The minefield of technology can be expensive when choosing devices for your work from home business. While it is true that you can claim some or all of your mobile phone costs on expenses, it does not always pay to go for the most expensive, all bells and whistles phone. You should primarily consider a phone’s functions and your business’ needs. We won’t tell you what phone to buy, but here are some tips to making the right choice for you.
Presently, there are four major platforms: Android, Apple, BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows. Each has positives and negatives.
- If you choose Apple, the only phone you may use is the iphone. Iphones are useful for businesses, but many shy away from them because of the limited range of devices. However, it is a reliable device with millions of users worldwide and millions of apps
- Android has the widest support and large range of functions, games and other apps. Arguably they are the most diverse choice for most users, but they tend to become obsolete quicker than other models due to its constant upgrading of the operating system
- Until five years ago, BlackBerry dominated the business market but has fallen back. Their business functions are still a good investment for business users, but lack the range of apps at present
- Microsoft also has a large range of functions suitable for businesses. It is easier to share your Microsoft programmes (better than others for using MS Word and Excel). On the downside, it lacks the number of apps seen on Android
Now you’ve chosen a platform, there is another step before you choose your phone. You should determine which carriers have the best signal. If you are going to work from home for the most part, you especially want to make sure you can receive phone calls and texts while at home. Otherwise, no matter how great the phone, it will be practically useless for its primary function.
Speed and Memory
Depending on how much you will use it for work, and how often, speed can play a crucial role. If you intend to write reports, email, share data across Cloud technology while on a train heading to your destination, then speed and memory will be essential. If you will use it to make an occasional phone call and share the occasional image, you will not need anything too expensive.
A touch screen may look good and make using your phone easy, but it is a significant drain on the battery. This is why the iPhone does not make for a great business phone, you can’t change the batteries. It is also why many people still opt for the BlackBerry as a business device. Why? Because most of their models still use physical keyboards. For everything else, battery life is often a trade off against speed and power.
As a business user, you might not fill your phone with games, music and photographs, but you will need plenty of space for storage. Dropbox, OneDrive, MS Word (or equivalent), Evernote, Hang Outs, Skype and Google Docs are all apps you will need as an essential when talking to clients. You will need plenty of space for these. Always look at phones that offer plenty of storage space.
Phone or Phablet?
The trade-off between performance and battery life, while providing plenty of space for apps, is remedied by simply choosing a larger phone – something called a phablet. Phablet’s are smaller than a tablet but larger than a regular smartphone. They permit you to carry out multiple high-power functions at once without slowing significantly. Portable like a phone, they are ideal devices for a business user. Some, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note, possess a stylus so you can handwrite notes when talking to clients. The downside of a phablet is that they are not as easy to operate when using one hand.