Another year, another raft of smartphone releases – and while Apple Inc. and Samsung (and, on ITWC, at least, BlackBerry Ltd.) dominate the mobile media oxygen, they’re hardly the only manufacturers worth your time.
Here, in alphabetical order, is our annual review of the best smartphones for business. As usual, we aren’t ranking them; just giving you the details and letting you decide which device fits your needs.
We here at ITWC have made no attempt to hide our love for BlackBerry devices, which are still used by half the office (this author included), official exit from the hardware market (BlackBerry-branded devices will still be designed by others) and 0.2 per cent market share be damned. And as IT World Canada CIO Jim Love explains in his video review, devices such as the company’s latest, the DTEK50, are unlikely to change our opinion anytime soon. (You can also read his review here.)
Moto G4 Plus
According to reviewer Alex Davies, this mid-range phone might not be made of premium materials or equipped with the fastest hardware, but it still performs well, has outstanding battery life, and runs what in his opinion is still the best version of Android out there. Read his full review here.
Eat your heart out, Apple. The G5 includes not only a dual-lens camera and fingerprint reader, but also a removable battery, microSD slot, and attachable components – a first for a mainstream smartphone. That versatility, combined with a $750 price tag, makes it one of 2016’s best phones. Read the review here.
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung’s flagship 2016 phone retains the best features of its predecessor, the outstanding S6, while taking its few criticisms, such as lack of water resistance, poor security features, and short battery life, to heart. The result is another terrific premium device you can read more about here.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
We keep forgetting ourselves, so as usual we feel obligated to remind readers that unlike its Note 7 counterpart, Samsung’s S7 Edge – basically a souped-up Galaxy S7 – will not burn your hands. (We think.) Read the full review here.
HTC – which, to its credit, manufactured Google’s first smartphone, the Pixel – may never return to its glory days, but reviewer Alex Davies believes its latest, which boasts a quad HD screen, fingerprint reader, and impressive “BoomSound” audio, can still compete with the best that Samsung, LG, and Apple have to offer.
Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
According to ITWC marketing assistant/tech geek Andrei Barany, the 400-pound gorilla of the smartphone world is still the best on the market, but less impressive than you’d expect from Apple. Though its camera lives up to the hype, iPhone 6 and 6S users are advised to wait for the inevitable iPhone 8. Read his review here.
Samsung’s dominance of the Android smartphone market was challenged in a big way this year… by Android developer Google. While its price – equal to an iPhone 7 – might scare some away, ITWC editorial director Brian Jackson thinks Google’s first smartphone lives up to the hype – and unlike the 7, it has a headphone jack.
Sony Xperia X Performance
While Sony’s Xperia series may not enjoy the high profile of Samsung or Apple devices, they remain a good choice for business users. Case in point: This mid-range device, which packs in a quick-charge battery, microSD support, and high-end performance for a comparitively low $700. Read the review here.
Asus ZenFone 3
Another budget offering, the ZenFone 3 offers a solid camera, video shooting capabilities, fingerprint reader, and 12-plus hours of battery life for only $429, though there are a few drawbacks, notably a slippery grip and 25 default apps that can be disabled but not removed. Check out writer Alex Radu’s full review here.