When it comes to buying a Rugged Android Smartphone for your business, the landscape is very different from when you’re choosing your own personal consumer device.  Whilst the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone might be the perfect companion for your every day personal or business life, it’ll suck at delivering in an enterprise scenario.  Just why is that?  Well this article hopes to get you thinking about that a little more and to equip you with some knowledge of what the top 5 things to look for are that will ensure you get the best chance of success in your mobile enterprise deployment whether it’s 1 or 100 devices.

Battery

As mobile is taking over business as well as our personal lives, battery longevity has become the number One issue we talk about day in day out with prospective buyers.  For enterprise devices, you need a really great big built in battery.  Add on packs Are OK, but costly, they also aren’t rugged or waterproof and often add a level of complexity to the device, so a big base battery is whats needed.

Raptor R5 Rugged smartphone with 6000mAh battery options

Raptor R5 Rugged smartphone with 6000mAh battery options

3600mAh is the standard these days, but the bigger, the better.  Our Raptor R5 has a class leading 6000mah option which means you can run your devices all day without having to charge or buy costly accessories to keep them running.

Security

Security is a big issue too as mobile becomes the norm in business and having a device that isn’t sharing it’s info out without you knowing about it is not acceptable and possibly even breaking the law.  Always ask about the Operating System, where it came from, and who developed it as most cheap stuff coming out of China has all kinds of apps on them that would be a security managers nightmare.  This is also a challenge for anyone using consumer smartphones from brands like Samsung, HTC, Google etc.  The problem is with these devices that you never quite know when they’re taking data off your phone and some like the latest Galaxy devices and iPhones won’t let you use them with out doing so.  Is it right that location data of your staff is being shared?

How do you get round this.  Well we do it by bespoking our OS’s so they can be Google connected or not.  We also strip out every piece of rogue application we can find to leave a clean, secure device ready for business.

Quality but at a price

Consumers, whether people or businesses demand quality in what they buy today and this means that not only does the product have to do what it;s intended but the whole experience must be easy, simple and just work for years not a few weeks.  As with the above section on security, look for the most simple, Android experience you can get.  Devices with lots of apps stuffed into them are taking up valuable room and could also be doing all kinds behind the scenes.  Also look for decent repair services, a portal and fast basic repair is a must now to keep your business running as is an ecosystem of products and services designed to help your business run smoothly.

Lastly the product itself needs to be simple and easy to use and of a great quality.  Too many devices have too many extras these days that break or make them confusing.  The rule of thumb here is to make sure you’re getting as close to the “vanilla” Android experience you can with a device that’s built well, is simple and easy to use and has the right service in the place to help you when you need it.

This also has to be done at the right price.  The days of £1000 Rugged devices are gone, don’t be fooled by the hype on that.  On the flip side, cheap £150 devices are just that…cheap.  Don’t skimp!!  None is making money in that case and you will lose it too as you get no support and no quality!  £300-400 should see you get the right balance on quality and price these days.  Look for that middle ground.

Ruggedness

There’s a trend at the moment ion the smartphone industry that water proof = rugged, but it’s far from that.  An enterprise devices needs to be fully rugged which means a lot of things including:

  • Being waterproof
  • Drop proof
  • Designed correctly
  • Rugged features for long-term usage.

We have loads of blogs on here about being rugged but start here if you want to learn a lot more about being rugged!

LCD Screens
Screen sizes just get bigger and bigger!

Screen sizes just get bigger and bigger!

Like with your smartphone LCD screens need to be bigger these days.  Typically 5″ is the sweet spot in the rugged world but that’s where the similarity ends.  When buying your own personal phone, you’re hoping to view movies, play games probably and get the best colour from your LCD screen, so pixel density, resolution and the latest OLED panel tech is what you;re after.  However if one of your workers is doing that on your business phone then I don;t think your business will be succeeding.  The problem with all of this is that higher LCD specs need lots of battery power to run them.  Try leaving your iPhone on all day and see just how long it lasts and you’ll see that having a device that can be used all day long, but give 8 hours of use is only attainable if you cut out some of the unnecessary LCD features.

Whilst you shouldn’t look for the latest and greatest here, there are few things you should look for.  Firstly make sure the screen resolution is a standard size.  Quarter HD or even HD are perfect.  If not then developing software or running apps can just be a little bit more involved.  Secondly brightness is still important because if you;re using your smartphone outside all day then you’ll want to be able to easily read it.

So there’s the top 5 things we talk about on this subject all the time. If you want to add your own then the comments are open or come talk to us directly any time.