Part II – What Do You Most Look For When Selecting A Business Cell Phone (e.g. Smart Phone, PDA)?

I asked this question of a large business networking community recently….. “What features/factors do you consider most important when choosing a business cell phone….and why?”Here’s more of their answers for your education and enjoyment:* “It’s going to sound dull, but…business benefit and value for money.Assuming you’ve got a corporate tarriff sorted, then I’d be looking for ….* economy* connectivity – e.g. quad band so we can standardise on a couple of
handsets globally* functionality – e.g. sync to work PC for Outlook etc.* decent vendor support.Pretty low down on the list are things like eye candy and mp3 playback – no iPhone for us unfortunately!”* “When it comes to a “business cell phone” a lot depends upon what you will use it for, where you will use it and how often you will use it.If you just need email access and your HQ is in North America then RIM is still King….even when roaming abroad. If you need more than simple email access then the world gets more complicated. Bottom line is to look at the TCO of any solution you choose and make a platform choice not a cell phone choice.”* “My preference list:- Good data connectivity. EDGE or HSDPA.- Very good EMail client.- Good PC-Sync capability.- Able to view and edit MS-OFFICE, Acrobat files- BLUETOOTH connectivity. supporting boardroom presentations from mobile.- QWERTY keypad is must. will be helpful if a foldable keypad with mobile cradle attached is provided. notes can be directly created using original keypad.- Wireless connectivity and seamless switching between GSM/UMTS and WLAN.”* “The following features are a must for my business cell phone:- Qwerty keyboard- Office suite/editable- Adobe support- Sharp organiser- Effective email support- VPN connectivity- 3G enabledI think IPhone is defintely a good bet for this category though currently I am on a Motorola PDA.”* “Simplicity. I hate it when mobiles have so many gimmicks that making telephone call almost becomes an option. I don’t want a camera, don’t need to text, I don’t send emails, I don’t need a colour display. I just want a simple phone, with large buttons and a simple menu.* “First off I look for a phone that has a good battery, excellent radio and lots of storage.Next I look for something that works with Office, since I need to be able to synchronise with Outlook and view documents. In the messaging suite it needs to be able to effectively do email. For example, I want it to have some form of keyboard device rather than just touch.In the past I have also looked at the ability for the device to run a number of enterprise applications such as SAP, Oracle, etc.so that I can access CRM and Financial Data Systems.At present I have a Sony Ericsson P1i as my main handset and have replaced a Blackberry with an HTC Touch Plus as my data device. However, I also have a Sony Vaio SZ61XP which runs with embedded HSDPA so my Laptop has become my smartphone.What I would say is that despite the effort of .dot mobi to get better ….. the most effective way to squeeze the web onto a phone has been to run the Opera browser which I do on all three devices.”* “ok.. I’m not sure how the iPhone can qualify as a business cell phone. Like most Mac products it hinders business more than helps it.In a phone, it must MUST be able to work with and exchange in “always up to date” / real time email. It also must be able to support email encryption and be remotely managable. Such as Blackberry, or Windows Mobile 6 devices.Someone steals my phone, and it’s already locked, so no use to them, as soon as I call the office, bam.. now it is also erased and deactivated. Instant paperweight.My current Favorites ….. Moto Q Global, Blackjack with the WM6 update, or Black Jack II.I am a bit of a cell phone addict, and have owned practically every type of phone that has existed, the rest are all lacking in some way.Cingular/ATT 3125 (aka HTC Star Trek) was actually really cool. Full Windows smartphone features, but eventually I decided that I could no longer live without a full qwerty keyboard.”* “I would choose the Nokia E61 for businesses. The best feature about this phone is that you do not need a SIM Card to access internet or your IPLC in the office premises if your wireless is activated. It supports an email client and that enables you to access your personal and official mail. The phone has all the features of a desktop and supports most of the files types.”* “First and foremost, as I travel internationally quite often, I need an unlocked gsm phone so that I can easily swap SIMs, and it should be quadband (world) compatible.Wifi and VoIP (“real” VoIP — ie SIP, not Skype –both over GPRS and Wifi) is a must.Easy syncing with Microsoft Outlook. Full QWERTY keyboard. IMAP email client, full web browser.The obvious choice for my needs is the Nokia E61i… absolute best phone I have ever found for the international business user that has to stay completely connected from remote locales.Also should add that bluetooth is a must and the ability to expand (with FlashSD or whatnot) the memory to at least 2GB. Should also have full media player capability (both video and audio) for watching movies or listening to some tunes on those long-haul flights. Also needs to support ACCD2 or
whatever it’s called for stereo bluetooth audio (I love my Motorola S9 headset!)…. again, the Nokia E61 or E61i (same as E61 but with camera) wins hands down..only cell(smart) phone I’ve found that meets all of my demands.”* “Business means that you’ll probably have to deal with many people, many calls and many tasks.Important things are:1. how call history works. If somebody calls you several times it is good if the phone can store EVERY call instance, not only the last one with a given person. My TREO was storing histories of all incoming and outgoing calls for months and months (i was having at least 50 calls a day). So call history must be full and long.2. big memory for contacts – for obvious reasons. And many fields for contacts – also helps put more information about people so that when you have 3 persons with name John Smith you’ll be able to find out which one you need.3. Fully functional keyboard. When you know somebody is on the meeting and you can not speak to him it might help sending him/her a message – it will be seen even if person is in the meeting. If you have QWERTY keyboard then composing a message will take you 70-80% less time than doing it on a
traditional mobile.4. Phone must be reliable. The last thing you want is your phone to fail killing all your contacts when you are for a business trip out of your country. You also do not want to lose tons of calls because phone has hanged up for a couple of hours and you did not know it.5. GPS sometimes is helpful for people who travel much. But not for every business person.The model of the phone does not really matter, but I think that NOKIA is a reliable brand, PALM Treo is also a good thing.”* “A phone which you can answer , find the contact, and call them without spilling the coffee on your suit.”More real life comments on the question will be shared in Part III of this series.For anyone looking for a business cell phone……drop by Broadband Nation for information and resources.

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