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Santa’s Favorite Smart Phones

December 16, 2010

by John Westra

Your Best Business Smart Phone Choices for Christmas

Many of us are either looking for a new mobile phone or have someone on our list that would like a new smart phone for Christmas.  The challenge is deciding which phone & plan is best.

Good coverage is important to a global traveler like Santa, so let’s start by taking a quick look at the coverage provided by the most popular carriers.  Disclaimer:  “Santa” has been a satisfied Verizon customer for the last four years.

It’s no surprise that the two largest carriers, Verizon and AT&T, who together have 70% of the market, also have the greatest coverage and the widest array of smart phones to choose from.  The next two largest carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile, both offer slightly less coverage and fewer phone choices.  If you live and work in cities of any size and spend most of your time traveling on highways, you should be able to get reliable voice and data coverage from any of the major carriers.

The smaller, often pre-paid carriers/brands like TracFone, US Cellular, Virgin Mobile, Straight Talk (Wal-Mart), MetroPCS, etc. are just starting to offer smart phones.   Most are owned by larger carriers or supplement their own networks with roaming agreements.  This can be a plus, for a company like Virgin Mobile, which uses Sprint’s 3G network or a minus for carriers like MetroPCS, whose limited native coverage and roaming fees make it a poor choice for anyone who travels. 

Although answering yes to “Can you hear me now,” used to be enough, smart phone users are increasingly asking: “Can I YouTube or video chat now?”  Sprint has been a leader in 4G (Fourth Generation) data and T-Mobile is now advertising they have the largest 4G coverage area.  Both Verizon and AT&T have aggressive 2011/2012 4G network upgrades planned.

OK!  Now that you know a little bit more about coverage and carriers, let’s take a look Santa’s Favorite Smart Phones!

HTC Evo 4G (Android) – Sprint

This is a luscious smart phone that offers the latest options including a front and 8 mega-pixel rear facing camera, 4G data speeds, blazing fast processor and a beautiful 4” screen.  If Sprint meets your coverage needs and video conferencing is a feature you want to take advantage of, this is the phone to buy!

Apple iPhone 4 (iOS) – AT&T, Verizon (Q1 2011)
The iPhone 4 is the latest in the iPhone series that truly kick-started today’s, touch screen, application-driven smart phone revolution.  Like the Evo, it has a front-facing camera for video calls.  Santa put this phone on the list, because it has more applications and accessories available for it than any other smart phone currently available.  Note:  With the iPhone slated to come to Verizon in Q1 of next year, you may want to ask Santa for a Gift Certificate!

Droid 2 Global (Android)– Verizon

For those who prefer a slide-out physical keyboard and want the best national and international coverage (220 countries) possible, this is the phone you want.  From the elegant design and solid feel, to the blazing fast 1.2Ghz processor this phone is designed to be a business workhorse.  Motorola has also released well-designed matching car and home docks that make it easy to charge and use your Droid 2 while on the road in the office or on the nightstand.

HTC  HD7 (Windows Phone 7) – T-Mobile

If you are looking for the tightest possible integration with other Microsoft solutions, you will want to give the HD7 a good look.  Unlike the previous phones we’ve mentioned, the HD7’s Windows Phone 7 interface is dynamic, with information updating in “real time.”  Like Rudolf’s nose, the new interface design could prove to be a real asset, for cutting through the “fog” of information we all deal with.

BlackBerry Torch 9800 (Blackberry) – AT&T
Many companies have standardized on the RIM Blackberry platform, because of its Enterprise-class secure messaging and the ability to manage devices remotely.  The Torch 9800 is the first Blackberry device with a true touch screen application interface, along with a slide out keyboard.  It’s the fastest, most capable and nicest to use Blackberry available!  If you absolutely must have a Blackberry, you won’t be disappointed by this one!  Like the Apple iPhone, the Torch comes in White & Black as well as a dark orange color that is really quite good looking.

Santa knows many of you are on a tight budget.  So, he wanted to include a special holiday smart phone recommendation, he thinks is sure to put a twinkle in even the most budget conscious smart phone buyer’s eye.  You may remember that Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint Network.  In fact, they are owned by Sprint.

Samsung Intercept (Android) – Virgin Mobile
This is Virgin Mobile’s first true smart phone.  The Intercept has many of the features people are looking for in a business smart phone, including an Android operating system, slide out keyboard, camera and WiFi capability.  What’s unique is that it can be purchased, without a contract, for as little as $219 and activated on an unlimited 3G data and Txt plan with 300 minutes of voice for only $25 p/month!  I just bought this phone for one of my “elves” and they absolutely love it!

The last, but definitely not least, thing to consider, before choosing a new smart phone is customer service.  In 2010, Consumer Report ranked Verizon as #1 in customer service satisfaction and AT&T last.   Working with a vendor that can integrate your smart phone with your existing voice/data systems and has a direct relationship with your carrier, can provide significant service advantages over “Press 1 for English” and/or your local retail sales / “support” associate!

On behalf of NuWave Technology Partners, I want to wish you Happy Holidays and a profitable and well-connected New Year!

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