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CipherLab RS30 Series

A modern Android smartphone for enterprise markets, but one that's tougher and more versatile.
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

The RS30 Series of enterprise smartphones was introduced by CipherLab in June of 2015 as a much more rugged and durable alternative to consumer smartphones for enterprise and commercial customers. CipherLab, which is headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, with offices in China, Germany and the USA, has been specializing in the design, manufacture, and marketing of Automatic Identification and Data Capture/Collection products and systems since 1988.

Unlike some of CipherLab's other handhelds that use Windows Mobile or the company's own proprietary CipherLab Operating System, the RS30 Series is based on Android 4.4. Development support includes the CipherLab API for Android, and application software AppLock, Programmable Keys, the Kalipso Application Generator, SOTI MobiControl, Zello, and MAPS.ME. Th overall idea is to provide all the simplicity and familiarity of a standard modern smartphone, but in an industrial strength version.

RS30 Series handhelds measure 3.1 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches, and weigh just over 9 ounces. That's roughly the footprint of the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, but in a thicker and more substantial package due to the device's heavier construction and scanning options.

As far as tech specs go, the RS30 Series is powered by a non-specified 1.3GHz quad-core ARM Cortex processor. RAM is a gigabyte, and there's 8GB of Flash storage. If more storage is required, the RS30 Series comes with a micro SD slot with SDHC support (up to 32GB cards).

The display measures a contemporary 4.7 inches diagonally and offers 540 x 960 pixel resolution. It's an IPS LCD, which means perfect viewing angles from all sides. The 510 nits display is very bright and, while not in the "retina" class, very crisp and sharp. There's Gorilla Glass 3 protection and, like on almost all Android devices, capacitive multi-touch. There are the three standard Android buttons and two scanner keys for the optional linear imager, a laser scanner, or 1D/2D imager.

For wired communication, the RS30 Series provides USB 2.0 OTG. On the wireless side, there's 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Class 2 Bluetooth 4.0. There's integrated GPS, and the device is also A-GPS ready for use with mobile broadband. For scanning, CipherLab offers either a linear imager, a laser scanner, or a 1D/2D imager. And there is HF RFID and NFC.

RS30 devices come standard with a replaceable and rechargeable 3.7 Volt, 2,500 mAh Li-ion battery that is good for a minimum 10 hours between charges.

Like all CipherLab handhelds, RS30 Series devices are significantly more rugged than any consumer smartphone. The RS30 can handle multiple 4-foot drops onto concrete, is sealed to IP54 specifications where the "5" means it's protected against dust, and the "4" that it is protected against water spray from all directions, albeit both with limited ingress permitted. The operating temperature range is a wide -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. CipherLab also quotes a "tumble spec" where the devices survive 150 half-meter tumbles. Cipherlab also lists specs for when the device is in a protective boot, but prospective customers will likely be most interested in what the bare device can handle.

CipherLab offers an optional charging cradle, USB snap-on cable, and the protective boot.

What does all that make the RS30 Series? Essentially a modern, nicely sized Android smartphone that's significantly tougher than consumer phones and can be used for much more demanding scanning and data collection jobs. That's certainly an interesting proposition for enterprise (and many other) markets.

Specifications CipherLab RS30 Series
Status Added 07/2015
Form-factor Enterprise smartphone
CPU/Speed Quad-core ARM Cortex, 1.3GHz
OS Android 4.4
Card slots 1 x Micro SDHC card (up to 32GB), 2 x SIM, 1 x SAM
Display type Transmissive IPS LCD, 510 nits, Gorilla Glass 3 protection
Display size/res 4.7-inch/540 x 960 pixel
Digitizer/pens Capacitive multi-touch
Keyboard/keys Dedicated scan key, 4 programmable keys, volume up/down, left and right trigger keys
Navigation Touch
Housing Impact-resistant plastic
Operating Temp -4° to 122°F (-20° to 50° C)
Sealing IP54
Shock Multiple 4 feet to concrete (5 feet with protective boot)
Tumble 150 tumbles from 0.5 meter (500 with protective boot)
Electrostatic +/- 15 kV air discharge, +/- 8 kV contact discharge
Size (WxHxD) 3.1 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches (80 x 155 x 17 mm)
Weight 9.2 oz. (260 grams)
Power Rechargeable, rechargeable Li-Ion 3.7V, 2,500mAh ("10 hours")
Camera 8mp auto-focus camera with LED flash
Sensors Light, proximity, accelerometer, e-compass
Interface USB 2.0 OTGClass 2 , speaker
Scanner RFID/NFC, optional: 1D Laser, linear imager, 1D/2D CMOS imager
Wireless 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, A-GPS, WWAN (GSM / GPRS / EDGE / WCDMA / HSDPA / HSUPA / HSPA+)
List price Inquire
Web CipherLab RS30 page
Product brochure CipherLab RS30 Series brochure (PDF)
Product specs CipherLab RS30 Series brochure (PDF)
CipherLab RS30 Series