Midmarket: Five Killer Smartphones for SMBs
Five Killer Smartphones for SMBs
by Nathan Eddy
Apple iPhone 3G
($199/8GB, $299/16GB, AT&T)Whether you like it or not, Apple created a near-ultimate solution. Yes, a universal corporate email system (the iPhone handles BlackBerry email by channeling it through a Windows Mobile server), longer battery life and more stable Wi-Fi connection are some of the unresolved issues, but adding an Exchange account is a relatively straightforward process, and it will sync your Outlook e-mail, contacts, and calendar.
($199 after mail-in rebate, Verizon) The Storm employs a unique touch system that require the user to physically push on the screen, resulting in a more tactile experience, but some reviewers find the technology, designed by Research in Motion (RIM), to be superfluous. The Storm doesnt come with Wi-Fi, so all data routes through Verizon servers, but is naturally compatible with enterprises' BlackBerry servers and offers e-mail integration. The $199 price tag also gets you an 8GB flash card, integrated GPS and a removable battery (another nicety the iPhone lacks).
($299 after mail-in rebate, AT&T)The Bold sports a full QWERTY keyboard and one of the sharpest displays on the market. It's also the first HSDPA (a 3.5G standard) handset for RIM, improving data speeds. The Bold also features a host of conferencing and calling features as well as background noise cancellation. The vibrant screen offers sharp video resolution and the built in speakers allow you to adjust audio settings with 11 equalizer settings.
($179 for new and existing T-Mobile customers if purchased with a two-year T-Mobile voice and data plan, and $399 without a contract)This is the first smartphone to run on Googles Android OS platform. The 3G-capable device offers fast browsing and download speeds. Microsoft Exchange support isnt included, however, so forget about synchronizing with your Outlook e-mail, calendar or contacts. However, you can configure the smartphone to access POP3 and IMAP4 accounts, though I imagine Google would prefer you use Gmail.
($130 after mail-in rebate, Sprint)This darling of the CTIA 2008 show (it won "Best in Show") has its detractors, who find Web browsing on the slow side and poorly designed. Shorter-than-desired battery life is also an issue. Although the Instinct doesnt offer Wi-Fi, it does offer integrated support for POP3 accounts for AOL, AIM, Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail. The GPS navigation system, which uses Sprints network as well as satellites, has drawn praise, and a compact design coupled with a generous rebate make the Instinct a solid competitor.