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  • Smart Phones for purely business use?

    I must be missing something here, because I seem to be the only person on the planet lamenting the end of Windows Mobile. I'm a purely business smart phone user, wouldn't have one if work didn't provide it.

    It was time to upgrade the company phones again recently. We got (for support purposes) an HTC Wildfire S and a Blackberry Curve 9300 which I've been trying out for a few days in case I decide to replace my HTC HD Mini. Not a chance, these phones are horribly unfit for purpose IMO.

    Starting with the Blackberry, for the price it is utterly outrageous. It feels cheap and flimsy, the case squeaks and groans with almost every touch. The OS feels horribly dated compared to Android or even WinMo with HTC Sense running on top of it. I can accept that the touchpad was OK and probably still is for people used to it but compared to touch screen systems it's clunky and unintuitive to a novice user like me. I couldn't type with any flow at all on the QWERTY keyboard either.

    Moving onto the Wildfire, I didn't like it any more than the Curve. I thought that as it runs HTC Sense the same as my HD Mini it would be pretty good, and maybe I'm being too harsh as it is a budget Android phone, but to me it's a kiddies toy. Setting it up was a PITA, everything wanted data connections, location awareness and sign ups for Google accounts and social networks. The notification features are very poor - how hard is it to put the calendar and email notifications on the home screen and lock screen where they are always available? The lack of options on email display was also very frustrating, I couldn't find any way for a similar view to the HD Mini which is very clean and easy to use.

    Haven't had a play with a WinPho 7 yet, but I can't see it being any better. All I want from a Smart Phone is Outlook synchronisation, occasional opening of docs (Office formats and PDFs), occasional web browsing and very occasional listening to music. The heavy integration of social networking surely can't only be annoying me?

    I've just realised how long this post is, but I genuinely think there's a gap in the market for Windows Mobile 7, particularly from companies like HTC that have done great UIs in the past. One of the great things about the HD Mini is how easy it is to turn off facebook etc.
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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  • #2
    Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

    I've got a Blackberry 9105..
    some of the BBs are definitely built better than others.
    I haven't actually seen OS6 or 7 yet, but I had an OS6 theme on my phone yesterday (I'm still on v5) and it definitely seemed much more featured, like some Androids I've seen.


    I still beleive blackberry are the top of the pile for corporate integration..

    with BB as well, you'd need to delete all the additional apps it comes with (you should be able to do this from bes!) and if you wanted PDF document viewing, you may need to actually purchase DocsToGo...
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    • #3
      Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

      I personally like the iPhone, it has alot going for it.

      I only wish for better ways to lock it down from personal use, but other then that it has everything I think a business phone should have.

      Its small, light weight and has a decent battery.
      Has applications for everything you can think of.
      Has the ability to lock and remote wipe the phone incase it gets lost/stolen.
      Has a decent enough Camera for business use, and you can get some decent cam apps if you need better.

      The biggest problems are getting data on and off, but with Apps and websites, its becoming easier and easier (more and more people working from online storage), and locking the iPhone down to stop the user from changing stuff... that and how they exploed.

      Wofen
      Good to be back....

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      • #4
        Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

        The curve series of BBs are cheapo consumer trash. You need to get a business one.
        The BB takes a while to get used to, but once you know all the keyboard shortcuts, it is hands down better then any other phone out there for business use. I dont care much for touchscreen, if I can use a shortcut I will. Its more accurate that way. IMO

        It took a while but I deleted all the social apps that have crept into the OS6.
        You should really have BES to enjoy full benifits of the BB, so if you dont have one in your workplace dont bother with a BB.

        In terms of security the BB is by far the leader, but thats a whole new topic.

        PDF viewing is native in OS6.

        On the other hand f you want to enjoy a holistic apple zen moment, get an iPhone...and a shower
        "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

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        • #5
          Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

          I accept that the devices we have are at the cheap end of the scale - we have them only so we have examples of the OS for when customers have issues. However the build quality of the HTC is so far in excess of the Curve that it beggars belief.

          I intended this thread to be purely about the phones and OS but I suppose the integration and management features are an essential part of business usage, so...

          I don't agree that the BBs are best for business use, IME the best phone I have had for that purpose was an HTC Touch Pro (WinMo 6.1 Pro with slide out QWERTY keyboard) which offered the best of both worlds. I still maintain Windows has the best corporate integration - OK, BES(x) has more security and management features than EAS but EAS is much easier to setup, less tempramental (IME the slightest change to Exchange requires all the BES services to be restarted or email won't flow) and doesn't require any extra software. Plus you have the benefit of Office on the go for emergencies.

          Wofen: I deliberately didn't mention the iPhone. One, although we have a few in the office I don't have much experience of them, and two, no-one, not even the most ardent fanboi, is ever going to convince me that they were ever meant for corporate use. Once the support for EAS was added they became slightly viable, but they are consumer phones. The ability for remote lock and wipe comes from EAS and not from iOS, Android and WinMo phones that support EAS support the same features.
          BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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          • #6
            Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

            Wofen: I deliberately didn't mention the iPhone. One, although we have a few in the office I don't have much experience of them, and two, no-one, not even the most ardent fanboi, is ever going to convince me that they were ever meant for corporate use. Once the support for EAS was added they became slightly viable, but they are consumer phones. The ability for remote lock and wipe comes from EAS and not from iOS, Android and WinMo phones that support EAS support the same features.
            Please dont mistake me for a Fanboi, I hate Jobs as much as the next MS nerd :P.

