Get smart to the best tech for busi­ness

Adrian we ck ler’ s es­sen­tial guide to the best tech­nol­ogy pro­duc­tion tools for your work­ing day, from phones to a pp sand lap­tops

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page -

THE BEST BUSI­NESS PHONES

BEST AN­DROID Huawei P20 Pro (£813 or sub­sidised from net­works) If there’s one phone we’ve tested that tops all ri­vals in the An­droid field, it’s Huawei’s 6.1-inch P20 Pro. Huawei has in­vested bil­lions in try­ing to put to­gether a sleek, ul­tra-pow­er­ful, bat­tery-op­ti­mised smart­phone — and it shows. Its busi­ness-friendly fea­tures in­clude amaz­ing bat­tery longevity and the best screen on any An­droid smart­phone (and ar­guably on any phone), with a bezel-to-bezel Oled dis­play.

Our test model came with 128GB of stor­age, the most of any work-friendly An­droid hand­set on the mar­ket.

For zip­ping be­tween busi­ness apps, the phone has an un­prece­dented amount of mus­cle, with an octa-core chip and 6GB of Ram, a com­bi­na­tion that blows al­most ev­ery other phone away.

This is im­por­tant not just for its abil­ity to han­dle heavy-duty apps and soft­ware tasks to­day, but also in two to three years’ time.

An­other size­able ad­van­tage the P20 Pro has over all com­ers is its gar­gan­tuan bat­tery life which, at 4,000mah, makes it un­touch­able in its class.

Out­side work hours, the P20 Pro also has the best cam­era we’ve ever tried on a phone, with a 40-megapixel, 3x op­ti­cal zoom. Sam­sung used to own the An­droid work phone mar­ket, but it looks now to have been over­taken.

BEST IPHONE iphone X (£1,066 or sub­sidised from net­works) The iphone X is an ex­cel­lent work smart­phone with one qual­i­fi­ca­tion: its bat­tery life. Its bat­tery re­serve is de­cent but doesn’t match that of some ri­vals. How­ever, Ap­ple’s flag­ship 5.7-inch de­vice ex­cels in al­most ev­ery other feature set, from in­dus­try-lead­ing en­gine mus­cle to a per­fect all-screen form fac­tor. And long after the demise of Black­berry, it re­mains the de­fault ecosys­tem for busi­ness apps. While you can get 80% to 90% of the same busi­ness apps on An­droid, IOS is still the plat­form your com­pany will most likely use when in­tro­duc­ing a new sys­tem. The main dif­fer­ence be­tween the iphone X and its com­pan­ion iphone 8 or 8 Plus de­vices is the lack of a front-fac­ing but­ton. The iphone X uses Face ID (fa­cial recog­ni­tion) in­stead.

To date, the iphone X is the only phone on the mar­ket where this tech­nol­ogy works fairly flaw­lessly.

The iphone X is also the only smart­phone on the mar­ket to of­fer 256GB of stor­age, a big ad­van­tage for those who re­ally want to work their hand­set as their true pocket com­puter.

Be warned, how­ever, that Ap­ple is about to un­veil its new, up­dated iphone mod­els in a fort­night.

That doesn’t mean that the cur­rent iphone X will cease to be a busi­ness-friendly hand­set, but it does mean more pow­er­ful mod­els to be in­tro­duced (on the up­side, it means that this model is likely to see a price cut of any­thing up to £135).

WATCH OUT Sam­sung Note 9 (£922 on pre-or­der) In the­ory, Sam­sung’s lat­est flag­ship phone should be a con­tender for your next busi­ness hand­set. But we can’t rec­om­mend it yet. Pend­ing its re­lease, there are more ques­tions than an­swers about the 6.4inch Gal­axy Note 9. Reg­u­lar us­age over time will tell. But some early signs are a cause of worry. Ir­ish mo­bile op­er­a­tors have turned their noses up at the pre­mium ver­sion, be­liev­ing there’s not enough in­ter­est in it here: nor­mally, high­end ver­sions of new phones are cov­eted. This means that the Note 9 with 8GB of Ram and 512GB of stor­age — which most would look to as set­ting a stan­dard — isn’t avail­able here. It may not help that Sam­sung is still try­ing to con­vince busi­ness users that the Note range of phones has left those dis­as­trous over­heat­ing is­sues be­hind. Busi­ness users will doubt­less re­mem­ber that the com­pany had to per­form a full re­call of one of its mod­els across the world in 2016 when Note smart­phones started catch­ing fire due to faulty bat­tery en­gi­neer­ing.

Len­ovo Thinkpad X1 (£1,720) As busi­ness-friendly lap­tops go, Len­ovo’s Thinkpad X1 Yoga is topof-the-line stuff. From my test­ing, it has a best-in-class key­board, ef­fort­less power and an amaz­ing (touch) dis­play.

The only thing that’s less than su­perb on it is its bat­tery life, which is only av­er­age (at around five or six hours per charge).

From a de­sign per­spec­tive, this is a joy to use. Its 14-inch HDR widescreen makes it nat­u­ral to work on two (or more) win­dows at the same time.

The matt black fin­ish on the in­side of the lap­top is gor­geous, while the key­board is near-per­fect — just the right amount of give (or ‘ travel’, as tech geeks call it).

This isn’t the light­est or slimmest lap­top, but it’s pleas­ingly high end in both cat­e­gories. It weighs 1.4kg, still very light for a 14-inch ma­chine.

The test ver­sion I had was close to top of the range: 16GB of Ram, a Core i7 chip and 512GB of stor­age. For al­most any task the av­er­age busi­ness per­son needs to do, this will slice through it.

The dis­play is one of the high points. It ro­tates right around on its 360-de­gree hinge to give you an op­tion of ei­ther a long tablet or a screen that stands up­right. As far as con­nec­tions go, it has two USB- C (Thun­der­bolt) ports, ei­ther of which can be used to power the de­vice. There are also two reg­u­lar USB ports and an HDMI port. There’s no SD card port, which is a bit of a shame, but there is a 3.5mm headphone port.

HP Elite­book 840 G5 (from £1,105) HP’S new Elite­book 840 G5 is very hand­somely en­gi­neered. It’s thin but sturdy, with its mix­ture of metal and plas­tic giv­ing it lev­ity and so­lid­ity at the same time.

Its screen is ex­cep­tion­ally bright and sharp. The 14-inch dis­play on my test model (which had a whop­ping 16GB of Ram and an In­tel i7 pro­ces­sor) was a touch­screen ver­sion at a ‘full HD’ (1080p) res­o­lu­tion.

The lap­top’s bat­tery life is also very re­spectable, eas­ily last­ing me around seven hours of com­bined in­ter­net, word pro­cess­ing and video us­age.

In terms of con­nec­tions, there are a few USB ports, a USB- C (Thun­der­bolt) port and a 3.5mm headphone port. The key­board, a cru­cial el­e­ment, was also com­fort­able and ef­fi­cient to use.

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