Android is now the most popular mobile phone operating system in the UK.
The platform, which was designed by Google, is now found on more than half of all smartphones in the UK – putting it well ahead of BlackBerry and the iPhone.
But there remains a sense that Android is not built for business. Many business users opt automatically for a BlackBerry, despite the significant recent outages, presuming that it is the only option.
In reality, though, there is a range of Android handsets available that can fulfil the needs of business users very effectively. Here is a roundup of some of the main offerings currently available.
Samsung Galaxy S2
The Samsung Galaxy S2 is amongst the most popular Android handsets on the market today. Its most significant selling point is its excellent screen and camera – but it is also fast, features easy email integration, and has a solid build quality.
Pros: Fast. Excellent screen. Very light.
Cons: Relatively large. Relatively expensive.
The HTC Sensation was one of the first real Android contenders to the iPhone crown. It is rather thicker and weightier than the Galaxy S2 – but many users prefer the sense of holding something substantial. The Sensation is quick, and features HTC’s intuitive interface.
Pros: Relatively fast. Good build quality. Easy to use.
Cons: Very poor battery life.
The HTC ChaCha featured in our recent roundup of [BlackBerry alternatives for business]. It has a small form factor and is simple to use. Its design will make it easy to pick up for those who are moving from BlackBerry – and, unlike the previous phones in this roundup, it also has a QWERTY keyboard.
Pros: Cheap. QWERTY keyboard. Easy to use.
Cons: Small screen. Comparatively slow.
The Barcelona appears on this roundup because it is, along with the HTC ChaCha, one of the few recent Android phones to feature a QWERTY keyboard. The Barcelona has the added advantage of being comparatively cheap – although it is only available on Orange tariffs.
Pros: Cheap. QWERTY keyboard. Familiar for non-Android users.
Cons: Limited features. Only available on Orange.
The Motorola Defy is not pitched specifically at business users, but it has a range of features that make it potentially attractive. It has a rugged build and good quality screen, as well as Motorola’s own MotoBlur software, which can send all your social networks and email streams to one place.
Pros: Rugged. Relatively fast. Cheap.
Cons: Now slightly outdated.