We’re all for inexpensive smartphones here and that’s why we sell what we consider to be the best value range of rugged mobile devices you can get right now.  In fact we’re all about trying to get mobile technology into the hands of everyone so the cheaper the better right?

Well, yes, inexpensive is always good but is “cheap” just going that bit too far?  Search on Google and it’ll only take you few moments to find a whole host of rugged Android smartphones for 50% of the price of ours, some that look very similar indeed! so what just do we do with Raptors that makes them worth the extra and just what are the risks of buying a cheap device?

Is your data being stolen?

You use apps right?  You use ones that are free don’t you?  Facebook, Googles apps?  You know they’re not really free right?  but at least you know Google is using your browsing data or Facebook sells your profile.  We’re all adults in the room aren’t we, and we know nothing is truly free.  Well the same holds true for those cheap smartphones!!

Have you actually ever had a look through the apps that are pre-installed on your cheap Android device?  Chances are you’ll not know what half of them do, you won’t be able to uninstall them either.  What’s even more interesting is that if you delve deeper into the device, beyond the capability of the what the average user would know how to do then you’ll actually see another whole host of hidden apps that are seemingly quite innocuous.  However if you scratch beneath the surface you’ll find out that these small, seemingly harmless apps are far from being harmless and are stealing data, giving low level access and sending information all over the place.

Take any device sourced direct from China and you’ll probably find apps like Engineer mode, YGPS and a bunch of battery apps that seem fine to be installed.  However why does a GPS app need access to your contacts list or your personal information or the other 20 or so privilidges it asks for?

Why this is important

If you run your business from mobile devices then you could not only be breaking the ethics and terms and conditions you set out for your business but you could be breaking the law.  At best I think customers will not be very happy to learn you’re using cheap devices that could be putting their data at risk too.

OS Updates

Lack of OS updates can also be a huge issue with running a mobile device.  These things are more powerful than computers were only a few years ago and they’re now the new targets for hackers so the operating system needs to be kept up to date as threats are found.  When was the last time you did that on your mobile phones?  A good OS is one that’s tailored, understood and above all updated to keep it feature fresh and secure.

What to watch out for

A good place to start is to check the settings app.  Go into About phone and you’ll see all kinds of information about the OS build on your device.  What you want to see are dates that are up to date and build versions that are changing when you allow them to.  If your device has an OS date form 2 years ago then you need to be careful.

How can i sort this out

Ask the right questions up front?  Ask the vendor about the OS, what they have done to it themselves in order to secure and make it fit for business and make sure they have an update cycle for it too.

if you don’t get the answers you need then they’re “tin shifters”, probably buying any old tat for any old factories that bang out copy phones but are missing the vital care and attention that your business needs.


We’ve also found the above on branded rugged devices too, so always ask and always check how transparent and helpful your vendor is when it comes to being asked about this kind of thing.

You know I worry about our data.  We just don’t understand how valuable it is and we give away our personal data to store cards, social media sites and all kinds of ways that we probably don’t even know or care about.  If you take the same approach with your business then you can end up in serious trouble so I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to make sure the mobile technology you base your business on is right.

As always, if you want to discuss or get any help at all you know where we are, just drop me an email and i’ll always be happy to help.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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