Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was only one smartphone firm on the lips of any business IT team when it came to company phones: BlackBerry, the Canadian company formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM).
A lot has changed since then and BlackBerry’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse, leaving the door open for rivals to court the enterprise business, and forcing the phone maker to embrace (or some might say begrudgingly adopt) Android at the core of its new flagship handsets.
The rest of the pack is hot on its heels, if not already overtaking, with Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others all vying for a piece of the lucrative business pie.
This is great for any potential business buyer, as you now have a wide choice of mobile smartphones to choose from, allowing you to select the best handsets for your company’s requirements, regardless of its size.
In no particular order, here are the top smartphones for business use and business users.
1. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The best phone in the world
Weight: 157g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Exynos 8890 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3600mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
Superb design and power
Samsung Knox security
Somewhat plastic feel
You’ll be in good hands if you opt to give your employees the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, TechRadar’s current ‘best phone in the world’.
It packs in supreme power, a dazzling QHD Super AMOLED display and a top notch camera – but it’s not all fun.
The Galaxy S7 Edge also comes with Samsung’s Knox security, which the firm says is just as secure – if not more – as BlackBerry’s DTEK50 and Priv devices. You’ll need deep pockets, but you won’t regret it.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2. Microsoft Lumia 950
A great enterprise phone particularly when paired with a display dock
Weight: 150g | Dimensions: 145 x 73 x 8.2mm | OS: Windows | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 808 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 5MP
Neat iris-scanning lockscreen
Call quality is subpar
This smartphone – and its 950 XL sibling – represent the best-of-breed devices when it comes to Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system, one which promises, for the first time ever, a seamless user experience, across applications and across displays.
You get 3GB of RAM, 32GB on-board storage, a 2K display, a 20-megapixel rear camera and a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal. Connect this handset to the Microsoft HD-500, an £80 Display Dock, and it transforms into a powerful desktop PC as well, great in an enterprise configuration.
Read the full review: Microsoft Lumia 950
3. BlackBerry Priv
The first BlackBerry handset with Android sauce
Weight: 192g | Dimensions: 147x 77 x 9.4mm | OS: Android | Screen size: 5.4-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 808 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3410mAh | Rear camera: 18MP | Front camera: 2MP
Impressive security features
Not premium build quality
When the Priv launched, it took a lot of analysts by surprised because of radical step involving the OS. BlackBerry had finally decided to embrace Android and re-introduce the keyboard (albeit a slide out one) on a flagship handset.
It is, as TechRadar’s John McCann candidly puts it, the mullet of the smartphone world. “It’s still business in the front, but now there’s a party in the back too. It will divide opinion, but this is the best BlackBerry in years,” he added.
The device will appeal to those who wants the security halo associated with BlackBerry with the ubiquity of Google’s Android. Overall, it remains a stunning piece of kit, and probably one bound to become a classic.
Read the full review: BlackBerry Priv
4. iPhone 7
Apple’s latest and greatest is faster, smarter and water resistant
Weight: 138g | Dimensions: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 750 x 1334 | CPU: A10 Fusion | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/128/256GB | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
Good low light camera
Lacks clear upgrades
Battery better, but not great
Apple’s iPhones are always popular options with great build quality, a simple user interface and a wealth of quality enterprise apps at your fingertips.
The iPhone 7 is the latest offering from Apple, and it’s faster, smarter and boasts a water resistant body for the first time.
If your firm is currently rocking iPhone 6S and 6S Plus handsets there’s no need to upgrade, but for those using older devices – especially the 5 variants and below the iPhone 7 offers a far superior experience.
Read the full review: iPhone 7
5. BlackBerry Classic
For those who yearn for the golden age of BB OS
Weight: 178g | Dimensions: 131 x 72 x 10.2mm | OS: BlackBerry OS | Screen size: 3.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 720 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2515mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
Great messaging capabilities
Old-school QWERTY keyboard
Square screen not for everyone
Pretty hefty phone
There are still BlackBerry fans out there and the Canadian company unveiled the Classic to please them all. An old-school QWERTY keyboard, a familiar operating system and user interface, a design that doesn’t age and the enterprise-grade security are all on the feature list of this smartphone.
Sure, Android might well have the upper hand when it comes to market share and the sheer number of applications but BlackBerry provides with yet another attractive alternative when it comes to business smartphones.
It runs BlackBerry OS 10 with a square 720×720 pixel touchscreen display, a touchpad and up to 22-hour battery power.
Read the full review: BlackBerry Classic
6. OnePlus 3
Flagship specs for half the cost
Weight: 158g | Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP
Value for money
Camera could be better
No expandable storage
If you fancy trying something a bit different check out Chinese start-up OnePlus, which has been producing flagship smartphones at almost half the price for the past three years.
Its current offering, the OnePlus 3, is comfortably its best handset yet with a great premium design, a whole heap of power and a price tag which won’t get you in trouble with finance.
You’ll have to purchase the handsets outright, as networks don’t currently offer it on contract, but if you can stump up the cash initially you could save yourself money in the long run.
Read the full review: OnePlus 3
7. BlackBerry DTEK50
The world’s most secure smartphone
Weight: 135g | Dimensions: 147 x 72.5 x 7.4mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 617 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2610mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP
Poor battery life
The BlackBerry DTEK50 is a surprisingly promising smartphone with a more than reasonable price tag and a spec sheet to be proud of.
It’s not going to wow you with design, flagship features or super slick performance, but what you do get is a phone which fully encrypts all your data, makes it easy for you to monitor your privacy and ensures everything is secure.
It’s an ideal fleet handset to dish out in numbers without breaking the bank.
Read the full review: BlackBerry DTEK50