A few years ago, cell phones did little more than voice calls. Today, however, smartphones are outselling all other sorts of mobile devices, and capabilities that previously used to be a luxury are conveniently accessible. Increasingly, android phones are more and more becoming mobile productivity tools for business leaders and entrepreneurs. With the right android phone, you can even run your business from a smartphone. In this article, we look at how android phones can help you run your business, and based on all your business requirements – provide a listing of the best android phones and apps for business use.
How an Android Phone could change your business
With the growth of the mobile markets and increase in the number of consumer-facing apps, the business landscape is radically changing. Running a small business right from your android phone makes more sense than ever before. Over 85% of American SME owners run their businesses from their android or iOS smartphone. With an android smartphone, business users can gain visibility into business’s financial information, get access to contract documents, communicate internally or externally and more importantly track your customer support cases. The list goes endless. To name just a few more, here are some other ways in which an android phone can simplify the way you run your business:
a) Find you Way
With a GPS supported android phone, you can get to your appointments in time – even if you are in a far-off strange city. With a good GPS android app, you can even get alerts to major delays cause by traffic – so you could just avoid such routes.
b) Access Consumer Data
Most CRMs will allow you to connect from your android smartphone and pull out data that you may need on customers and prospects. This keeps you armed with vital business information at all times.
If you’ve got half a dozen appointments running off in a day, it can get hectic. With a good android phone for business use, you can schedule your appointments and add notes relevant to each appointment. You wouldn’t want to call a prospect by the wrong name.
d) Latest Minute Research
When you need to give that speech or make a presentation to the local business community, an android phone for business use can help with some fast, last-minute research.
e) Social Media Updates
Social media is an important aspect of doing business successfully today. A business with a prominent social media face is a business with a future. With the best android phone for business use in your pocket, you can update and follow your social media presence in a snap.
f) Contacts in a Snap
With an android phone, your entire address book available to you whenever you need it. So if you urgently need to call an employee to provide some help to a new prospect, it isn’t a problem at all.
g) Get Answers in Real Time
What happens when a prospect asks a question during an appointment and you just don’t know the answer? Sounds nasty, but happens sometimes. With a fast android phone, you can pull product data from the company CRM or website within just a few seconds.
Features to Look Out For
Some android phones will be best suited for entertainment and personal use, while some others will be just fantastic for business use. Well, here are the features you should look out for in an android phone meant for business use:
1) Wireless Carrier
Basically, your mobile phone wireless carrier matters. Go for a cellular provider with decent data and voice reception, wherever you may be. So, how do you select a good mobile carrier?
Check their cellular coverage maps to make sure that you’ll have adequate mobile broadband data and voice quality both in your locality and the places you may travel to. If you need to travel a lot, internationally, then your mobile provider should allow for this. You don’t want to be swapping SIM cards every time you get into new territory.
b) Customer Service
Customer service is a key ingredient of a good mobile provider. Your android phone won’t do much for your business if you are getting issues with data plans every now and then.
2) Physical Specifications
The ideal android phone for business will feature GPS support, a powerful processor, sufficient memory for fast performance, front facing camera especially if you often need video conferencing, and a comfortable display. The keyboard is also an important physical feature that you should watch out for. You should do just fine with a touchscreen smartphone. If so not, you’ll need an android phone with a QWERTY keyboard (they are quite few available nowadays).
3) Software Support
If your phone runs android 1.6 or older OS, it might not support most of the latest apps that will come in handy when running your business. The ideal android phone for business use should feature a recent OS upgrade such as Jelly Bean (also the most popular version of android) which is guaranteed to support most apps. The OS should also make up a good User Interface, and offer support for the best email, calendar and scheduling apps on android.
Best Android Phones for Business
In a nutshell, high-end android smartphones make the best devices for business use. These handsets feature advanced specs and extended capabilities for email, social media and scheduling utilities. Based on needs that are most common to entrepreneurs and business leaders, here is a list of the best android phones for business use:
1) Samsung Galaxy S4
The S4 is arguably the most sophisticated smartphone ever (challenged only by the HTC One). The phone features all the features you need to make video calls, strong connectivity, a quadcore snapdragon processor for prompt performance and phenomenal social sharing features – you can share photos or videos of your business events in a snap. Featuring a grand 5” display and GPS capabilities, the phone can direct you to any appointment anywhere. The S4 also offers unlimited support for all the business apps you’ll possibly need, and more.
