Choosing the Right Android Device: 10 Key Barcode Scanning Performance Factors

Many enterprises are discovering the benefits of replacing dedicated hardware scanners with smartphone scanning. When used in conjunction with Scandit’s mobile computer vision software, smartphone scanning can help enterprises make better business decisions and improve efficiency by up to 40% with scanning performance that matches handheld devices for speed and accuracy.

Scandit barcode scanning and Augmented Reality (AR) software can be deployed into mobile apps to bring high-performance scanning to more than 20,000 models of smart devices, thereby bringing about these efficiencies. With so many makes and models to consider, ranging in price from less than $250 to $600+, it’s important to choose the right smart device to achieve the very best results.

Here, we outline the ten key smartphone features to weigh up when deciding which enterprise device to adopt into your business.

1. Decode Speed

User satisfaction plays a large role in the success of any scanning device, with fast and accurate scanning being an important part of employee adoption rates. A smartphone camera must be able to adjust to the barcode image and process that image quickly to ensure a smooth and efficient workflow.

Features that will ensure a fast scanning rate are Camera Initialisation Speed and Autofocus Control, while a Rapid CPU speed will allow for fast processing.

2. Scan Range

Scanning can be a physically demanding job. Excessive bending and stretching, to reach barcodes on a bottom or top shelf, can result in injury and employee downtime.

While Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK helps to extend the decode range of any smartphone to match or even exceed hardware scanners, the camera’s Exposure, Focus Handling and Resolution will also help.

3. Fast Batch Scanning

The speed of batch scanning (scanning high volumes at a high speed) can be improved by Fixed Focus Mode on a smartphone camera, meaning that the camera doesn’t have to take time to focus between scans. When used in conjunction with the Scandit SDK software’s ability to decode blurry images, high through-put barcode scanning is possible.

4. Tiny Code Scanning

Size can be a challenge for barcode scanners, especially when printed or etched on small objects or on a dark background. For successful use in the case of tiny barcodes, Camera Resolution, Auto-Focus and Exposure are camera features that should be considered.

5. Low Light

With scanners increasingly being used in industrial or outdoor settings, light can be a real issue. Smartphone camera features, such as Image Stabilization, allow a slower shutter speed without blurring the barcode. Beware of an LED Flash, which can cause glare on the barcode, making it difficult to read.

6. Power Efficiency

In general, the larger the Battery Size, the longer the smartphone will run between charges. However, features such as Display Backlighting, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Activity will consume charge, and some devices will restrict these features via a Power Management Mode.

The good news is that any smartphone equipped with the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK can easily perform 6,000 scans on one charge – more than enough for most applications – and some devices have even achieved over 12,000 scans in a single charge.

7. Ergonomics

Any user is more inclined to adopt a smartphone scanner if it’s comfortable to use. The Weight, Design and Form of the smart device can help reduce strain and improve efficiency in any enterprise application.

Screen Size plays a part in reducing eye strain and allowing document review, while button distribution and the ability to Reconfigure Buttons to push to scan allows the employees/businesses some autonomy to create a device suited to personal or different users’ needs.

8. Ruggedness

Smartphone scanners are used in many environments, including those that are physically demanding due to temperature, weather or terrain. IP or MIL ratings are important here, demonstrating a smartphone’s suitability for use in wet or dusty environments.

Ideally, the smartphone should have a Tough Shell that will protect against drops, shocks or knocks, with the option to add a rugged case for additional fortification.

9. Multiple Code Scanning & Augmented Reality

Data collection efficiency can be dramatically improved by multiple barcode scanning. Scandit’s MatrixScan with AR overlay allows real-time information to be displayed on smart device screens.

A high Camera Frame Rate or Processing Speed and Camera Resolution will allow an increased field of view and therefore inclusion of more barcodes in the viewfinder.

10. Security

Security Updates are vital in order to protect any business. Smartphone features such as Remote Data Wiping, the ability to separate business and private data, and Strong Data Encryption will also make the device more appropriate for use in your enterprise.

Factory Installed Security Software, e.g. Samsung Knox, should also be considered, as should the Support timeframes offered by the manufacturer.

To help you find the right device for your enterprise, we’ve already assessed these features on some market-leading smartphones. Download our Android Device Guide 2020 to see the results of our comparative testing of a range of models from high to low end.

If you need further guidance, we’d be happy to talk through your specific smartphone scanning requirements – just contact us.