How to pick a mobile barcode scanner

Submitted by admin on Wed, 08/14/2013 - 02:10

Serialio.com provides more comprehensive mobile cross-platform scanner solutions than any other company on the planet.

Mobile barcode scanning has evolved rapidly in the past few years. For many who are not familiar with the current state of mobile scanning technology, choosing a mobile barcode scanner can be a confusing chore.

This page is meant to provide some valuable guidelines that can be used when choosing a mobile barcode scanner, no matter what your mobile application for barcode (or RFID) scanning might be.

Serialio.com has delivered over 10,000 mobile scanning solutions, and are well prepared to meet your mobile scanning needs.

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Do you have an existing mobile device that you want to barcode enable?

If the answer is yes, choosing a solution that works with your current mobile device should be considered. The SerialMagic family of software and apps is unmatched for enabling smart mobile devices for barcode (and RFID) scanning than any other product of its type.

Do you want a scanning solution that uses Bluetooth, or one that is built-in?

Bluetooth advantages (when using SerialMagic)

  • Bluetooth scanner has own power, so that scanning does not run down battery on mobile smart phone.
  • Faulty scanner can be immediately replaced without updating complete device.
  • Mobile phone or smart mobile device can be viewed easily as scanner is used a distance from the mobile device. e.g. Put phone in pocket, on belt-clip and have scanning in-hand.
  • Swap the scanner as scanning needs change. e.g. If you have needs to upgrade to 2D scanning, simply use a 2D scanner in place of the 1D scanner.
  • Relative low cost compared to industrial built-in scanning solutions (Scanfob® 2005 Bluetooth scanners are very economical and durable)
  • One-handed solutions possible with small Bluetooth scanner options (e.g. like Scanfob® 2005, and KDC200)

Built-in scanner advantages (when using SerialMagic Professional)

  • Allow one-handed scanning
  • Industrial solutions even allow scanners that can be dropped in water! (e.g. like Archer Ruggedized Field PC)
  • If you have the budget you might consider an All-In-One mobile phone, GPS, laser barcode scanner device like the H-19

Batch scanner advantages (scans stored in scanner memory for download using a cable)

  • Lowest cost
  • Longest battery life
  • The KeyBatch™ BR2 scanner is a convenient keyfob sized scanner

After choosing the type of scanner you want, the next step is to determine what the needs of your application are.

Based on answers to these questions, your choice above may likely change.

Bluetooth scanning solutions offer the fullest range of options.

  • What is the budget?
  • How durable does the scanner need to be? (e.g. CCD scanners like Restock-SS, and Scanfob® 3002i tend to be more durable than laser scanners)
  • What size scanner is desired? (scanners come in many sizes, small like the Scanfob® 2005 and KDC200, and larger like LS4278)
  • Is scanning from a screen required or only printed material? (Scanfob® 3002i, KDC300, and SF51 can read from mobile phone screens)
  • What types of codes (symbologies) will be scanned? e.g. Only 1D codes or also 2D codes?
  • 2D codes can be scanned using Scanfob® 3002i, and KDC300.
  • How much battery life is needed? (Some units like the Restock-SS have standard battery types, others like Scanfob® 2005, and KDC200 have proprietary rechargeables)

What will be done with the scanned data?

Will scans be batched to scanner memory then downloaded, or will scans be transferred in real-time to an application to process?

Scanners like the BatchMagic, and KDC100 scan barcodes to scanner memory for download over a USB cable to a Windows computer, other scanners like Restock-SS only can real-time so data is posted immediately at the time of the scan.

Some scanners Scanfob® 2005, KDC200i, and KDC300i can do both batch, and real-time scanning.


What will the scanner connect with? Android, BlackBerry, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod), J2ME, Linux, OS X, Symbian S60, Windows, Windows Phone...

Some scanners like Scanfob® 2005, KDC200, and KDC300, provide Bluetooth HID support so scanners can be used like a keyboard to post barcode data to the cursor location in any application. Other scanners provide Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP) and require software on the host computer to connect and manage the scanner.

No matter what your mobile barcode and RFID scanning needs, SerialMagic should be considered as a part of your solution.

If you a complete solution including mobile phone, scanner, and software Serialio.com also has one of the broadest solution categories in the mobile barcode scanning sector.


Please feel free to contact us.