SideXSide: Android Smartphones at Work

When you’re ready to get new smartphones for your employees, chances are you’ll look first RIM’s BlackBerry devices. After all, those are the smartphones that you have been using for quite some time, and they deliver all the features you’re looking for from an IT perspective, including solid e-mail, a host of security features, and perhaps most importantly, BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

At the same time, you may be facing pressure from mobile executives or business users to explore Google’s Android platform. Historically, Android hasn’t been the most enterprise-friendly option. And there is rampant speculation that it still falls short. But, if you’re looking to find out more about what Android smartphones have to offer for business, we’ve compiled this SideXSide comparison of some of the top Android-based phones on the market today.


SideXSide: Android Smartphones at Work

Features  

Motorola Droid Pro

Motorola Atrix 4G

HTC Evo 4G

Samsung Galaxy S 4G

Carrier

Verizon

AT&T

Sprint

T-Mobile USA

Android OS version

Android 2.2 “Froyo” with Motorola Application Platform

Android 2.2 “Froyo”

Android 2.1 “Eclair”

Android 2.2 “Froyo”

Enterprise features

The Motorola Droid Pro is packed with enterprise features, including
the ability the ability to manage passwords and calendar events
remotely. It also offers a remote wipe feature for security purposes
and a solid e-mail platform to appeal to heavy communicators in the
office. The platform also support Exchange and comes with Complex Pin
Code support.

Unlike the Motorola Droid Pro, the Atrix 4G isn’t designed for
enterprise customers first and foremost. However, like the others, the
Atrix 4G supports Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. Most
importantly, it provides 4G access, making it ideal for employees that
need to be productive while on-the-go. The device also comes with
QuickOffice for productivity purposes.

One of the key selling points for the HTC Evo 4G is that it allows
users to connect to Sprint’s 4G network. That alone makes it a
worthwhile investment if your employees need fast Web access. In
addition, the device offers Mobile Hotspot functionality, allowing up
to 8 Wi-Fi-capable devices to connect to the Web through the
smartphone’s mobile connection. That might be perfect for employees who
work in teams.

The Samsung Galaxy S is arguably the most consumer-focused device in
this roundup. However, it still offers connectivity with T-Mobile’s 4G
network. In addition, it allows customers to make calls via Wi-Fi and
comes with a GPS function, including navigation. One other worthwhile
tidbit: the device comes with a 16GB memory card for additional storage
needs.

4G connectivity? 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Security considerations

Security continues to be a major issue with Android. And Android 2.2
“Froyo” is no different. Realizing that, the Motorola Droid Pro is
potentially at risk of suffering from security problems if users
download malicious files from the Android Market or engage in unsafe
practices while using the device. The device’s remote wipe feature,
however, perhaps makes it the best option in this roundup from a
security perspective, since any troubles can addressed with that
feature.

Security continues to be a major issue with Android. And Android 2.2
“Froyo” is no different. Realizing that, the Motorola Atrix 4G is
potentially at risk of suffering from security problems if users
download malicious files from the Android Market or engage in unsafe
practices while using the device. That said, it is worth keeping in
mind that so far, no major issues have erupted in the Android
environment and there are security platforms available to you should
you need them.

Security continues to be a major issue with Android. Whether or not
it’s a bigger issue for Android 2.1 “Eclair,” which the HTC Evo 4G is
running, however, remains to be seen. As you know, “Eclair” is an
outdated operating system in the Android marketplace. Considering the
enterprise isn’t always keen on outdated software, and there are better
versions available, including “Froyo,” and the upcoming Android 2.3,
from a viability perspective, the HTC Evo 4G might not necessarily be
best.

Security continues to be a major issue with Android. And Android 2.2
“Froyo” is no different. Realizing that, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G is
potentially at risk of suffering from security problems if users
download malicious files from the Android Market or engage in unsafe
practices while using the device. Like anything else, employees must be
monitoried. That said, it is worth keeping in mind that so far, no
major issues have erupted in the Android environment and there are
security platforms available to you should you need them.

Battery life

Up to 6.5 hours talk time and nearly 14 days in standby.

Up to nine hours talk time and 10.4 days in standby.

Up to six hours of talk time.

Up to 6.5 hours of talk time and 12.5 days on standby.

Key hardware features

The Motorola Droid Pro, unlike the others in this roundup, boasts a
physical keyboard on its face. In addition, ti comes with a 3.1-inch
display a 5-megapixel camera. Users can also engage in slow-motion and
fast-motion video capture. The device is somewhat thin, which should
make it a fine choice for those who want to toss it in a bag or pocket.
However, beware that a case might be a worthwhile investment. On other
tidbit: the device’s display is, in fact, a touch screen.

The Motorola Atrix 4G features a large, 4-inch touch screen. However,
unlike the Droid Pro, it doesn’t have a physical keyboard, so your
employees will be stuck with virtual keys. Aside from that, the
smartphone comes with a 5-megapixel camera, and supports 3D graphics.
Like the Droid Pro, the Atrix 4G is quite thin, making it a fine option
to slip into a pocket. However, beware that it likely will require a
case to be kept safe.

The HTC Evo 4G is perhaps best known for its big, 4.3-inch display.
Aside from that, the device comes with a virtual keyboard, due to its
big touch screen. If your employees need additional storage, the device
also comes with a 32GB microSD card slot. It’s also worth noting that
the smartphone features HDMI output for employees to engage in some
entertainment options. Like the others, however, the device does
require a case to be kept safe.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G comes with a 4-inch touch screen display, which
means, once again, you won’t be able to put a physical keyboard into
your employees’ hands. The device features both a rear-facing
5-megapixel camera, as well as a front-facing camera for folks to
engage in video conferencing. Since the device features a big display and touch screen, it’s important that you include a case with the device.

Global phone?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Price

$179.99 with two-year contract  

$199.99 with two-year contract

$199.99 with two-year contract 

$179.99 with two-year contract

Source: CIO Insight, June 2011               
              
         

          

 

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