Friday, April 25, 2008

Business Cell Phone (e.g. Smart Phone, PDA): What Features Should You Look For Most; Part III

Here's the 3rd and final installment of answers to the question I asked of a large business networking community recently..... "What features/factors do you consider most important when choosing a business cell phone....and why?"

Read on for your last shot at enlightment ( and maybe a smile or 2).

* "In my case I would put the features in the following order:

- full keyboard (sometimes soft-one is ok) - UMTS (for roaming) - good email client - battery - touch screen - GPS (when renting a car) - USB charger "

* "Here's my simple list:

1) easy to call 2) sync with outlook .... and remember the milk 2) wlan"

* "First and foremost, the phone features must be good (calling, receiving calls, listening to messages..). For me, all other features are just an add-on.

If a phone cannot phone, then it is just a bad mini computer."

* "Ability to run software that can connect to my company's email client server. Our Nokia E-Series phones can run various client, including Blackberry Client and other common company email client servers."

* "For me and my business, first and foremost, I need to have:

- Reliability of signal - Clear calls - Strong battery

When I'm on the go, having the following allows me to stay in touch with clients:

- Well-organized contact application - Easily accessible calendar application - Good email function - Good connectivity with the web - QWERTY keyboard for easy access for my emails

Honestly, the rest is bells & whistles, and while they are fun, it's not essential.

I see the phone is first and foremost a phone. "

* "For me it has been the Nokia E series T111, majorly because of the data access speed. Currently I am looking at HTC. Another to a look out for is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. "

* "Will it look like a calculator on the side of my head when I am using it."

* "I use the 8525 and I find it to be a very effective tool in my everyday working life. I can check and write emails, edit excell spreads, and Telnet in and work on the system as need be from my phone. The big display with easy to use Windows functionality makes this phone one of the best for business."

* "We utilitze a Sprint BlackBerry 8830 World Edition phone. It is invaluable as we use BlackBerry instant messaging daily, especially for communicating during events. The plan package also includes tethering to your computer (PC or mac!), for use as a data card. We use Rackspace to provide Exchange and BlackBerry Exchange Server functions. It has flawless syncronization with email, calendar, contacts, tasks and notes. Once you add additional (free) applications such as Vigo (mobile RSS reader), Google Maps, Beyond 411, the 'Berry becomes an addiction. Did I mention that it has a SIM card slot for use internationally?"

* " I use the Samsung SCH-i760 on Verizon becuase it runs Windows and has a full keyboard (slider). I think Blackberry and Palm leave a lot to be desired from a software standpoint. I used a xV6700 for 2 years and it was good for the same reasons as the Samsung. But the Samsung is much smaller/sleeker and has better performance. I did try a Treo running Windows and the keyboad was too small for me to use comfortably."

* "We are real estate brokers. We have to be mobile... and the phone is one of our very most important tools.

July 1, 2008 in California ..... if you don't have a phone with voice activated dialing you will be breaking the law dialing by hand while you are driving. So I went into my local Verizon store and bought a top of the line Bluetooth headset. I asked them to hook it up to my Treo 750 ... only 3 months old ... and to my surprise ... my phone does not support Voice Activated Dialing.

So now I'm getting ready to trade up to a Blackberry Pearl 8130.

My list would be:

1. Voice Activated Dialing with Bluetooth 2. Stable operating platform compatible with any 3rd party software you need. 3. Ease of use... ergonomic keyboard and good visibility in all lighting 4. Excellent customer service for when it fails... they all do. "

* "The most important features for me are:

- A large screen for web browsing. - Office and PDF documents viewing. - Bluetooth file transfer to send and receive documents, contacts, and large files like videos (I find this to be the iPhones main limitation). - GPS receiver to save time when finding directions. - E-mail, SMS, MMS (the lack of MMS is an other big iPhone limitation) - Good battery life. - 3G or Edge to browse the web and download e-mails quickly. - SyncML capability to synchronize the address book, calendar and tasks with an online organizer automatically.

Finally, I think its very important to have good user-friendly software that lets you access every phone function without having to go through too many menus."

* "I really like my AT&T Tilt. It has a qwerty keyboard. Runs Windows. It has the 3G high speed Internet. So I can do email and browse the web very quickly. It also has pocket versions of word, excel, etc...

It has a pretty good camera built in but I rarely use it.

I'm always on it doing email, or on the phone. It's a very smart device. I really don't use my notebook much anymore. "

* "Besides PDA-type functionality like integration with email & calendar applications, I prefer a top-flight phone without a camera. Many companies prohibit visitors from bringing in cameras, which could mean leaving your phone at the front desk as you head in for a meeting. A business phone is no good if you can't take it with you."

* "In my opinion, the single most important factor in choosing a business cell phone is understanding your business objectives. If your business is not reliant on email then a PDA with real time email access will not benefit you one iota. If your business requires instant communication, you will need push to talk and SMS. One must know what One seeks when looking into any business purchase but particularly its computing devices. In the mobile industry, it is easy to get distracted by the bells and whistles of unnecessary features.

The device which meets my needs is the Palm Treo because I need ease of use, voice quality, instant email and reliable battery. It is also a very useful device for 3rd party applications and has a great support team behind it.

That's it folks .... the end of our 3 part series on what to look for in business cell phones (smart phones and PDAs). Hopefully you saw something that turned a light on for your next business phone....and maybe made you chuckle a bit too.

Remember, for anyone currently looking for a business cell phone of any kind ...... here's a convenient online resource that will help you search for and compare phones, features, providers, and call plans: Business Cell Phone Comparison


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