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Choosing the right smartphone for your small business

A few tips to help you narrow down your choices and make sure you’re only paying for what you need

As collaboration apps like Slack and Trello grow in popularity, the smartphone is becoming a virtual office on-the-go, able to handle most everyday tasks.

Mobile business makes it easy to stay in touch with your team, and means you can stay on top of your business affairs at all times. And the separation of work and personal phones can help small business owners and their teams keep focus.

But smartphones are a notorious budget guzzler. As one of the most heavily marketed products of modern times, it’s all too easy to get nudged into overspending on your mobiles. Here are a few tips to help you narrow down your choices and make sure you’re only paying for what you need.

Things to consider

The handset you get will depend a lot on the use you’ll be putting your business phone to.

If you just need to touch base with the team on long days out, you’ll want a simple, inexpensive phone with a long battery life, like the Moto E4 or the Asus ZenFone.

But if you’ll be doing some heavy duty presentation editing or report-writing while on-the-go, you’ll want a phone with decent processing power and a large display – like an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy.

And if you’ll be using the phone to shoot videos or take social media snaps on top of that, you’ll have to splash out a little extra for a phone with a decent camera. Again, Asus Zenfones are known for having good in-built cameras at low prices.

A number of different websites run tools that let you compare different phones at a glance – it’s worth comparing different models to find the one that best fits your business needs.

iOS or Android?

Though there are alternatives to these two main OS’s, it’s rare to see a business-oriented deal on any other kind of smartphone – or a business owner with the spare time needed to troubleshoot their way through an open source OS.

iPhone pros:

  • Intuitive. Though Android phones have done everything they can to ape the Apple design, iPhone design remains the cleanest and easiest to use.
  • Virusfree. Apple’s walled garden of apps and software updates means there’s virtually no risk of an iPhone getting infected, or of you losing precious data and documents as a result.

Android pros:

  • More flexibility. Apple’s ring-fenced App Store means there’s much more app choice on an Android phone than an iPhone. Android phones also have the advantage of syncing perfectly with Google services like Gmail, Google Docs and Google Maps.
  • Less expensive. iPhones remain more expensive than similarly spec’d Android counterparts.
  • More phones. There are hundreds of Android handset options, ranging from the cheap and cheerful Vodafone series to the iPhone-battling Samsung Galaxies.

Luckily, both operating systems work fine with office essentials like Microsoft Office, Outlook and Exchange.

Choosing the right tariff

To work out the best deal for your business, you’ll need to work out how much data, and how many minutes and texts you’ll need per month.

The most cost-effective packages tend to lock you in for 12-24 month contracts – but if you’ve over- or under-estimated your usage these may end up costing you more in the long run.

If you’re unsure of your current business usage, it may be worth trying a 30-day rolling contract to start with, and getting an idea of how many megabytes you get through in a typical month.

XLN Mobile

Your business, everywhere. Keep your phone. Keep your number. Our SIM-only deals let you take your business everywhere with a minimum of fuss.

Plus, with XLN, you only pay for data – calls and texts are always free and unlimited. Find out more at

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