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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    4,342

    Default Smart Phone for the road - primarily business?

    So I've held off until now - being the laughing stock of the Verizon Store, or Best Buy if I dare stop to browse, by hanging on to my LG phone from 2005.

    Two years ago, the battery was giving up on my way home from VA. Stopped at a Verizon store in N VA, and the guy said they don't make the battery anymore, and was laughing.. Somehow the battery rejuvenated itself, but alas, is finally on its last legs. I can only use it when plugged in

    Guess it's about time I looked at Smart Phones.

    My house has no cell coverage. So I have land lines here. Right now am only out and about perhaps 2 days a week, for anything other than going to the barn. My business, however, is about to get off the ground, and requires me to be on the road a lot. And I'll be taking photos, filing reports.

    I have a laptop that I can use on the road. Use Verizon, but without a contract. Actually paid full price for son's high end Motorola phone at Christmas so I didn't have to commit. (Hate Verizon, but they have the most/closest coverage.)

    What do you all suggest for phones whose features are the best for business purposes? I have a 35mm digital camera, so probably will use that, but may also occasionally use the phone for pictures. But I'm not that comfortable with taking clear shots with a cell phone.

    I would love to have something that has a good planner/organizer. May be doing reports from the road, but guessing the laptop will be used for this. Laptop is a Dell with Windows 7 Professional, and I have all the Microsoft Office Software and use Outlook for my professional e-mail. If away from a wifi connection, is there a way you can use a Smartphone as some kind of access?
    Also use Adobe for some documents. I have nothing made by Apple at this point. Not even an Ipod!

    I have a GPS currently on this LG phone, paid for through Verizon, so will also need to either buy a GPS, or have another through the phone.

    Thanks for any advice!
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2011
    Posts
    980

    Default

    I love my BlackBerry Bold. So simply and easy to use, and really geared for professionals. It does what I need it to do -- it can store Word documents, PowePoints, and PDFs. It has email. It takes some darn good photos (PM me and I can send you to my FB page to see some). I can do my FB page and my Twitter account from it. Depending on where you live, you may not get a great battery life, but I just put mine on the charger every night and have no problems. You can download the app to create a hotspot (but most phones can do this now, too). It has an actual keyboard, but the screen is a touchscreen. I upgraded to the Bold after I went through my second BlackBerry Storm and it has given me no problems at all.

    I had an LG Ally for about two days before I got the Bold and holy cow, I hated that phone! Too complicated, too many screens, too may apps and icons. The BlackBerry is simple. It does what it needs to do. And it does it well.

    Mine is almost two years old, so it doesn't have GPS on it, but the newer ones might, or you might be able to get it as an app. I never need it, so I've never worried about it. The only caveat I can give you on a BlackBerry is that RIM (the company that makes them) is not doing well right now. Overseas, yes, but here in the US, not so much. So it's a tough call as to how much longer they might be in business.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Location
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
    Posts
    11,878

    Default

    Tethering - using a 4G/3G phone as an Internet connection - is a feature that isn't standard to all phones and often requires a specific level of data plan. If you're gonna be on the road, a USB 4G LTE modem for your notebook would be the way to go but the data plans are very pricey with limited bandwidth usage, often around 5GB a month. As far as GPS goes, get an inexpensive Garmin with Lifetime Maps and Bluetooth and you can use it for hands-free calling and such. Right now they are clearing out last year's models, so prices are good.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2004
    Location
    City of delusion in the state of total denial
    Posts
    8,669

    Default

    I'm coming off of a discussion with my mother about her finally making the leap to a smartphone. She needs one like a hole in the head, but we have the conversation every once in awhile, so she can reaffirm for herself she doesn't need it.

    You may find that some of your decision is made by the keyboard. If you find you absolutely positively cannot stand a touch screen keyboard, that tells you a lot about which models are going to work for you and which aren't. Off the top of my head Blackberry and Samsung are doing the best job with full QWERTY keyboards. (I'm eyeing up Samsung's Stratosphere for my next one.) Conversely, you might find that your fingers like a touch-screen or a particular keyboard orientation better, and that might rule out or rule in a Blackberry. If you need to use any special characters in the regular course of your work, make sure they are easily accessible. I have an iPhone and really like it... but on occasion I need to program on it. <, [, and { are two screens away from the letters. Very annoying. (Also, if for whatever reason you need to use or access Adobe Flash content, do not get an iPhone.)

    I second Lex's suggestion of a USB modem over tethering your phone unless you get a wicked steal of a deal on what you need through the phone company... and I don't think those deals exist.

    GPS is the least of your worries- Google Maps is among many good free GPS apps. Another popular one is Waze, which I believe is also Android-friendly.

    Can't help you with the productivity software. I use Windows, Linux, and mobile iOS and to keep things easy I just use Google Docs.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2000
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    1,807

    Default

    You really need to play with a few at the store, because you will either love or hate different kinds. But for me personally, I think the iPhone is the greatest smartphone ever invented - my company's system doesn't support it, so I have a Blackberry for work, but I love the iPhone so much that I still pay for a separate line for it, and use it as my primary phone. I really use my Blackberry for email only, I hate everything about it and find it useless, and will only check email from it. Sometimes I even log in to webmail on my iPhone to respond, because it is so much faster for me to type longer messages on. I love that everything is so integrated - if someone emails me to suggest an appointment time, I can just click on it to load it into my calendar, etc. If there is an address in my email or on the web, it just takes a click to add it to my address book or to map directions to it, etc. I can open spreadsheets, word docs, pdfs, etc, all very quickly, forward them, manipulate them, etc. Photographs are high quality enough that I ditched my digital camera, and easy to attach anywhere. And it's all intuitive enough that I don't have to think about using it. I know they are not for everyone, and some people hate the keyboard, but I wouldn't trade my iPhone for anything, except a newer version.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 22, 2010
    Posts
    400

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex and Bodie's Mom View Post
    The only caveat I can give you on a BlackBerry is that RIM (the company that makes them) is not doing well right now. Overseas, yes, but here in the US, not so much. So it's a tough call as to how much longer they might be in business.
    The company is now called BlackBerry, not RIM.

    I haven't gone down to the store to check out the new BlackBerry models (Z10 & something else), but I know many professionals who use BB's, often because of the increased security features.



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