Sep 12, 2018 • Features • Hardware • XM75 • Enterprise Mobility • field service • field service technology • Handheld Computing • hardware • janam • rugged hardware • Service Management • Drop Test • Field Service Hardware • PR Rating
We recently gave Janam’s XT100 handheld computer a full Hands-On review and now we turn our attention to its sibling the XM75 which shares mostly the same specifications but comes in a different form factor...
In March earlier this year, Janam announced two new handheld computers to their range - the XT100 and the XM75. Inside the guts of both devices are almost identical but there are some slight differences and of course, the XM75 occupies a different form factor, more geared towards data input with a 24 key numeric keypad and also a purpose-built trigger handle available as well.
Having given the XT100 a rigorous hands-on review when it launched we thought we should also get it’s sibling into our offices to compare the two and to see which workflows each device would be more suited to.
What the manufacturers say:
Pocketable, Powerful Tough.
Janam’s XM75 rugged mobile computer makes it easy to capture business-critical information accurately and efficiently. As one of the only devices specially designed for input-intensive applications, the XM75’s compact form factor combined with larger keypad design delivers the ideal solution for organizations that want an easy-to-use keypad and large touchscreen in the same device.
The XM75 is sealed to IP67 standard against dust and immersion in up to 3 feet of water. It can withstand multiple 5’/1.5m drops to concrete per MIL-STD 810G across a wide temperature range...
Pocketable and powerful, the XM75 supports the enterprise-ready Android operating system with Google Mobile Services and meets all the requirements of the most demanding environments, including transportation, logistics, route accounting, direct store delivery and field service.
Weighing only 10.5 ounces, the XM75 is one of the lightest yet most rugged devices in its class and is packed with advanced features to boost productivity, streamline operations and improve the customer experience. Offering 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth, the XM75 provides lightning fast and reliable access to voice and data applications inside the enterprise and out in the field.
The XM75 is sealed to IP67 standard against dust and immersion in up to 3 feet of water. It can withstand multiple 5’/1.5m drops to concrete per MIL-STD 810G across a wide temperature range. A standard 2-year warranty provides customers with both peace of mind and the level of service they require, at no additional cost, with optional Comprehensive Service plans available to those that want to further extend their mobile computing investment.
The XM75 does pretty much what you would expect of it - for those that read our previous review of the XT100 for all intents and purposes, it is an XT100 with a keyboard instead of just the capacitive screen.
This does, of course, make the device’s footprint slightly larger (76.83mm x 166.01mm x 29.27mm for the XM75 vs 70mm x 136mm x 17.4mm) which subsequently, of course, adds additional weight to the device as well and it comes in at a full 3oz heavier than the XT100 making it about 30% heavier.
"The device is far from in heavy even when strapped into the trigger handle (which is itself surprisingly light) and both in and out of the trigger we found the device to be ergonomic and comfortable..."
That said the device is far from in heavy even when strapped into the trigger handle (which is itself surprisingly light) and both in and out of the trigger we found the device to be ergonomic and comfortable.
All in all the XM75 feels very much as it is intended to, a robust yet relatively lightweight handheld designed with the factory, warehouse or field worker in mind.
But ist there more to the differences between the XM75 and XT100 other than form factor?
In terms of processing power, the two devices are identical with bot the XM75 and the XT100 having a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 410 quad-core. In terms of the market for similar devices as to the Janam offerings, these offer a fairly standard amount of processing power.
They both also come with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM as standard. Again this sits pretty much in the middle of the pack in terms of similar devices and is definitely suitable for a number of field service applications.
Also, the memory in both devices is expandable via a user accessible Micro SD slot with SD and SDHC support – which can become a very useful option for engineers who need to record a lot of data, or even for those who work in offline environments regularly where locally storing asset maintenance information to aid a first time fix could be of benefit.
The XM75 is currently running Android 6 (Marshmallow) - which is a perfect option for industry, focused devices and as such is also on the XT100.
"The XM75 is currently running Android 6 (Marshmallow) - which is a perfect option for industry, focused devices and as such is also on the XT100..."
