Top 5 smartphones for business professionals in 2020 – TechRepublic

Here are five smartphones to consider the next time you’re shopping for a new mobile device for work.

Busy professionals need devices that keep up with their workday pace, and for many people their most essential device is a smartphone. There are many reasons why it may be more convenient to use a smartphone instead of a laptop, such as being away from your desk, working in the field, or not wanting to sit down in front of a larger screen when a smaller, more portable one will do. 

If you use your smartphone for work, you need one that’s reliable, which is where these five devices come in. Each smartphone on this list has unique features designed for business users who may have different use cases.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20


Image: Samsung

Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note device is practically tailor-made for professionals, with its in-device stored S Pen designed to make note-taking and on-the-go organization a snap. The S Pen in the Galaxy Note 20 is improved over last year’s version, and it’s redesigned to eliminate lag; plus, it has auto-synchronization with Microsoft OneNote, the ability to turn handwritten notes into text, and note-taking capabilities with the screen turned off.

The Galaxy Note 20 is available for preorder and will start shipping on Aug. 21, 2020. Pricing for the Galaxy Note 20 starts at $999.99, and pricing for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra starts at $1,299.99.

Caterpillar Cat S61


Image: Caterpillar

This rugged Android smartphone is manufactured by heavy equipment company Caterpillar and is designed to stand up to the abuse that electronics in the field inevitably take. It’s drop-proof to 1.8 meters, can be submerged in 5 meters of water for up to an hour, and meets the MIL-SPEC 810G standard for device hardiness; it also comes with a built-in FLIR thermal imaging camera, indoor air quality monitor, and laser measuring tool. It’s essentially built to be the ultimate device for professionals whose jobs entail tasks that would destroy lesser devices. Caterpillar offers free screen repairs.

The Caterpillar Cat S61 is available now from the Caterpillar site. It is currently priced at $729 USD.

iPhone 11 Pro


Image: Apple

If you work in an Apple shop, the iPhone is the de facto device to choose because of the interoperability Apple has baked into its devices; the iPhone 11 Pro gives other reasons as well. TechRepublic sister site CNET calls the iPhone 11 Pro’s camera its best feature, and it also notes that the iPhone 11 Pro can get more than a day of battery life on a single charge; Apple states that it improved the battery enough to get an additional four hours out of it over the standard iPhone 11. The iPhone 11 Pro’s video capture capabilities are great as well, with Apple saying it’s able to produce the highest quality video on a smartphone. Creative professionals should definitely check the iPhone 11 Pro out.

The iPhone 11 Pro is available now from the Apple site. Pricing for the iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999, and pricing for the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099.

BlackBerry KEY2 LE


Image: BlackBerry

If you miss the days of smartphones with physical keyboards, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE is the device for you. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is enterprise ready–it is immediately compatible with MDM solutions and has zero-touch deployment capabilities. It also has dual account support, enough battery life for 22 hours of mixed-use time, and a software locker where secure duplicates of apps can be stored. It’s not the newest device, but for those missing the days of tactile typing response, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE is ideal.

The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is available now from Best Buy and other retailers. Pricing starts at $399.

Google Pixel 4A


Image: Angela Lang/CNET

If you’re a developer who works with Android, or just an Android aficionado who wants the newest of everything, this Pixel smartphone from Google should be your choice. Because the device is manufactured by Google, it’s usually the first to get the latest Android updates, and they run as close to stock Android as you can get. The Pixel 4 would be on this list, but Google recently discontinued the flagship device after running out of stock earlier than anticipated; the Pixel 4A is a solid phone despite being a budget device; it’s actually good for professionals because of its flagship-like features and Google Pixel update schedule without the nearly $1,000 price tag. 

The Pixel 4A is available for preorder now from the Google Store and will ship out beginning Aug. 20, 2020. Pricing starts at $349.