Best Android Phones For Mobile Work in 2019

Android Phones To Get Work Done

Without a doubt, your team can change the way they work using smartphones. Benefits include improved workforce productivity and efficiency, wherever work might take them.

Priorities when choosing a phone for mobile work are often different than those considered when selecting a personal or executive smartphone. Typically companies are looking for an affordable device, with good battery life and reasonable build quality.

We’re often asked for our recommendations on phones for mobile workers. By this we mean devices for people carrying out deliveries, repairing equipment or providing services at various sites away from their main office.

The choice in Android is vast, and often recommendations online can point to devices that are not widely available in the UK.

So here are our current recommendations for UK smartphones for mobile workers. We’ve tried kept it simple with just 1 device at each price point. The first 2 devices are consumer devices, protected with a 3rd party external case. These devices should be considered as disposable which you would replace rather than repair. Typically their life is around 2 years. The third devices are robust rugged handsets which are specifically designed for employees that work in the field. These devices have full through life management support available and routinely last up to 5+ years.

We do encourage you to carry out your own research, hopefully it’s helpful to be able to use these devices as a benchmark to compare others against. You should be able to find all of these devices relatively easily in the UK, pricing correct at February 2019.

We’re always interested in real world feedback. If do you select one of these devices, or an alternative, please do leave a comment on how they have performed in the real world.

Budget Phone (<£100): Nokia 1

Nokia 1

The Nokia 1 is a budget, low-end smartphone for a feature phone price.  It’s not going to be fast, the picture quality won’t be great, and the performance may struggle if you try to use multiple applications at once. However, if your main use is work calls, and possibly a single smartphone app for work that isn’t too intensive on the device, it might be a good fit. The device has a basic point and shoot camera with an LED flash. Considering the price point, if you just need a simple record of work done this might work. However, if photo quality is very important for your work or, if you need good quality pictures in low light conditions you might want to consider a mid-range device. On the positive side this device has reasonable build quality, it’s plastic but it’s not cheap. So if your criteria is an absolute budget smartphone, and you have low-performance expectations, this could be an option.

If you’re choosing this device we would recommend the following optional accessories:

  • Due to the limited internal memory, we would recommend fitting an additional 128GB Micro SD.  These are available for around £16 on Amazon at the time of the article.

  • According to reviews online the display does scratch easily, so it ‘s worth fitting a screen protector. These are available on Amazon for £7 for a pack of 3.

It’s worth noting that the Nokia 1 plus has just been announced. It’s expected to be released in March 2019 and has a spec similar to the current Nokia 2.1 at the same price point.

Mid Range (<£200): Honor 10 Lite

Honor 10 Lite

There are plenty of good options in the mid-range Android market. It’s important to remember that if you’re used to using a high-end smartphone for personal use, these devices are not going to give the same experience. However, if you’re looking for an affordable phone, with a good specification and reasonable performance it’s worth considering the Honor 10 Lite for your team. The phone is running on the latest version of Android and has plenty of storage, a useable camera, and good battery life. The phone is a plastic build, and comes with a light case within the box.

If you’re choosing this device we would recommend:

  • Upgrading the case. Cases are widely available on Amazon - a soft rubber case like this would work well,  or possibly a more durable design like this. Prices are around £8 a case.

  • The device has a TFT LCD, so it’s a good idea to fit a screen protector.  Prices are around £5 for 3 on Amazon.

If you’re looking at the Honor 10 Lite, it’s also worth considering the Nokia 6.1 Plus.

Nokia 1 Versus Honor 10 Lite


Specification

Nokia 1

Honor 10 Lite

Operating System

Android 8.1 (Android Oreo Go Edition)

Android 9.0 (Android Pie)

CPU

Quad Core 1.1 GHz Cortex

Octa Core 2.2 GHz Cortex A73

RAM

1 GB

3 GB

Internal Memory

8GB (4GB available to the user))

64GB (50GB available to the user)

Display

4.5”

6.2”

Battery

2250mAh

Standby: 360h

Talk-time: 9 h

3400 mAh

Standby: 400h

Talk-time: 20 h

Camera

5MP Rear with LED Flash

13MP Rear with LED Flash

Additional Micro SD

Yes, up to 128GB

Yes, up to 512GB

Full Spec

Link

Link

Price

Under £70

Under £190

Enterprise Grade, Rugged Devices

Untitled design (28).png

The phones we’ve looked at so far are consumer android phones that make use of a supplementary case to increase device durability.  These phones aren’t built with the demands of work as a fundamental requirement. So if your team spend their days making deliveries, repairing equipment or providing services you may wish to consider rugged mobile computers.

If you’re looking for a device for solid industrial and commerical use, we recommend Zebra products. As Zebra partner. we have worked with and supplied these products for many years.

Zebra ruggedised devices start at around £420 plus VAT.  Typically these devices have a minimum drop spec onto concrete of around 1m, and can survive complete submersion in water. In addition, they have enterprise-grade features such as integrated barcode scanners, swappable batteries and vehicle mounts.

Optional inclusive support contracts allow device life to be extended, these offer maintenance plans to repair devices through normal wear and tear, and complete device failure. They also can extend operating system life, and provide guaranteed security updates. Consumer devices tend to have a short life span and are generally replaced rather than repaired, typically they might be expected to last for a couple of years. This replacement over repair approach can increase total cost of ownership of consumer over rugged devices by nearly 50%, according to VDC research. When deploying ruggedised devices, they are typically in service for over 5 years and can be extended out as much as 8 years.

If you’d like talk through options for Ruggedised Devices please give our office a call on 01202 665885 or book a consultation using the form below.

Name *
Name