Complete Guide to Business Mobile Phones (April 2020)

These are the best phones for work on the market today. The best mobile phone for business use should not be pleasing to the eye but should also deliver on the purpose for which it was acquired, if not more.

It can’t always be easy to tell how useful a handset and its features will be for you though, which is why we’ve drawn up this list of the best business and work phones you can buy right now. With phone makers offering different phone deals, this guide has been updated to provide you with the latest guide to help you choose the most suitable smartphones as well as plans for your business use. 

Our reviews and assessments of suppliers are based on the current customer service and coverage surveys from experts, combined with our own industry knowledge. So, read on to find 

out more about the top business mobile networks and options and learn the following: 

  • Features to consider when getting a business Mobile phone
  • Best Mobile/Smartphones in the market
  • Best phone providers in the business 
  • How do I choose the best mobile phone provider in business?
  • What mobile business plans do provide the best coverage?

Features to consider when getting a business Mobile phone

Not all specifications will be useful for your intended purposes, so if you have no need for a headphone jack or an OLED screen, do not let your buying decision be affected by those specifics.

Battery

The battery life can be a make-or-break spec for business users, as can the charging time. When viewing products, bear in mind that the manufacturer’s claimed battery life is just that – a claim. It’s best to compare the reported battery life a phone seller publishes to the battery life recorded for the phone by review websites. Given if the staff involves field employees who are deployed for days at a time to remote areas, battery life of six to eight hours is enough

Camera

Most middle and higher smartphones are fitted with dual cameras: selfie or front camera, and rear camera. Front cameras are particularly important if your workers use their phones for video chatting with customers. It can be helpful to read reviews of smartphone cameras and look at example photos, as will test-using various phones in person. Instead of simply comparing specs, the reason we suggest this approach is that lens and specs are quite complicated to understand if you don’t have any previous camera experience. 

Display

Even low-end smartphones boast of good displays now and most business users don’t want the display to make or break a mobile device. There are however a few exceptions. If you have field workers that often use devices in intense lighting (or lack of lighting), graphic designers or other creative employees that use their phones for design work, or any extenuating situation that makes display a top priority, you can look at the display specs. Many high-end iOS and Android devices have OLED or AMOLED screens instead of LCD screens so look out for those instead together with high-quality resolution, as measured by a dense pixel per inch ( PPI )size.

Ports and slots

A growing number of new, luxury smartphones have no headphone jacks anymore. When you’re not sure what kinds of ports and slots your staff can routinely use, ask them before making any buying decisions. MicroSD and SIM card slots are commonly used along with headphone jacks so inquire about those as well if you’re not sure. If you plan to buy smartphones without headphone jacks, the expense of wireless earbuds should be factored into your business hardware budget.

Processor

Over the last half a decade much has improved in the production of smartphones. Even low-end smartphones and mid-range smartphones have enough power for basic needs such as email, web surfing and device usage. If you want top-of-the-line efficiency, you can opt for a computer with the fastest processor on the market, but for business users, this is definitely not the only viable choice. If most of the software that your workers can use are commonly used business apps such as Evernote, Trello, and Slack, the normal computing power should be perfect. When your workers use devices that require processing massive quantities of data or sophisticated graphics (such as VR, MR or AR), go for the smartphones at the high end.

Security

The security needs vary from user to user, just like design preferences. If you need security features of a business class, you could profit from selecting an existing telephone manufacturer, such as Samsung. Samsung provides a Samsung Knox add-on product which is basically a lightweight SaaS MDM solution. You may also opt for a third-party MDM solution, but it may be simpler for microbusinesses and solopreneurs to get everything from a single provider.

Storage

Most business users won’t need much phone storage, with the potential exception of mobile game developers or people who would spend a lot of time uploading and storing vast quantities of confidential data or media on their phones. Overall, however, the capacity of 64 GB built into most smartphones should be sufficient.

Best business smartphones at a glance

iPhone 11 –  Apple new and best smartphone to date 

Release date: September 2019 

Weight: 194 g 

Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm 

OS: iOS 13 Screen size: 6.1-inch 

Resolution: 828 x 1792 

CPU: Apple A13 Bionic 

RAM: 4 GB 

Storage: 64GB/128GB/256 GB 

Battery: 3,110mAh 

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP Front camera: 12MP 

Outstanding battery life 

Outstanding spec. Along with the top-end camera headline-grabbing and snazzy color schemes, there is still a lot to suggest to daily staff. This includes Apple’s best performing battery to date, which will last a full day’s work, as well as a slimmer and more compact design which means it can easily fit into a pocket or purse.

