The real question is: which of the many, many devices on the market should you be going for? The days of PDA phones being marketed specifically towards executives are gone. These days, phones tend to be all-rounders, suitable for more market niches. But that doesn't mean that just any mobile will do.
What Are We Looking For?
What exactly is it that we're looking for then? Well, the obvious suspects are power and speed. Basic functionality is important, no one wants lag, dropped calls or phones that crash when you try to open too many apps. That means that CPU specs and RAM are important considerations. But we also want solid compatibility with office software (so you can, for example, open calendar apps on both PC and phone), and good scheduling software built in. Decent screen size is good... and the list keeps growing.
What all this comes down to is that the mobile you choose has to be right for you. Big specs are good, but your needs are what will dictate which features can be sacrificed in favour of others. If you're not much into document editing on your mobile, then a larger screen probably isn't top of your list. If you're working in a Mac environment, iOS might be a must for you. Is there anything you shouldn't skimp on? Our vote goes to RAM. RAM is really what's going to make your phone speedy and responsive, and anything less than 1 GB is a no- no.
All that being said, let's take a look at some of the top contenders on the business phone market. Cutting edge tech, huge processing speeds and awesome functionality, these models have it all.
The iPhone 6/6 Plus
We'll start off with an obvious choice: the new iPhone models. And, yes, we've chosen both of them, since the difference between the 6 and the 6 Plus isn't huge. iPhones have been a popular business choice for a long time, and with good reason. Compatibility with iOS is obviously great, so if you're in a Mac-based office, the iPhone is the clear candidate. Things like file-sharing and calendar synching options are just easier if you're sticking to the same operating system. But iPhones are also intuitive and easy to use, and Apple's scheduling software is really second to none.
Which of the two devices to go for? Both have the same 1.4 GHz dual core processor with quad core graphics and 1 GB of RAM, meaning performance is pretty identical. The main difference lies in the screen, the 6 has a 4.7 inch display, and the 6 Plus has a 5.5 inch screen with higher resolution. Do a lot of editing work, reading, or need to get a look at HD pictures? Then the 6 Plus will be for you. Not so into big screens? Then go for the portability of the smaller iPhone 6.
The Galaxy Note 4
Phablets (phone-tablet hybrids) are the latest big thing on the mobile market, and business customers have probably benefited more than most. The large screen space offered by a phablet makes it the perfect device for those that need to work on presentations, letters or projects whilst on-the-go. And the king of phablets has to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
It's certainly got plenty of power, with a 2.7 GHz quad core processor and a massive 3 GB of RAM. There's also an SD card slot (unlike on the iPhone), so you can add in a little extra storage. And that screen? A full 5.7 inches, Super AMOLED, and there's a stylus as well, making writing even easier. When it comes to compatibility, out of the box the Note isn't great. This is an Android device, and you're going to need to download a few apps before you can communicate with your PC or work on Word documents. But for many, the big screen and stylus make the Galaxy Note 4 the business phone of choice.
The Blackberry Passport
Blackberry have been a stalwart on the business market for a fair few years, and with good reason. A full physical keyboard does mean that email writing and messaging is a whole lot easier, and Blackberry's native business and productivity apps are great. Okay, so the past few releases from the manufacturer have been less than stellar, but the Blackberry Passport could be the model that puts the company back on top.
Power? Sure, a quad core 2.26 GHz processor and a full 3 GB of RAM. There's that handy SD card slot too for up to 128 GB of extra memory. But the real selling point of the Passport is the combination of a 4.5 inch touchscreen as well as a full QWERTY keyboard. If you find yourself doing a lot of emailing from your mobile, then the Passport is going to end up being a time saver. Alright, so there's no great app store like with iOS or Android devices, but that might be a small price to pay.
The HTC One M9
Last year's HTC One M8 model was a top seller on the business market, and we fully expect the upgraded M9 version to be as well. Why? Well, because HTC just do sleek and efficient well. Yes, this is a fully featured smart phone, but what really makes the difference here is the interface that HTC use over the regular Android operating system. The user interface on the One M series is minimalistic, making finding info and getting notifications simple. The use of a “ticker tape” on the home screen, giving you constant updates on everything from the stock market to your email inbox, simply saves time. And it doesn't hurt that the M9 is a looker as well.
Power wise you're looking at a huge octa core CPU (made up of a quad core 1.5 GHz model and a quad core 2.0 GHz model) as well as 3 GB of RAM, and that SD card slot to take the memory up to 128 GB if necessary. And a full 5 inch screen provides more than enough space for most users. This is one of the sleekest and fastest mobiles around, making it the perfect choice for a busy (and fashion conscious) executive.
The Moto X 2nd Generation
Business devices tend to be at the more expensive end of the spectrum- particularly if you're looking for lots of power and speed. But the new Moto X 2nd generation from Motorola is a solid hundred or so pounds cheaper than most other models on our list. That doesn't mean that you're skimping on features though. The Moto X has tons of power, and Motorola have also equipped it with a stripped down Android operating system, making it easily customisable as well as fast.
You're getting a quad core 2.5 GHz processor as well as 2 GB of RAM, so performance really isn't an issue. The screen is a good 5.2 inches, so plenty of display space to play around with. There's no SD card slot though, so you're stuck with either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal memory, depending on which model you go for. You'll need to download a few apps to make your mobile compatible with your office system, but that won't take you more than a few minutes, and might be worth it considering the lower price tag of the Moto X compared to most business phone models.
The Nexus 6
The Nexus 6 is a great phone, there's no doubt about that, but what makes this a seriously good business mobile choice is all that Google going on. As a Nexus this is a Google phone, and that means it's already fully equipped with all those Google productivity apps that you're so used to using. From Google Now to Google Drive and Gmail, and the excellent Google Calendar, the Nexus 6 is a productivity machine.
Specs are very impressive too. The Nexus 6 has a quad core 2.7 GHz processor and 3 GB of RAM, so it's speedy and responsive. The screen is a massive 5.96 inches, making this a phablet device, so slightly less portable than you might like. Our only real reservation is the lack of SD card slot (the Nexus 6 comes in 32 GB or 64 GB versions), but if you're storing all your documents on Google's Cloud then that shouldn't be an issue.
A good business phone needs reliability, speed, compatibility and good productivity options, and that's going to mean making a fairly large investment. There are hundreds of mobiles on the market right now, but if you're looking for a dedicated business device, then these seven models are our top choices.