A very brief synopsis on Smartphones and their history
Smartphones have become an unavoidable part of doing business. Ever since the introduction of the Palm Pilot PDA device, Personal Digital Accessories have made near instant inroads into the lives of business executives.
Palm launched a plethora of personal digital devices in the late 1990’s that sported its Palm OS operating system. The devices were very well recieved in the business world and the company became wildly succesful, at one point breaking into 2 companies, one focusing solely on hardware and the othet on OS development alone. All of Palm’s devices relied on having a stylus for menu selection as well as for taking notes. During the turn of the century, Palm’s new rival, RIM – maker of the BlackBerry – took advantage of the changing technology landscape and mobile data services and launched a device that boasted its instant messaging platform that many still believe is the best to this day. Palm was left bleeding customers and could not muster a counter punch.
Palm’s last savior was the Treo 650, a colored touch screen phone with full qwerty keyboard and a stylus that was launched in 2003. It remained very successful among the Palm die-hards within a rich eco system of applications, written for the Palm OS platform over the years.
Fast forward a few quick years, along came iPhone and the rest was history. Palm quickly lost the last of its supporters and BlackBerry also suffered massive losses in the United States market as customer flocked to a brand synonym with the revolutionary iPod and one that was well known for delivering quality products that stood the test of time better than most of its rivals.
Fast forward a bit more and Google announced that it was throwing its hat into the smartphone ring and the Android was born. All of this happened in a timespan of less than 20 years with companies going from bank to bust left and right in the process.
Smartphone of 2015 vs smartphone of 2000
Needless to say things have changed dramatically in the last 15 years as far as what consumers and business executives are looking for in a mobile device. In circa 2000 smaller was always better when it came to phones and having a company mobile and a personal one had its own charm and novelty value. Today a 2 inch screen phone has virtually no place in the mobile device market. Bigger screen is the way to go. Having a company issued device like the old BlackBerry is also the trend of the past with more and more companies embracing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture of unifying and streamlining communication. Business executives want a single device that can answer all their needs from being an alarm clock to providing turn by turn navigation to meetings with clients.
Business Android Smartphones roundup
In this review, we are focusing specifically on the best Android smartphone hardware. Apple products running IOS and Nokia devices that run Windows are also not included in this review.
Our simple test was to use these devices ourselves and also interview our colleagues and clients and guage their experience with the devices. Unlike what is done on other review sites, we are not so concerned with immaterial details like screen size difference of 0.2 inches or amoled vs super amoled screen resolutions. Our focus is on the overall ease of use, added value of the prepackaged software, and the synergy between the OS and the hardware.
We use 2 very simple criteria to judge our smartphones:
1) Hardware layout and positioning of buttons, jacks, ports, hardware communication features like NFC, and removability of battery.
2) Ease of use of the ROMs that the phones come with and the level of integration of various software functions within the ROM.
You can read the full review of each device in our upcoming post here.