Google Pixel 4 – Google manages to make its new smartphone suitable for working 

Release date: October 2019 

Weight: 162 g 

Dimensions: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2 mm 

OS: Android 10 

Screen size: 5.7-inch 

Resolution: 10802280 

CPU: Snapdragon 855 

RAM: 64/128 GB 

Battery: 2,800mAh 

Rear camera: 12MP + 16MP Front camera: 8MP 

Featuring a top-class camera and all-new design, the Pixel 4 is fun to look at and use, but also offers business users a range of advantages. Top of this is access to all of the critical everyday Android resources on the go, as well as Google’s latest updates and security protection directly. Battery life isn’t as good as some of its bigger rivals but Pixel 4 is one of today’s most appealing devices for the cost.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus – Samsung’s latest, most shiny and powerful smartphone to date.

Release date: August 2019 

Weight: 196 g 

Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm 

OS: Android 9.0 Screen size: 6.8-inch 

Resolution: 1440 x 3040 

CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820 

RAM: 12 GB 

Storage: 256GB/512 GB (up to 1 TB via microSD) 

Battery: 4,300mAh 

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP Front Camera: 10MP 

More power than any other Samsung phone it features an immense screen that allows you to scan all the spreadsheet, documents, social media feeds and more – and the additional S Pen gives you a whole new dimension to working on the move. Pair that with a massive 4300mAh battery, Snapdragon 855 processor and 12 GB RAM, and you’ve got an absolute powerhouse-albeit one that would need to be carried in a jacket with its 6.8in panel, rather than a pants pocket.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus – Another fantastic business smartphone from Samsung

Release date: March 2019 

Weight: 175 g 

Dimensions: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm 

OS: Android 9 Screen size: 6.4-inch 

Resolution: 1440 x 3040 

CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820 

RAM: 8/12 GB 

Storage: 128/512GB/1 TB 

Battery: 4,100mAh 

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP Front camera: 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus improves on virtually every aspect of the phones that came before it, with supremely powerful hardware, a dazzling 6.4-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, and a top-notch camera-but it’s not all fun. The battery was also given a massive boost to 4,100mAh, ensuring you can use it easily all day without thinking about recharging it.

OnePlus 7 T – A powerful and secure Android smartphone 

Release date: October 2019 

Weight: 190 g 

Dimensions: 160.9 x 74.4 x 8.1 mm 

OS: Android 10 

Screen size: 6.55-inch 

Resolution: 1080×2400 

CPU: Snapdragon 855 Plus 

RAM: 8 GB Storage: 128/256 GB 

Battery: 3,800mAh 

Rear Camera: 48MP + 12MP + 16MP Front Camera: 16MP 

Brilliant 90Hz refresh rate Smooth UI experience

For your viewing pleasure, there’s a smooth UI as well as a refresh rate of 90Hz on the phone, and the 3,800mAh battery and decent processing power are both useful for tasks. On top of that, it is one of the most affordable smartphones on this list, so purchasing one or two of this smartphone won’t break the bank.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – This is not Samsung’s newest but still a good business handset.

Release date: August 2018 

Weight: 205 g 

Dimensions: 162 x 76.4 x 9 mm 

OS: Android 8.1 

Display size: 6.4-inch 

Resolution: 29601440 

CPU: Exynos 9810 

RAM: 6/8 GB 

Storage: 128/512 GB 

Battery: 4,000mAh 

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP Front camera: 8MP 

Battery Enhanced S Pen Hefty system to carry 

Many iterative improvements It has a spec list for which to die including a massive screen, a massive 4,000mAh battery and up to 1 TB of volume. It also has a microSD slot and a headphone jack-something that is lacking from other modern smartphones. It also has some nice business-specific features, including an upgraded Bluetooth stylus (known as the S Pen), and if you plug it into a USB-C dock or USB-C to HDMI, it can be used in DeX mode to mimic a desktop environment that will replace your desktop PC. Seriously cool.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro – One of Huawei’s best phones to date

Release date: November 2018 

Weight: 189 g 

Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm 

OS: Android 9 Screen size: 6.39-inch 

Resolution: 1440 x 3120 

CPU: Kirin 980 

RAM: 8 GB 

Storage: 256 GB 

Battery: 4200mAh 

Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP Front camera: 24MP 

In- fingerprint scanner: 24MP 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is one of the company’s biggest launches yet and it’s one of our picks for the best smartphone you can purchase. It comes with a large 6.39-inch display with QHD resolution and support for HDR10, plus a big battery that lasted one and a half days in our tests. And considering that Google apps are still missing on the new Mate 30 Pro phones, this is probably the best Huawei smartphone for today’s staff.