            Its just, looking at all the phones out tehre, the iPhone is currently the only model of phone that does not completely change every 6 months, and I do not want to learn a new OS every 6 Months, with new hardware every year.

            I know the iPhone will be the same for the next few years.
            I also know, becuse of the market shair they have, any app that is made for any other phone, I will be able to get one on the iPhone.

            Also, I highly agree with you that it was not made for the busines world, but I would not say that BB or windows Mobile are. Anyone who has had to maintain BES will hate it, as someone has already said, you make a change and have to restart everything. And the quility of the handset is going downhill fast.

            Windows Mobile sounds like a good solution, but truth be told, the iPhone connects to exchange better then Win Mobile (In its defense, I have not heavly used any Windows Mobile 7 devices). Currently I would say there are Phones Aimed at the business market, but not built for them. If they where they would have remote support functions, so that I do not ahve to try and talk my CEO though changing settings on his phone, while using his phone in a airport in China. I should be able to create a packet of changes and push them out.

            Wofen
            Good to be back....

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            • #7
              Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

              The preferred Company phone seems to be Blackberries still. I tend to prefer an iPhone and by using the iPhone Configuration Utility in conjunction with Exchange, you can move towards locking them down.

              We have HTC phones running Android and Windows 7 and if anything, most of the users want to go back to a Nokia Smartphone. They drain battery quicker if not configured correctly and seem to crash more than other phones.

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              • #8
                Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

                Originally posted by Virtual View Post
                The preferred Company phone seems to be Blackberries still. I tend to prefer an iPhone and by using the iPhone Configuration Utility in conjunction with Exchange, you can move towards locking them down.

                We have HTC phones running Android and Windows 7 and if anything, most of the users want to go back to a Nokia Smartphone. They drain battery quicker if not configured correctly and seem to crash more than other phones.
                I believe that's mainly due to brand recognition. Blackberry is synonymous with corporate email. That said Blackberry is miles behind the curve with a product that is A) overtly complex with software that lacks natural intuitiveness B) low on ROI C) costly to maintain and implement, and D) functionally inept handsets when compared with its peers.
                Blackberry are loosing a huge amount of traction in the enterprise and their performance and dropping share price compliment this downward trend.

                Im currently consulting for a global Enterprise who have BES/Good/MDM/ and EAS support. The business is seriously considering dropping Blackberry despite and impending upgrade being one of our project deliverables.

                It's very easy to poke holes in any solution but the reality is only EAS and Good in my opinion offer the best handset support across all platforms and OS's. Naturally there are area's for improvement and no solution is complete. Blackberry's era of dominance is drawing to a close. The market evolved. Blackberry did not.
                Last edited by scurlaruntings; 26th October 2011, 15:20.

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                • #9
                  Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

                  I have to agree with scurlaruntings, I think "Mobile Email" has become synonymous with Blackberry like Biro for disposable pen, and so they've become complacent.

                  The first devices I dealt with were demo handsets provided by the carrier for a customer and we all though they were cheap, flimsy rubbish but assumed they were that way because they were loaners. Turned out the real handsets were exactly the same.
                  BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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                  Cruachan's Blog

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                  • #10
                    Re: Smart Phones for purely business use?

                    I feel your pain there cruachan,

                    I've had to setup & support a number of different phones in an sbs environment, and I've yet to find one that I'm completly happy with:


                    Samsung Galaxy 1 - had problems with activesynch not synching contacts - it'll do it on the first sync when creating the exchange account, but not thereafter.

                    Samsung Galaxy 2 - had problems where the phone had to be rebooted when moving from wifi to 3g and visa versa, or the exchange (active sync) account would not find the exchange server.
                    also, had to set one up using IMAP, course that doesn't do contacts, then found that you have to export outlook contacts as CSV, then import them into Kies, messing with the csv entires. horrible. not something you want to do regularly
                    galaxy had a check for updates thingy, which made me jump through a bunch of hoops, sign up for a gmail account, etc etc. only to find there were none.


                    HTC Wildfire - battery doesn't seem to last as long as the samsung handsets, and they do feel a little cheeper, that being said they're probilby better bang for buck. - HTC sync will sync contacts from PC easly, though may have problems conecting the pc TO the phone.

                    iphones - actualy I've had fewer problems with these, though I DID have to install itunes to set them up.

                    blackberrrys - eww. BES is awfull, the phones to me feel cheep.


                    all active sync phones - you'll have your clients ringing you up when 'they can't get thier email anymore' usualy because they've changed thier windows password, or due to some problem with the carrier.
                    Last edited by se5a; 27th October 2011, 21:11.

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