Nine month after the introduction of its Windows Mobile-based Dolphin 7800 enterprise digital assistant, Honeywell added an Android-based version in August 2012. Like the original Dolphin 7800, this second version is targeted at various mobile workforce applications that require a multi-purpose computing, communication and data capture device, but Honeywell describes it also "a device with the same platform that many use in their personal lives."
While the Windows Mobile version seemed designed to do battle with the likes of Motorola Solutions' MC65 and Intermec's CN50, the 7800, the Android version shifts emphasis on appealing to mobile workers who seek the familiarity of the Android platform used in hundreds of millions of consumer smartphones. The Android 7800 is also one of only a small number of ruggedized QWERTY keyboard handhelds based on Google's OS (there are the Pideon BIP-6000 and the Adlink TIOT-2000, but not much more).
Interestingly, the Windows Mobile and the Android version are sharing what seems like the exact same hardware. Which means the Android 7800 was designed as a traditional Pocket PC-style "keyboard-PDA." Measuring 3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches and weighing just over 11 ounces, the Dolphin 7800 for Android is remarkably light and compact and easily fits into most pockets.
The device has a 3.5-inch sunlight-readable display with a 4-wire resistive touch screen, and here we'd have much preferred a projected capacitive multi-touch screen as that is what Android was designed for. 480 x 640 pixel VGA resolution, though, is still enough to make for a crisp, sharp image. Honeywell offers both a 30-key numeric keypad as well as the 46-key QWERTY laout shon in the picture on this page. The QWERTY layout also includes phone answer and hang-up buttons, 4-way cursor control keys, and a dedicated scanner button.
Honeywell's choice of the 800MHz TI OMAP chip for the original Windows Mobile 7800 means the chip can be used for the Android version also. There's an ample 256MB of RAM and 512MB of Flash, expandable via a microSDHC card slot. The standard 8.5 watt-hour battery is good for 6.5 hours of fairly intense scanning, decoding and data transmission; a more powerful 14.4 watt-hour extended battery increases that to a full 12 hours, at the cost of a bit of extra thickness and weight.
The Dolphin 7800 is a competent voice/data communication device with Class II Bluetooth 2.1, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, and carrier-independent Gobi wireless broadband that also includes GPS/A-GPS. The 7800 also comes with a 3-megapixel autofocus camera with LED illuminator as well as a 3-axis accelerometer. Scanning operations benefit from the use of Honeywell's proprietary Adaptus imaging technology. Both standard range and extended range versions of the N5603 engine (see Honeywell N5600 series page) are available.
On the ruggedness side, the Dolphin 7800 sports IP64 sealing, meaning it's totally protected against dust and can also handle water spray from all directions. The device can handle 5-foot drops and a wide 14 to 122 degree operating temperature range. It also offers good ESD protection and survived a punishing tumble test.
For history's sake, let's mention that the Dolphin line of mobile computers originated with Hand Held Products, which was acquired in December 2007 by Honeywell and together which Metrologic (acquired 2008) and LXE (acquired 2011) are part of today's Honeywell Scanning & Mobility.