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Motorola MC55 Rugged Smartphone review

Niall Magennis



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Motorola MC55 Rugged Smartphone
  • Motorola MC55 Rugged Smartphone
  • Motorola MC55 Rugged Smartphone
  • Motorola MC55 Rugged Smartphone
  • Motorola MC55 Rugged Smartphone
  • Motorola MC55 Rugged Smartphone


Our Score:


The MC55 is what Motorola calls an EDA or Enterprise Digital Assistant. This means it's not designed to be plonked down on the table next to your keys on a night out to show off what a fancy handset you've got, but instead has been put together to withstand the daily rigours of business use out in the delivery van or at home on the factory floor.

Motorola claims that this is the smallest and lightest of its ruggedised enterprise devices. If that's the case then we wouldn't like to see the other models in the range because this is one hefty beast. It's much larger than it seems in the pictures as it has the width and girth of around four of your average smartphones.

There is a reason for this bulk, however, as the handset is designed to be tougher than an armour clad Arnold Schwarzenegger. The case can withstand a drop onto concrete from a height of 1.2m and is also sealed to IP54 standard. This means it's protected against dirt, dust and water spray (although it's not fully waterproof, so don't try taking it for a swim).

As you can probably tell by now, it's no super model in the looks department, but then again it's not really designed to be. That said, the large size is a bit of an issue as it makes it quite bulky to hold and heavy to carry around. Therefore, it's probably not an ideal handset for the likes of cycle or motorbike couriers (surely one of the target markets for this type of device).

The MC55 runs Windows Mobile 6.1, which isn't the easiest operating system in the world to use, but it's probably the most versatile for the types of applications that the MC55 will be called on to run. Industry is one of the areas where Microsoft has actually made significant in-roads with its mobile OS, so there's a wealth of off the shelf applications already out there.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Mike B

May 25, 2009, 5:27 pm

The problem with a device such as this is the cost. Is it really worth more than 4 times the cost of a similar non rugged device?

Unless you work in a warehouse or deliver parcels its attraction is limited. An average field service engineer that might use such a device is no more likely to break a standard device when carried in a suitable leather case! Even if they do your can buy a fair few replacements! Lets be honest you can't fit these rugged devices in you pocket or on a belt as they are just too big and heavy, so they get carried around in your hand and are therefore exposed to more damage and need to be rugged! In other words their size generates their need to be rugged!

The only reason this device can be sold is there are many managers out there who feel staff can't be trusted with a normal PDA! They will also have in their minds the British need to differentiate what the sales and managers have over the rest of the 'lower grade' staff!

The only useful feature is the laser barcode scanner but unless this is extensively used a suitable software barcode solution using most PDAs built in cameras would be as good. Alternately the use of an external bluetooth barcode scanner and a standard PDA would be as good.


May 25, 2009, 10:51 pm

It could be useful if it was completely waterproof, less expensive and not Motorola :) Military specifications, not children's toys.


June 21, 2010, 4:28 pm

I think it would be a great idea to incorporate barcode labels in to more everyday life. Having seen that the iphone has app's that you can download to scan and compare prices of food online, as well as an app that tells you the content of the food. Would look in to it myself, get a bit of use out of my <a href="http://www.aclabels.co.uk">barcode label printing</a> skills. Great start, just hope they keep developing the idea!

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