Top 6 Business Phone Plan Providers

This list includes the most popular of the major players (EE, BT, 02, Vodafone) and also some slightly smaller ones that you won’t want to skip (Plusnet, Virgin Mobile).

This review guide, based on our own research and what entrepreneurs tell us, determines the three most important factors for small businesses. They are: 

Value for money

There is a need to keep the bills in check but as a smart business owner, you know that value for money is much more critical than price.

Coverage & pace

You are busy and you don’t have time to wait around for slow download speeds, or you risk losing a business opportunity because you can not a make call. This is very important.

Customer Service

You shouldn’t have anything to worry about with a great business telephone company onboard. But when we’re talking about your business, you need to know that you can get back on your feet as quickly and easily as possible.

Vodafone: Best prepaid business service provider

Vodafone is hard to beat when considering the variety of mobile business plans and deals on offer. Their Rewards scheme, the experience of company customers often makes them stand out.

With the highest number of UK- stores and an engaging customer service team, they are very much available to provide quick help.

Pros – Generous rewards plan for pay as you go, customers, easy to get assistance (with 500 UK stores), company mobile experts, 30-day trial, 

Value for Money – 4.5/5 

Vodafone delivers excellent value for money and has a huge variety of pay- deals for business usage. Not sure how much data you need? Vodafone will provide a Data Test Drive, ensuring you will be able to enjoy unlimited mobile data for the first two months, and you can upgrade your package to the amount that fits best.

Small business phone plans 

Vodafone looks after small business owners with a variety of services to suit most budgets and needs. The most famous are: 

Vodafone Business Value – A simple solution on a tight budget for small businesses like Business Traveler, data capping and Vodafone Secure Web.

Vodafone Business Extra – Get all included in the Business advantage, plus bonuses like loss compensation and Vodafone Rapid ‘always on’ companies that need to stay linked.

Vodafone Business Black – If you are running an ambitious project, packages of data, texts and minutes that are required for your business trips abroad.

 

SIM Only Deals 

Vodafone’s SIM-only plans are a great choice if you want to save minutes, texts and data on your mobile phone. The SIM data-only plans are perfect for companies with less than 50 workers, starting from a modest £11 a month, with no hidden costs.

Pay-as-you-go 

Pay-as-you-go customers even get some cool perks and freebies-like the International Minutes package that gives you more free international minutes the more you get up. 

Then there is a pretty generous reward program for Rewards, where you get points on any top- you can put on more calls and data, or even your next smartphone.

Coverage and Speed – 5/5 

Vodafone runs its own network as one of Britain’s biggest telecommunications networks, providing 2 G, 3 G, and 4 G coverage across Britain. With average broadband speeds and availability, Vodafone is only a whisker behind EE and O2 and they are in the top three nationally.

Customer Service – 4/5 

Vodafone reported 11 complaints for every 100,000 customers which is marginally higher than average. That said, should things go wrong it’s one of the simplest telecom companies to get assistance from. They have 500 shops in the UK, and there is likely to be one near you. Your nearest Vodafone store can easily be found on their UK shop finder. And Vodafone is providing a full 30 days to check out your phone and coverage and if you’re not impressed you’ll get a full refund. That’s way above the average 14 days that most other businesses are going to be offering you.

EE: fastest quality and service

EE is the largest provider of mobile networks and provides the greatest coverage, hands down. That makes them perfect for the busy small business owner, who has little time to waste.

PROS – Highest 4 G speeds, most robust coverage in the UK, mutual family plans, stores up and down the country, bonus choice, 24-month free replacement, UK customer service 

CONS – Less budget than rivals, not-too-solid customer service

Value for Money – 4/5 

EE is unlikely to appear on any budget- lists but if you value good coverage for your business needs, they’re a great one to consider. Their top cell phone business plans start at £ 18 a month for a SIM- contract, but when you throw in the smartphone, their prices are more competitive!

