Find a smartphone and mobile operating system that does the job
Many people buy the best smartphones not only for entertainment or personal use, but also for business or productivity purposes. With so many smartphone models to choose from as of now, however, across multiple mobile operating systems, deciding which smartphone is best for the job can be tricky. Here are the factors you should consider before buying a smartphone, especially if you need to at least partially use it to get the job done.
At the most basic level, you need a working mobile phone (that is, can get a reliable signal to make calls and access data). So your first consideration should be to choose a cellular service provider with decent data and voice reception wherever you are. Here are the 3 Cs of carrier selection:
- Blanket: Check cell coverage maps to make sure you have adequate voice and mobile broadband data coverage, both in your area and where you can travel.
- You can also check a user complaint database like Dead Cell Zones.com for user reports on local wireless coverage (or lack thereof).
- If you need to make international calls while traveling using your cell phone, a GSM provider may be your best bet.
- Service to Customer Ratings: Ratings and reviews from sources like JD Power and Consumer Search can help you rate mobile providers on customer service and call quality.
- Cost: With the competition for mobile users quite fierce, wireless service costs are similar across all major providers, and when one carrier cuts costs, others tend to follow. However, comparing data and voice plans side by side can pay off; Switching to tiered rather than unlimited data plans is an example of a different pricing structure that could influence your smartphone purchase decision if you’re a data heavy user.
Enterprise support for different mobile devices
Another factor in selecting a smartphone for business is whether your employer’s IT department will support your personal device. The benefit of business support is that your employer’s IT people can help you with remote setup and troubleshooting connectivity to corporate resources, such as Microsoft Exchange Server for email, contacts, and access to the calendar.
If you mainly need your mobile phone to connect to the resources provided by the company, BlackBerry phones and Windows Mobile may be your best choices. These mobile platforms are by far the most supported in the business, giving IT departments greater control and business-oriented functionality compared to the more business-oriented Android and Apple iOS platforms. consumer. (Other smartphone platforms have apps that can help you set up Exchange Server connections, accessible remote resources, and more; you’ll likely be installing and troubleshooting them on your own.)
Speaking of apps, all smartphone platforms offer common office and business productivity apps that you’ll most likely use, such as document viewing and task management. However, you can lean towards one platform over another depending on your other application needs:
- Apple iOS is the way to go if you want early access to applications and the greatest number of them since most developers prioritize development for the iPhone.
- Windows Mobile has superior integration out of the box with Microsoft Outlook and Office on the desktop.
- Android gives the iPhone a run for its money, with more devices that can access Android apps, and a more open platform (you can even make your own Android app without any programming knowledge).
When evaluating specific smartphone models, the two features that have the most impact on business users are voice quality and keyboard input.
- Voice quality is essential for professionals. Without a decent speakerphone and the ability to be clearly heard and overhear the other person, using your mobile phone will be more of a work obstacle than a help. Check out cell phone reviews such as those on the About cell phone site to see how the smartphone works as a phone.
- Keyboard: If you are creating or editing documents on your phone, or typing long emails, you may prefer a physical keyboard, which will help you narrow down the options on your smartphone considerably.
Of course, test the keyboard (whether it’s onscreen or physical), form factor, and user interface for any smartphone you are considering to make sure you get the one that works best for it. you.