The new XG200, the third generation of this model, is the fourth major product release this year, a torrent by the Janam historical rate of product releases.
Janam Technologies has reached back into the past to bring back the original form factor in what is now the third generation of their XG200 rugged mobile computers. They have restored the old patented gun design-only model, where the battery is located in the handle. The XG200, which is available only as an Android model, also has a 4.3 inch screen which few gun design models have, but which Janam believes is what the market wants today.
“This is our third generation of XG200 with the first being in 2009, when it was the XG100,” said Doug Lloyd, VP of Global Sales at Janam Technologies. “It was a well received product with a trigger handle, which disappeared over the years, as the second generation eventually moved to a more mainstream type of design where the battery was in the handle of the device. With this model, we have brought back the patented gun handle design.” The XG200’s 6300mAh battery is located inside the handle, which both makes the device light and balanced in the hand, and makes it easier to quickly hot-swap a battery.
The Janam XG200 is targeted at mobile workers in warehouses, distribution centers, loading docks and retail.
“It is a highly rugged model, which will survive a five-foot drop to concrete,” Lloyd said. “Typical use cases are warehouse and distribution, where people are up and down fork lifts and on rolling stairs, as well as retail, which can be a harsh environment in terms of being hard on devices.” The devices are sealed to IP65 standard for protection against dust and jetting water, and meet MIL-STD-810G standard for surviving repeated vibrations, humidity, extreme temperatures and high altitudes.
Lloyd said that the 4.3” inch colour touch screen has become imperative in this market, even though most gun-based products on the market don’t have them.
“We think that 4.3” is now table stakes,” he said. “Many gun-based products have smaller displays, so this should be a differentiator for us.” The screen also features Gorilla Glass 3.
Other advantages are what Janam terms best-in-class scan speed, ultra-fast motion tolerance and excellent reading capability for poorly printed barcodes. The XG200-ER model is one of only a few devices available with Honeywell’s EX25 near/far imager. It features high-end auto-focus technology and barcode reading range that is 30 per cent greater than competitive scanners. This lets the device read virtually any kind of 1D and 2D barcode, omni-directionally, from six inches out to more than 50 feet.
“It’s also our first device with a USB-C connector, the latest and greatest in terms of better connection,” Lloyd added. “We have maximized the size of the keys, and included an Ethernet cradle, a USB cradle, and a 6-slot spare battery charger.” The XG200, unsurprisingly, is both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled. It weighs 20.67 oz, including the battery.
While the XG3 and XG3R models are available in Windows as well as Android, the XG 200 has an Android-only operating system. That might sound par for the course, given that Microsoft has end-of-lifed the Windows 10 Mobile system, with 2020 being the stated end date. But Janam’s XG3 model continues to be available on Windows models because there is still a market for it.
“A good number of fairly large accounts aren’t ready to move to Android yet,” Lloyd noted. “We actually increased our Windows business over the last year as others dropped out of the market. As long as there is demand, we will continue to manufacture products. We just discontinued our Palm series – after 12 years – even as the market shifted to something other than Palm because there was still some demand for it, with the original Palm OS, not the WebOS HP brought in. Even when DOS was ended, there were still some customers who wanted to stay with that, and wanted new product for it, rather than learn Windows.”
While Janam is committed to providing devices for customers who don’t want to update now, the company has been aggressively remaking its lineup for the Android age, and the new XG200 is an example of this.
“We did a lot of work adapting to Android and the end-of-life of Windows Mobile,” Lloyd said. “There were a lot of visionary meetings about what we do next. We embarked on an aggressive strategy of refreshing our portfolio. This is our fourth new product this year. We used to average about one a year.”
The more aggressive stance was complemented by an increase in the investment into the portfolio, and Lloyd the results have been good.
“On the customer-facing side, we are seeing bigger customers, bigger deployments and more multi-national accounts,” he stated. “We don’t have to fight for brand recognition. When customers go to the ball park, they see our products.”
Lloyd said that the channel business has also been doing well.
“The channel certainly knows us, and we have just over 400 partners today,” he indicated. “With the channel it’s not just about giving them the right products, but also the necessary support. We make sure channel partners are well armed, especially in competitive situations, with support from our sales force which doesn’t require contracts. We also have a very liberal demo program, with not a lot of paper involved.”