2) HTC One
The HTC One is the most gorgeous smartphone available in the market today. This android smartphone offers exemplary performance to business executives. With a quadcore snapdragon processor and a 2GB Ram, the phone is just as powerful as the Samsung Galaxy S4. HTC One offers you with an arsenal of social sharing capabilities that will polish your business’s social media presence. Also featuring GPS support and a sizeable 4.7”, HTC One will provide the business executive with everything they need to run their business.
3) LG Optimus G Pro
This 4G LTE android smartphone features an impressively fast quadcore snapdragon processor, an expansive screen (5.5”). The Optimus G Pro also offers GPS support, and a good 2.1 MP front camera. Running the android Jelly Bean OS (4.1.2), this phone offers extensive support for most of the android business apps you’ll need to keep business running.
4) Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD
This smartphone will offer a satisfying business experience on android. It features a big eye popping screen(4.7”), a luxurious (even executive) design, great call quality, 4G data speeds and prolonged battery life (up to 32 hours talk-time). Just like any other outstanding android phone for business use, the Droid Razr HD has GPS support and runs the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS (4.0.4) – upgradable to Jelly Bean 4.1.1 (which is everything you need to run all the important business apps you can find on android marketplaces).
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100
With 4G network support, a sleek corporate design, a 5.5” high quality display and running the Android Jelly Bean (version 4.1.1) OS, the Galaxy Note 2 is another awesome android phone for business use. The 1.9MP back camera will do just impressively for video conferencing, and the GPS will guide you to your unfamiliar appointment locations. The powerful qudcore processor and 2G RAM guarantees fast performance with all business apps.
6. Prefer Qwerty? The Motorola Droid 4
Smartphone manufacturers have been dropping support for QWERTY keyboards, which greatly limits the capabilities of currently available android qwerty phones. The Motorola Droid 4, however, is a powerful QWERRY phone that will do just impressively for business applications. You can get the phone with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS (4.0.4), a 4” display and a dual core processor. This android phone also features GPS support and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera for video communications. While its features are quite shadowed especially when compared to the other phones listed in this category, it will give you an outstanding business use experience if you’d rather use a QWERTY.
Best Android Apps for Business Users
Here is a list of the best business apps on android that will help you keep things running on the go:
a) Facebook Pages Manager [Free]
Helps you connect with your prospects and Facebook page followers and keep up with the activity on your multiple business pages. This app will give you complete control over what is going on with your Facebook pages, including the ability to post, view the latest insights, change profile photos and share pictures of what is going on wherever you are.
b) Business Calendar [Free and Paid $4.99]
This is an android app that can synchronize with your Google calendars. The application brings the power of these features to your pocket:
- Smooth to scroll interface with zoomable multi-day view
- Graphical and textual presentations
- Month, agenda, day and event view
- Easy switching between timeline bars and event titles in month view
- Quick day overview when adding a new event
- Business calendar reminders
- Configurable fonts and widgets
With this app, don’t get late for any business appointments. Rated 4.5 by over 20k users, this app will help you streamline your business scheduling and activities. You can also read our best android calendar app collection.
c) Team viewer [Free]
What happens when you need to open up an application on your workplace computer when you are literally miles away? Well, team viewer is an outstanding application that allows you to remotely access computers from your android phone. You can transfer files from your android mobile device to any other computer and vice versa. This business app offers the highest degrees of security standards so you don’t have to worry about anything as you remotely copy that contract document from your workplace PC to your android phone.
d) Dropbox [Free]
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your business files anywhere. Once you install this application on your workplace computer, all the files you save to your dropbox will be available on your android device. This way, you can read any business document from anywhere. If you need to edit a file and you’re taking a cab to an appointment location, dropbox makes it easy for you to access all the files you’ll need.
e) DocuSign – Sign & Send Docs [Free]
Docusign is an android business app that allows you to sign documents and get signatures quickly and easily right from your android phone. This app saves you the need to print, fax or mail documents and forms for signing. This business application is safe, secure and legally binding. This means that it empowers you to sign any documents and get signatures from other business associates whether they are standing right next to you or thousands of miles away. The most widely e-signing platform, DocuSign has been used by over 40 million people in 188 countries.
Android has got really everything you need to keep your business going nonetheless your physical location. With a good android phone for business, you can install a wide variety of communication, document management and access applications. A high-end android smartphone will be best suited for your business use. And although all the apps listed above are free, they charge an extra fee if you’d like to unlock more features. Now that you know everything you need to unleash android’s power and employ it to change how you manage your business, go right ahead and get started doing things the smart way!