There is no denying that Dewalt has been smart with their new handset. They clearly wanted to aim their new smartphone at a specific audience. The rugged black and yellow MD501 Android device has been built using extremely durable materials especially for those working in manual labour positions. I’ve heard stories in the past from friends and family about how their latest iPhone had met a brutal end due to them being dropped or clanged against some hard materials. Dewalt seemingly has you covered in this area.

The Dewalt name will be no stranger to a labourer as they’re one of the biggest manufacturers of power tools. I have no idea on the reasoning behind the device’s creation, but I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. It’ll definitely feel at home in a builder’s hand. Mainly because it’s so chunky, it’ll feel more at home among your tools on your belt than in the pocket of a pair of jeans. Although there is no fear of bending the device if you do store it against your leg on a day-to-day basis.

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The ports and buttons surrounding the edge of the handset are pretty standard. There is a microUSB port for charging, a headphone port, volume controls and a power button. The yellow switch on the left of the handset is for a custom action. It can be used for anything from a home button to putting your phone onto silent to accessing file manager or the MorseCode function.

The handset has been given an IP68 rating which ensures the phone is waterproof, dust proof and weatherproof. We put this to the test and had positive results. We soaked the phone, used it in the rain and nothing. The phone was still in full working order which was impressive. Dewalt also claim that the phone is shock proof and will not break from drops from around 2 meters, higher than the average holding height when using the device. All ports have rubber flaps protecting the innards from damage too.

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Inside you will find a 1.3GHz processor backed up with 2GB of RAM. Not the fastest phone on the market by a long shot, but this isn’t the aim for the Dewalt MD501 smartphone. It’s powerful enough to run all of your social networking apps as well as some minor graphical games. We still ran a test on Real Racing 3 and yes, while a tad laggy, it wasn’t unplayable which made this phone a great all-rounder. It’s running Android 5.1 Lollipop. For you people who like to view content such as movies and YouTube videos on your handset will not be disappointed either. The screen is absolutely huge coming in at 5″. Well, I say huge, it’s not compared to that of the Samsung Note or iPhone series, but the added bulk to the chassis definitely makes it seem bigger than it is.

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The built-in camera shoots at 13 mega-pixels, designed to be used as a tool for builders to take pictures on a construction site. It can capture enough quality in an image to be able to zoom it in to a single nail on a wall. There is still a front-facing snapper for those selfies too, so don’t worry.

A nice feature to the 501 is the dual-sim slots, one for work use and another for personal, so you’re not stuck carrying around two separate phones in your pockets like I know some people to do. It’s a handy all in one system that saves you from getting confused with different numbers. There are some other cool features included such as Dewalt’s own MorseCode which sends the light into a fit of flashes to let someone know you’re in danger. The tool connect enables to you to wirelessly connect to an array of Dewalt WiFi enabled tools.

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It’s hard to just say this phone is aimed at construction site workers when there are some decent features that could really apply to anyone who leads an active lifestyle. It’s rugged and the specs aren’t bad for people looking for a handset for general use. It is suggested that it’s going to be released at around £379.00 but according to some online stores after a quick Google, the handset can be found on sale between £400-450 so we’re not too sure where to sit on that one. We will keep you posted though.

If you wanted to find out more information on the Dewalt MD501 rugged smart phone then head over to their dedicated website for the most up to date news.

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Stef Murphy

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