include various holsters, docks, and straps. Customization services are also provided.

Summary of Gladius 5 specs

Specifications listed for the Gladius 5 include:

  • Processor – MediaTek MT6589 (4x Cortex-A9 cores @ 1.3GHz); PowerVR Series5XT GPU
  • Memory:
    • 1GB RAM
    • 8GB flash
    • MicroSD slot (supports micro-SDHC)
  • Display — 5.5-inch, 1280 x 720, capacitive 5-point touch with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 anti-reflection coating
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR Class 2
    • 2x SIM slots
    • WCDMA and UMTS (GSM) 850/900/1900/2100
    • NFC with RFID support (ISO/IEC 21481 Type A, Type B, Felica)
    • GPS with aGPS
  • Sensors — Ambient light, digital compass, G-sensor, 3-axis gyroscope, barometer
  • Camera/imaging:
    • 8-megapixel rear-facing with AF flash LED
    • 2-megapixel front-facing (not available on model with 2D barcode reader)
    • 1D or 2D barcode reader with physical trigger buttons
  • Other I/O — micro-USB 2.0 port; 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Other features – Microphone; speaker; optional vehicle and desk docks, holster, hand strap, and shoulder strap
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 60°C
  • Ruggedization – MIL-STD-810G and IP65 certified for 1.5m (5-ft.) drop resistance, shock resistance, and sealing; raized bezel; hinged rubber covers for I/O ports
  • Power/battery:
    • Replaceable 3600mAh Li-ion (3.7V) Li-Ion battery
    • 8-hour battery life, or 6 hours with video (13.32Wh)
    • Optional in-vehicle or desktop Qi wireless charger
    • AC 100 to 240C, 50 to 60Hz input
    • 5V/1.5A DC output
  • Weight – 280 g with battery (approx. 0.62 lb)
  • Dimensions – 175.6 x 84.0 x 15.9mm (6.91 x 3.31 x 0.63 in.)
  • Operating system — Android 4.2

Further information

The Arbor Gladius 5 is available from authorized resellers throughout the US and Canada, starting at $867. More information may be found at the Gladius 5 product page.

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