Smartphones have changed the way we work, so no longer are we slaves to our desks. These PDA/cell phone combos help us stay in touch with the office, get work done on the road, check e-mail, obtain news, and more. So which models are best suited for power business users? Check out some our picks here.
The Samsung SCH-i760 for Verizon Wireless offers business users a full-featured device with messaging capabilities, various wireless options (EV-DO, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi), and good performance. The Windows Mobile 6 device is on the bigger side, but you also get a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard and an external dialpad.
Though not the sexiest or sleekest device on the market, the Motorola Q9h Global for AT&T is an all-around solid smartphone that offers mobile professionals good messaging, clear call quality, and GPS and HSDPA--all for a great value.
For the globe-trotting executive, the RIM BlackBerry 8830 is a powerful voice and messaging tool that offers world roaming for CDMA customers (Sprint or Verizon) and solid performance. It's also one of the few smartphones that doesn't have a camera, so good news for those who work at businesses that ban the use of camera phones.
We fell in love with the original RIM BlackBerry Curve, but a recent refresh of the smartphone has our hearts pitter pattering all over again. The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320 for T-Mobile adds Wi-Fi while keeping the Curve's best-of-breed design, proven e-mail capabilities, and excellent performance.
Appropriately named, the AT&T Tilt features a slide-out screen that tilts 40 degrees for a better viewing angle. But more than an innovative design, the Tilt offers mobile professionals a full range of wireless options, including UMTS/HSDPA support and GPS, Windows Mobile 6, and strong messaging capabilities. It can also entertain with support for AT&T Music and AT&T Video and a 3-megapixel camera.
Nokia smartphones don't get much love from U.S. carriers, but they've still earned a reputation for being great business devices. Take the Nokia E61i. This Symbian smartphone offers integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and robust e-mail options. In addition, the has some nice business utilities, including the Quickoffice and Nokia Team Office suites.
Once the shining star of the smartphone world, the Palm Treo has somewhat fallen behind the competition with an aging operating system and bulky design. Still, there are plenty of Treo loyalists out there, and there's something to be said about Palm's ease of use. The Treo 755p is the most current model and features a slightly slimmer design. More importantly, it delivers on the performance and productivity front.
The T-Mobile Dash is one of the older smartphones on the list, but it's still a goodie with a sleek design, good performance, and a robust set of productivity, as well as wireless options. There's also a Windows Mobile 6 update available so you can get all the benefits of the latest operating system.
It's pretty safe to say that the original RIM BlackBerry Pearl was a hit, but there's always room for improvement. Enter the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130. It betters an already-impressive smartphone with the addition of GPS, video recording, and 3G support, providing users with tools to be productive while on the go.
The HTC Athena Advantage isn't your traditional smartphone. It's somewhere in between a smartphone and a UMPC, offering an 8GB hard drive, a large display, a full QWERTY keyboard, Windows Mobile 6 Professional Edition, and all the wireless options one could want. It's definitely powerful, but we suspect it will probably appeal only to early adopters and gadget hounds for now.