SIM plans only

Small business owners can choose between Critical Plans or Max Plans for EE. These start at just £11 a month and all of them provide EU roaming. 

Coverage and Reliability – 4/5 

EE pioneered 4 G (super- wireless internet) and still has the fastest download rates and coverage – exceeding 75 percent, of all business cell phone networks in the UK.

Customer Support – 5/5 

EE has no leading reputation for excellent customer service. But we find that they don’t fare too badly with just four complaints per 100,00 customers. That is lesser than BT and Vodafone’s.

Perhaps that’s because EE provides a variety of rewards – from free downloading of Apple Music or BT Sport to helpful warnings to stop you from eating up all of your data too early.

On top of that, EE is one of the largest telephone companies with more than 500 stores up and down the country, so they’ll be there should your small business need them. If something goes wrong in the first year they also give free phone replacements, the My EE Bill Analyser lets you keep on top of our bills.

O2: Top-notch customer experience and payment plan

The quality of customer support is their strength and you should expect excellent coverage to boot as a big provider.

PROS – Flexible rates, equal payment choices, 02 Preference advantages, hundreds of shops, 02 Guru service, top coverage, business applications available 

CONS – Helpline waiting times can be long 

Value for money – 4/5 

02 embraces small businesses with open arms via their dedicated Small Business Program. SIM, SIM+phone, and pay-as-you-go offers are available options for you.

O2 SIM only plans

O2’s SIM-only contracts start at just £ 12 a month for 500 MB (or £ 14 with VAT), but their most common deal to small business owners is 10 GB (of 4G data) a month from just £ 20 (£ 24 with VAT).

Coverage and pace-4/5 

O2 has its own network that offers coverage of 2G, 3G that 4G. 02 customers received a 4G signal a whooping 74 percent of the time – surpassed only by EE (with 79 percent access).

Customer service – 4/5 

As one of the biggest cell telephone companies in the UK, consumers can access 02 from one of their hundreds of high street shops, where you can benefit from the company’s expertise.

02 is also supposed to view its customers like stars. You should expect a lot of perks including pre-sale tickets with 02 Priority – and there are also 02 Rewards that give PAYG customers a percentage of your credit spending.

Then there are 02’s satisfied customers – they have a 93 per cent outstanding customer service ranking on Ofcom and just 3 percent have cause to complain.

Virgin

Perfect for customers Virgin Mobile gets top customer satisfaction marks and can create the best custom plan for your small company.

PROS – Highest consumer loyalty, quickest helpline response time, comprehensive coverage, smooth transition, Virgin Media Wi-Fi hotspots 

CONS – Limited range of products, less stores 

Value for money – 4/5 

Virgin Mobile offers its Virgin Business Enterprise Package to small businesses. This kit is specifically tailored to you, so you can enjoy less admin and lower prices. But this also means you will need to ask them for a quote separately. You will also save £ 5 a month with Virgin, when you combine your broadband business with a 4G package.

Pay monthly Virgin phones 

Virgin have new Apple, Samsung, Sony and more handsets and all come standard with the 4G data. 

Virgin SIM plans 

Virgin 4G sim plans offer you a whopping 98 percent UK coverage on EE, plus exclusive access to 250,000 Virgin Media wifi spots. You can choose between a text and minute schedule, or go for a data-only option.

Coverage and speed-4/5

Virgin Mobile provides the best network coverage in the UK, having partnered with the 4G networks of EE and O2. This means they can customize your mobile solution to your needs, based on your position and specific business needs.

Customer support 

The independent survey conducted by Ofcom reveals that Virgin Mobile customers recorded the highest overall satisfaction with their broadband service – 91%. They are also some of the happiest consumers in general – offering Virgin Mobile the thumbs up a whopping 94 percent. Plus, you can be confident that your small business is in good hands, with an average call waiting time of 38 seconds.

BT Solid and well-known all-rounder

15 years after selling their mobile business to 02, in 2015 BT Mobile got back into the market. They are one of the most successful networks today, serving everything from small businesses to NATO and Unilever.

PROS – Wide coverage, a wide range of business plans, joint employee plans, unrestricted BT Wi-Fi connectivity 

CONS – No shops, hit-and-miss customer service

Value for Money – 3.5/5 

On the surface, BT is not the cheapest mobile business services suppliers. Yet we find out you can save quite a few cash when you have your cable, TV, landline and telephone services with them.