Whilst the latest consumer devices are now running Android 8 (Oreo) and some even beginning to see Android 9 (Pie) - in a world of enterprise the need for a robustly road-tested OS is hugely important. Marshmallow is currently the most advanced iteration of the OS that also has the stability required for enterprise-grade computing so a sensible option for both devices.
The Ins & Outs:
As with another of Janam’s handheld computers former flagship device the XT2, Neither the XM75 nor XT100 have a huge array of physical input options – but this can’t really be avoided in a device of such a size.
However, both devices benefit from good ergonomic design of in terms of the placement of hard keys are configurable but whose primary role would be most certainly be engaging the dedicated barcode scan engine (Honeywell N6603 2D Imager) which incidentally was both fast and effective in our tests of the XM75.
Of course, one of the major differences between the two is that the XM75 also has the optional trigger handle which offers yet another hard key and makes the device super easy for any role that requires a high volume of scanning.
The other significant difference between the devices then is also the 24 key numeric keypad which certainly appears to be well made, with the keypad having both a reassuring feel of durability to it as well as offering that important tactile feel that simply cannot be overlooked when a workflow involves inputting short text and numbers frequently within a workflow.
Another nice touch with regards to the keypad is that it is backlit. It is these little details that can make a huge difference if, for example, your field staff are working in a dark location - and it is the mark of a good manufacturer that doesn’t skip these small but important details.
When we reviewed the XT100 we pointed out that whilst the XT100 holds its head high with good rugged credentials albeit slightly less so than its sibling the XT2. The XM75 however, has the higher rugged credentials of its elder cousin.
"The XM75 also boasts of a higher IP rating than the XT100 with a rating of IP67 meaning that it is even less susceptible to water ingress than the IP65 rated XT100..."
Whilst the XT100 is capable of withstanding multiple drops at a respectable 1.2m the XM75 has been tested at the higher drop height of 1.5m and in our testing, it survived such drops without a scratch. In fact, we even tested it in and out of the trigger handle and throughout our entire series of tests it only ever came out of the handle once - a good sign is given that the XM75 will almost invariably be used primarily within the handle.
The XM75 also boasts of a higher IP rating than the XT100 with a rating of IP67 meaning that it is even less susceptible to water ingress than the IP65 rated XT100.
When it comes to operating temperature ranges both the XM75 and the XT100 operate within a range of -20 to 60 degrees centigrade – which means that even in the most inhospitable environments the device should function effectively, and in terms of humidity they are both is non-condensing up to 95%. Finally, the capacitive touchscreen boasts toughened Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to further add to the devices robust credentials.
In terms of battery life the SM75 again just edges out the XT100 with its 4100mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery compared to the XT100’s 3000mAh 3.8v rechargeable Li-ion battery.
"Both devices should be capable of seeing out most field service engineers working days, especially if the device is placed in an in-vehicle charging cradle in between jobs..."
This is of course, likely to be the result of Janam taking advantage of the slightly larger form factor, but it certainly does make a difference. We found that the XM75 held battery life across an 8 hour day of reasonable to heavy usage considerably better than the XT100. When we reviewed the XT100 and ran it through our tests the battery was finished the day on 14%. The same tests for the XM75 saw the battery level at the end of the day at 27% so this is certainly a factor to be considered if your field workers tend to work longer hours on occasion.
That said, both devices should be capable of seeing out most field service engineers working days, especially if the device is placed in an in-vehicle charging cradle in between jobs. However, for those engineers who are required to spend long days in one location, a four-slot battery charger is an optional accessory.
When we reviewed the XT100 a few months back we praised it as a solid mid,-market handheld computer that was particularly elegant and comfortable in hand and was remarkably light for a rugged device.
Similar things could be said for the XM75 although when it comes to roles where there is a large amount of scanning or field completion then the XM75 becomes the choice between the two. Similarly, if your field staff are in slightly more rugged environments, the XM75 just edges its close sibling with slightly better-rugged credentials.
However, both are a solid choice for field service organisations looking to empower their field workers with handheld mobile computers powerful enough for the job, rugged to survive yet with a light footprint.
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