If you're like a lot of my clients, you may have a corporate wireless plan where you pay for the smartphones that are used by your employees. It's a perk for them. It's a deductible expense for you (as long as it’s for business), plus you've got more control over their device. It makes sense.
And if you’re like many of those same clients, you’re equipping your employees with Apple iPhones. Or maybe Samsung Galaxys. But do these devices make sense anymore? I'm not so sure.
That's because of the rise of Google’s smartphone, called Google Pixel. Now on Version 3a, the Google-made phone pretty much provides the necessary firepower that your employees will need to do their jobs at half the price. Seriously. On Verizon Wireless' website, the retail price of a Samsung Galaxy S10 is $899. An Apple iPhone XS is $999. The Google Pixel 3a on Google's store? $399!
You're going to tell me this isn't apples to apples (no pun intended), and you're right... that no pun was intended. I agree that both the Galaxy and iPhones noted above have more features, functionality, and battery life. But you know what? It’s not by much. And for work purposes, I’m not sure those extra features and functionalities really matter.
According to Cameron Faulkner's review on The Verge, the Pixel 3a is "stronger than its price tag suggests." Literally. The phone, which is made mostly of plastic (hence the reason for the lower price) fared well on stress testing, performed by an outside firm, which including bending, scratching, and subjecting the device to four straight hours of The View. Afterward, it continued to perform as promised, although it now leans a little to the left. I guess that can be expected.
Android Authority's Adam Sinicki also gives the device a thumbs up, writing that the Pixel 3a "represents what the Google Pixel line should have been from the very start." Sinicki likes that the device has the "purest Android experience and the quickest updates possible." He says that it is "key for developers who want to get quick access to beta versions of the OS as they launch.” In other words, it’s a purer, simpler smartphone that can be more easily customized and is not burdened with a lot of excess junky apps.
The Pixel 3a seems to be the right workforce device. It's true that its storage is limited to only 64GB, with no port for a micro-SD card, but that can be overcome with a little space management. The device's maximum RAM is 4GB, which should also be satisfactory. Yes, the battery life is lower than the iPhone or Galaxy, but given its specifications and minimal software bloat, it's really not that bad. Certain things like wireless charging and water resistance aren't included, but is this really necessary for your employees? Are they surfing between sales appointments? Are there no plugs to be found anywhere?
The Pixel 3a certainly includes all the other necessary features and specs to support email, browsing, texting, videoing, and apps that your business is running. It also has a great camera and--be still, my heart--an actual headphone jack. You can even rip it apart for repairs like the maniacs at iFixit Video do (kids, do not try this at home) instead of having to send it back to the manufacturer.
Sure, the iPhone is cool and sexy (well, at least it used to be). But now these devices are becoming more and more commoditized. Having an Apple logo isn't as important as it was in the past. When it comes to any technology, what's really important is how it can help your people get the work done as fast and affordably as possible. That's what the Pixel 3a seems to be able to do for you and your business. For half the price, it’s worth a shot.