Panasonic announces the FZ-E1, a new Windows Embedded 8 Handheld device

Panasonic returns to the smartphone market with a new device running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld. The announcement comes from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We don’t cover Windows Embedded too much, because these are devices that are more oriented towards enterprise users. Plus it was only just last month that we first learned Panasonic was working with Microsoft to build a new handheld device for enterprise, the FZ-E1 is it. Specs and more info below.

The FZ-E1 isn’t going to win any awards in the consumer space, but again, that’s because this is geared towards enterprise scenarios. That said, you do get a 5-inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution. It’s powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 at 2.3 GHz. Inside it has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The rear camera is 8MP, while the front-facing camera is 1.3 MP. The battery capacity is 6,200 mAh. Talk about battery life. You also get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/n/n/ac, micro USB port, GSP and NFC.

This is a very, very tough phone. It features a MIL-STD-810G military rating, survive a drop from 3 meters and stay submerged in 1.5 meters of water for 30 minute. The Panasonic FZ-E1 can operate in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius.

If you’re a superhero in your spare time you might want the FZ-E1.

However, this isn’t a phone aimed at the consumer space. The FZ-E1 is running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld for the OS. Sure, it’s build on Windows Phone 8 and can run apps from the Windows Phone Store, but it goes beyond that.

Windows Embedded 8 Handheld allows businesses and developers to create specific applications for enterprises. Devices running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, like the Panasonic FZ-E1, can easily be outfitted with extra peripherals like barcode scanners and credit card readers. Developers can then create line-of-business applications aimed directly at Windows Embedded 8 Handheld devices.

So imagine checking out at a store, a sales associate could use the FZ-E1 outfitted with a credit card reader and barcode scanner to complete the transaction.

The FZ-E1 will be available in Japan first, followed by a rollout in the United States and Europe. Retail pricing starts at $1,300.

We’ll hit up the Panasonic booth tomorrow for some hands-on photos and coverage.

