Can you run a business without a smartphone in hand? Sure, but it would make your life just a wee bit more complicated. Granted, maybe running your business puts enough on your plate, and you don’t have time to run around and conduct the research you need to make an informed decision. But when you narrow down what’s important, choosing a smartphone for your business isn’t as intimidating as it initially appears to be.
What’s keeping you from adopting a smartphone (or several smartphones) into your business? Fear of additional costs? Knowing that you’ll just grab the first smartphone you see off the shelf because you don’t have the time or energy to mess around? Don’t panic. Here are five tips to help you pick the best smartphones for your small business.
Research which phone is best for your needs – What do you need your smartphone for, exactly? Phone calls, primarily? Email? Twitter? Facebook? If you’re truly interested in only making phone calls on the go, you can buy a feature phone and save yourself a whack of cash. Feature phones aren’t brimming with apps, but many models still offer email, personal organizers, Wi-Fi capabilities, and even a GPS. They’re perfectly fine for getting the basics done while you’re on the road.
Find the right carrier – This is the trickiest part of buying a smartphone. The myriad commercials from American cellular providers don’t help, because they all claim to be the best. So which provider/carrier is the best? There’s no easy answer, but you should think about what you need. Are you going to be making a lot of phone calls? If so, which provider has the fewest drops and the clearest reception? Are you going to be fiddling with your apps a lot? If that’s the case, good data plans should take priority.
Evaluate which operating system you need – iPhone? Android? Blackberry? Windows Phone? Oh boy. Again, if you love apps, the iPhone’s your best bet, though Android isn’t shabby at all. But Blackberries are generally affordable and still command a loyal fanbase. If you’re having trouble choosing which operating system to take home, check out our iPhone vs Android buying guide.
Solicit feedback – Seems like everyone has a smartphone, doesn’t it? Well, put that factoid to good use and ask friends and acquaintances what they like and don’t like about their choice. Is the 3G network dependable? Is reception clear? How much did it cost? Will they upgrade their phone, or go with another model entirely?
What’s your budget? – Finally, think about how much you have to spend. Top-of-the-line iPhones aren’t cheap, but if you have a hefty chunk of change to spend on them, go for it. If you’re limited, and who isn’t, go for an older model of iPhone, or check out your options in the Android market.
Need more smartphone buying advice? Read:
How to Choose a Smartphone For Your Small Business at American Express’ OpenForum
3 Tips for Choosing the Right Smartphone for Your Business at Entrepreneur
Picking the Right Smartphone at Tales of a Travelling Salesman