What are the best phones currently on the market? Our verdict on the 5 best smartphones for the modern workforce.
One of the most powerful tools the modern workforce has is always on them, and keeps them permanently connected – – the smartphone. With so many devices available, it’s hard to narrow down what devices are worth looking at, and which aren’t worth your time. You need your mobile device to be powerful and user friendly, so you can complete tasks even when you’re away from the office.
I recommend you take a good hard look at the following five smartphones currently available on the market. They are in no particular order.
Apple’s flagship device was just recently announced and released. Boasting an improved camera, the App Store catalog, a fingerprint scanner and a new gold color body.
The iPhone is known for being reliable in the business setting, with plenty of apps and services launching first on iOS, giving you extra tools and an advantage when it comes to getting things done. For example, when iOS 7 came out, Base launched an updated interface to the App store first.
With iOS 7 launching alongside the new iPhone, users can find a revamped operating system that improves not only the aesthetics of iOS, but a long list of features. One of the features built into iOS is AirPlay, which when paired with an Apple TV makes it extremely easy to give presentations straight from your device.
The biggest drawback is the screen size. For some a 4-inch screen simply isn’t big enough, and that’s understandable. For those who’d prefer a larger viewing area, look no further than the rest of the list.
The iPhone 5S is priced at $199.99 and goes up from there and is available on most major carriers. You can read more about the 5S on Apple.com.
Samsung Galaxy S4
There’s no question that Samsung has struck a chord with Android. Samsung sells plenty of devices, and its latest addition to the Galaxy S line is offering more of the same.
The Galaxy S4 boasts a 5-inch screen, runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, a solid 13-megapixel camera and a series of features that are exclusive to Samsung devices.
Some of these features help make end users more productive, while others are just plain cool. Air Gestures allow you to navigate the device without ever touching the screen itself. By hovering a finger or your hand just above the screen and making gestures help you navigate and make selections on the device. Something like this could come in handy (no pun intended) while giving a presentation and using your device to display notes. The large display not only makes it easier to read, but you’re able to turn pages with a simple gesture.
The Galaxy S4 is available on most major carriers, starting at $199.99 depending on carrier. You can read more about it on Samsung.com.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
For those who don’t think a 5-inch screen is large enough, Samsung has just released the latest device to the Note lineup – – the Note 3. This beast comes with a 5.7-inch screen, and a stylus, or as it’s properly called, the S Pen. The phablet category exists for those who want the look and feel of a larger screen, similar to that of a tablet, but don’t want to have to carry around multiple devices.
In the Note 3 you’ll find similar features found in the Galaxy S4, but with the S Pen you’ll also find the ability to use Air Command. Air Command gives you access to features only available on the Note 3. All of which are aimed to help you be more productive.
The S Pen makes for an easy way to jot down notes or annotate documents. With those features and the larger screen you’ll be able to use more than one app at a time on the Note 3. Something, again, built to increase your productivity.
The Galaxy Note 3 is slowly rolling out on carriers, and starts at $249.99 depending on carrier. You can read more about the Galaxy Note 3 on Samsung.com.
Motorola is now owned by Google, and with its first releases as a Google company, Motorola has a solid device on its hands. The Moto X is an Android device running Android 4.2.2, has a 4.7-inch display and comes with some pretty unique features.
The most intriguing feature of the Moto X is it’s always listening voice commands. After training the Moto X to recognize your voice, you’re able to say “OK Google Now” at any time and the device will wake up, and await your command. You can tell it to set a reminder, set an alarm, make a calendar appointment, place a call, send a text, plus many, many more tasks (of course you can search Google this way as well).
One other feature is the ability of the Moto X and its software to identify when you’re in a meeting based off of your Calendar and automatically silence your phone, saving you from apologizing to a client for forgetting to silence your device.
Also unique to the Moto X is the ability to order a custom Moto X. Instead of picking from a couple of colors, you can visit the Moto Maker Web site, select a front color, a back color and accent colors for the device. When it’s all said and done Motorola claims there are over 2,000 different options available to customers. There is no additional cost for the custom option, you’ll just need to wait a few days for it to be put together and ship to you.
The Moto X starts at $199.99 for qualified customers and is available on a few different carriers. You can read more about it by visiting Motorola.com.
The Droid line of Android devices is exclusive to Verizon Wireless. One of the three latest Droid devices from Motorola and Verizon is the Droid Maxx. This device runs Android 4.2.2 and offers a long list of features both found in other Android devices, and exclusive to the Droid line, but perhaps its most compelling feature is its battery life.
According to Motorola users can expect to get 48-hours of “normal” usage from the Droid Maxx. This means you’re able to go about your day returning e-mails, answering phone calls, text messages and listening to music all without having to worry about your battery dying.
Finding a device where a single charge will get you through a workday is tough enough, but two workdays? Crazy talk.
The Droid Maxx starts at $299.99 for qualified customers. You can read more about the Droid Maxx on VerizonWireless.com.
At the end of the day it’s nearly impossible for someone to tell you what device to go with over another. Each person has individual needs and expectations for a device, and each device listed above offers a unique solution for some (if not all) of those needs.
The best advice I can give you when smartphone shopping is to take your time. Yes, reading reviews and viewing hands on videos is a convenient way of learning more about a device, but going into a store and getting as much time with the device in hand is where you’re going to learn the most.
Research various retailers exchange policies, finding the most flexible policy that will allow you to try one device, and exchange it for another if you don’t like your first selection.