Source: Panasonic (opens in new tab), Via/Image: Reuters

Sam Sabri
  • What a monster, ugh Crazy military people
  • Looks tough, handy for science applications where the person who coded the app retires
  • The most interesting part of the article to me was the fact that Windows Embedded wad sharing the store with Windows Phone and not Windows Store. Looks like WP is the one that will survive once WP and WinRT are merged.
  • Somebody can also hit you in the head with that thing and it'll crack your skull - so it's also a deadly weapon! LOL!
  • Hence the words "military rating" :)
  • No more ugh than wrapping your phone in an Otter Box. Yet likely a lot more durable.
  • Though still I think a bit more tougher than the Otterbox. Though I do like my Otterbox on my new Nokia Icon.   
  • I wouldn't consider it crazy to want a rugged device. I can also see a lot of non military companies wanting it too.
  • I wouldn't mind buying that for the battery alone...
  • Why can't other OEMs put this battery in the phones??!? Is Panasonic special?
  • People would complain about the weight. This phone is designed for rugged use where you might not have a charger nearby (industrial floor doing inventory or field work). Those applications it's better to have battery life than shave a few ounces.
  • Screw weight, give me a bigger battery in a 4.5 - 5" form factor and I'll be pleased. I don't need a phone that is as  light as a feather, and I'm certainly not willing to give up on features for its weight and thickness.
  • Because these aren't small devices.
  • yeah panasonic is good at batteries
  • Haven't you seen all action movies? All the secret agents carry Panasonic Toughbook notebooks like Mr. and Mrs. Smith. So no it's not for consumers.
  • That's what I was thinking until I saw the $1,300 price tag at the end! Lol!
  • Yeah! They cut some corners, I think!
    I expected over 2000 €uros (or about  2500 USD)
    Miracast and 1920 x 1080b screen with Windows Phone 8.1 and I'll surely buy it,
    but I also expect quad SIM and 22 4G frequences plus USB 3 (at least)
    I need a custom silicone shell because 10 ft drop survival is not enough...
  • mmm I want 10 of these nice panafonic phones :)
  • So is this the OS they use in the Microsoft Stores to ring people up?
  • Probably. I doubt they'd use WE7.
  • Nah they use dos
  • No, they use regular consumer hardware with Microsoft Dynamics applications loaded on them.
  • They use Nokia 920's with a credit card reader...
  • Now tats wat you call a Tank..
  • Boy, what I would do for a fully-white phone like this one. With the black hardware buttons. Talk about Stormtrooper.
  • Bit of tape and a can of spray-paint, add a galactic empire logo on the back and there you go :D
  • duct tape... you sound like Michael Westen from Burn Notice (who used to be a spy btw). :)
  • 1,300$ ... too cheap
  • That's why you can buy yourself a new Vertu for every Christmas!
    BTW: they changed the OS to Android...
    One can also special order through a gemsmith.
    I can give you the address in London, if you need it
  • Sure it can survive a 3 meter drop but throw a Nokia at it and it'll shatter.
  • Cant throw anything anymore. Nokia phone dies in 5 weeks.
  • more like under new management
  • Nope. More like won't exist.
  • Wouldn't be surprised if the new monkey incharge of Ms decides to scrap WP altogether and focus on scamdroid devices....
  • Wow, so much hate in one post.
  • Smells like a plant and I LOL at the orginal post and Haters gonna hate they're just Jealous... #LumiaTakinOverEurope #MicrosoftIstheFuture ##arepointless
  • Want.
  • hmm, they make the exact phone in wp and android versions. nice. i'll be getting one of the android versions if it makes it to the states. 
  • Dat battery.. Me want!
  • That's alot of zeros
  • So you need a $1300 phone to swipe a card? Doesn't every iPhone and android so that already? That battery is drool worthy though.
  • As does WP, but clearly there is mor to it than that.
  • These are ruggedized. That means they won't break so easily as consumer phones. They can be found in warehouses, flight attendants will use them, military, police, and anywhere where people are doing heavy lifting.
  • The office.
  • Someone pleassssseeee upload a picture of Hulk carrying one of these in green, or Thor with one vs his hammer.
  • Or it getting run over by an 18 wheeler.
  • I actually want this phone.
  • What seems odd is that these two models share same chassie. Why didn't they just dual boot the sucker and call it even?
  • Because then it would have cost $2600..
  • You also get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/n/n/ac, micro USB port, GSP and NFC   It MUST be tough.  It comes with Georges St. Pierre as standard.
  • A dual boot phone?
  • I love Panasonsic, it looks awesome but the price is f*ucking high, I'll keep my 1020
  • :-) Being pedantic here mrCh3p3... usually the asterisk replaces a letter i.e. f*cking    #Justsaying
  • Am I the only one that sees the vibrate icon in a different spot? Is this running 8.1?
  • Yeah, it definitely is in a different position.
  • so ugly!
  • I would love to have this phone! I loved the G'zOne because of its rugged design and toughness. The battery is absolutely amazing too!
  • Looks huge, but probably no bigger than an S4 in an otterbox.  
  • Oooohhhhh... So THAT'S what those Lumia 900's at the Microsoft Store use.... I was curious as to what special build of Windows Phone they use. (and I would assume the Lumia 900's at the Microsoft Store would be Windows Embedded 7.X or an equivalent, rather than Windows Embedded 8).
  • Waterproof, indestructible, good tech, big screen and massive battery? Sign me up!
  • I wish I could see these as cases for the L1520 phone. Too bad Otterbox and other rugged case makers don't care for us...
  • I would love for Panny to take a stab at a consumer-oriented (windows) phone. I'd wager they could come up with something really cool...
  • I think every phone made by Fujitsu is made to take anything.
  • That scenario of going to a retail store and having a rep scanning your items with a phone and swiping a credit card with the phone, as described in the article, already exists for iOS, and it doesn't require a special version of the OS. I experienced this first hand when I went out shopping with my wife last weekend. Doesn't the regular Windows Phone 8 OS allow for that type of attachments already?
  • Think the Schwan's man, inventory folks, etc.  Folks who are going to beat the crap out of the device on a daily basis. Our Schwan's guy still comes do the door with an ancient WinCE device.  Perfect solution for them!
  • 6200 mAh is great!
  • Specs make it worth $500, add maybe $100 for the sturdiness factors. $1300? Hiliarious. 
  • For everyone here who is drooling at the above device, did you notice that neither the WE or the Android version have the Phone Tile/Icon? It might not even have a Phone radio.
  • Good, now I can finally check twitter during my Arctic expedition.
  • Sounds cool if pronounced F zed-E1. Less cool if pronounced F zee-E1, if you ask me.
  • looks stellar and solid! dat battery & specs:D also dat price tag lolol.. nice to hear from panasonic
  • Yucks!What a horrible looking phone!
  •   If they weren't so damn big and expensive, I'd consider one. Those things are damn near indestructable.