BT Mobile provides mainly SIM-only plans that you can fit with a current mobile, but you can find some of the prepaid contracts on their books as well. Their plans for SIM-only begin from only £ 8 a month.

SIM-only plans 

BT’s SIM plans are some of the cheapest out there, starting at £ 8 a month. Plus if you’re interested in adding any coworkers, you’ll save 20 percent on any additional SIM you add.

 

BT broadband customers are now saving £ 5 a month on their mobile plans in addition to those offers. Small business owners can even build their own plans and, if you have 5 or more staff, you can take advantage of these clean packages:

Mobile Sharer – Build a personalized plan of unlimited UK minutes, texts and data for all your BT One Phone 

Professional devices – Get the flexibility of an office phone with the freedom of a cell phone packed with business apps 

Coverage and speed – 4/5 

BT Mobile doesn’t have its own telecommunications network as a virtual service, but you should expect decent 4 G, 3 G and 2 G coverage because it’s connected to the strong EE infrastructure.

Consumer service-3/5

BT keeps its costs down as it does not have its own outlets. But if you need them on 0800 800 150 (or 150 from your BT Mobile), or through their website, their staff will be on hand.

Plusnet: versatile and inexpensive

As a Broadband Service, you already know Plusnet. But did you know they even provide cell phone offers for SIM-only services? Plusnet is a great value choice, particularly when you’re already a broadband user of Plusnet.

PROS – Value for money, flexible packages, secure broadband 

CONS – Virtual network, can be difficult to reach

Quality for money – 4/5 

Plusnet customers rave about its value for money, with most SIM-only contract holders paying less than £ 10 a month. They don’t sell handsets, but all of their products can be updated every 30 days, so they’re perfect for the small business owner who needs to keep their company contracts under the track. Plus, they use a Smart Cap bill-capping device, so you can wave goodbye to any surprise charges on your monthly statement. This can be particularly useful should you wish to add more workers to the scheme.

Coverage and speed – 3/5 

Plusnet uses EE’s mobile network as a virtual service – which provides 2 G, 3 G, which 4G coverage.

Customer Service

Plusnet customer service doesn’t have its own stores and they can be that bit more difficult to pin down. But if you need any support or advice, you can always get in contact with them online or by phone.

How do I choose the best mobile phone provider for the business?

There are a few questions that you would like to ask yourself to help you find the right cell phone company for you. Let’s begin with the basic ones: 

Maybe it’s just you, but if you want to put a number of workers on the contract, networks like BT will give special rates.

If you think you might benefit from combining your plans, be sure to opt for a more flexible plan such as EE’s and Plusnet’s Engagement-phone packages

You can save on your monthly bills with BT, Plusnet, and Virgin Mobile when you combine your broadband business with your mobile phone plan.

Many small business owners spend most of their days getting hooked up to their Wi-Fi, so data usage can be less than you might anticipate. But to give you an idea of how much data you’re likely to need, check which group you fit best in: 

Low data user 

500 mb Web Browsing (checking social media and emails) 15/20 minutes/day to

1gb Web browsing (checking social media and emails) 40 minutes/ day 

Medium data user

2 gb Web browsing (social media, emails, some work) 90 minutes/day to 4GB Web browsing

To most small business owners and businessmen, 5 GB to 12 GB of mobile storage is typically sufficient.

EE gets to shield the prize. Their network has been leading 4 G (faster Internet speeds) and it reaches 75 percent of the entire UK. But today even the smaller mobile network operators piggyback on the largest suppliers ‘networks, so the gap is smaller than you would anticipate.

Even though EE wins here, its top rivals are not far behind: Vodafone and O2.

We are here at Btelecoms to help-and save our readers time and money by comparing today’s leading quotes in the UK.

FAQ

It depends on what you wish it to be used for. It might sound obvious, but remember how the system you are going to use. If you’re using this to present your items to potential customers, you can better see the images using a laptop or a big screen smartphone. 

Or maybe while you are riding on a train you will use it to work on papers. Again, a bigger show will promote life. However, if you primarily use it for calls and texts, portability may be more important so that you get something in your pocket. 

Make sure it’s 4 G, whatever computer you want. In order to use the internet on the go, you are much better equipped (particularly important when you rely on cloud applications).

A single tariff is sufficient to cover any amount of phones.

Sure. You can change to another network and keep your numbers as long as you are out of contract and it is totally free.

Of course. We can copy your contacts from your old phone to the new one, depending on your current phone.