Organizations planning to purchase enterprise mobile devices have hundreds of smartphones and tablets from which to choose, all varying in size, features, capabilities and performance. Although buyers can benefit from having such a wide range of choices, the large number of devices can also make it difficult to know which ones are right for their circumstances.
This article explores eight leading vendors that offer both smartphones and tablets and discusses some of the products they sell that are more suited to business workers.
Apple currently offers eight iPhone and four iPad devices.
The vendor's latest smartphone is the iPhone 11. The phone comes with the A13 Bionic chip and supports up to 256 GB of storage. It features Liquid Retina HD display, with 1,792 × 828 resolution and a 6.1-inch screen.
One of the most popular iPad tablets is the largest iPad Pro, which offers a 12.9-inch Retina ProMotion display, with 2,732 x 2,048 resolution. The ProMotion feature makes the screen more responsive to touch gestures, while providing support for the Apple Pencil, which is not included. The iPad Pro 12.9-inch display starts at $999 and includes the A12X Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, a neural engine, an embedded M12 coprocessor and up to 1 TB of storage, with a battery life averaging between nine to 10 hours.
All Apple devices run the iOS operating system, which includes built-in mobile device management (MDM) capabilities, making it possible to use an enterprise mobility management platform to administer the devices. Apple also provides numerous other services to support small and large organizations, although its devices' high price tags might make them inaccessible to smaller businesses and startups.
Editor's note: Using extensive research into the mobile device market, TechTarget editors focused on the vendors that lead in market share, plus those that offer traditional and advanced functionality. Our research included data from TechTarget surveys, as well as reports from other respected research firms, including Gartner and Forrester.
Asus offers over 30 Android smartphones and tablets, with most of the focus on the ZenFone and ZenPad product lines. Although half of Asus' mobile devices are smartphones, it's rare to see those phones recommended as enterprise mobile devices. However, that doesn't -- and shouldn't -- prevent buyers from considering Asus phones for their organizations -- or Asus tablets, for that matter, which are generally viewed as more business-friendly devices.
One phone that might be suitable for businesses is the new ZenFone AR, which comes with a 5.7-inch organic LED (OLED) display. The screen uses active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) technology to deliver 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. The phone also includes triple rear cameras and is certified for both Google Tango, an augmented reality computing platform, and Google Daydream, a virtual reality platform. In addition, the phone supports up to 8 GB of Low-Power Double Data Rate (LPDDR4) RAM and up to 128 GB of storage.
One of the tablets Asus provides is the ZenPad 10 (M1000M), which comes with a 10.1-inch display; a quad-core, 1.3 GHz processor; 2 GB of memory; and up to 65 GB of storage. Another feature is support for the Asus Device Admin for Mobile system, which includes the management APIs built into the M Series devices and a centralized control console that system administrators can use to manage those devices.
Asus does not list its prices for its M Series tablets, but does support a volume purchasing program. Organizations must contact the company directly for details. Asus also offers phone support for its commercial customers, although it's limited to weekday business hours.
Given that Google developed Android, it's no surprise the company offers a few of its own Android devices under the Pixel brand.
The Pixel line currently includes only three smartphones and one tablet. One of Google's biggest advantages is the devices are configured with pure Android, which means there are no extra layers, skins or bloatware. The Pixel products also receive Android updates immediately, unlike devices that come from other vendors, which might have to wait months to get the latest Android builds, if at all.
One of the newest smartphones to come out of Google is the Pixel 3a. Pixel 3a starts at $399, and Pixel 3a XL starts at $479. Both the Pixel 3a and 3a XL have a limit of 64 GB of maximum storage and 4 GB of RAM. The Pixel 3a XL comes with a 6-inch touchscreen display, while the Pixel 3a has a 5.6-inch display. The phone also comes with the Active Edge squeeze feature, which lets users launch Google Assistant or ignore phone calls by quickly squeezing the device.
Google is retiring its Pixel Slate tablet and will instead focus its Chrome OS hardware efforts on traditional laptop devices, like the Pixelbook. The tablet is still available through resellers such as Amazon, and Google continues to update and support it. Even so, organizations will likely want to look to other vendors for their tablets.
Organizations must go through Verizon to purchase Google devices. Google has an exclusive relationship with Verizon for managing Pixel devices, and Verizon offers business customers volume discounts and support. An organization must be willing to use Verizon for its cellular service.
Although Huawei Technologies offers over 40 Android smartphones and tablets, it can be tricky to determine which of those products are sold in a specific region, particularly in the U.S. market, as there is a U.S. ban on Huawei devices. Even so, Huawei has established itself as a competitor in the enterprise mobile devices market.
One product that has garnered a fair amount of attention is the Mate 10 Pro. The Mate 10 Pro includes a 6-inch OLED display, the powerful Kirin 970 chip, 6 GB of RAM, up to 128 GB of storage and a 4,000 mAh battery for extended usage.
Another strong contender for businesses is the MediaPad M5 tablet. The tablet comes with an 8.4-inch quad, high-definition, in-plane switching display; the Kirin 960 chip; and a slim, low-flex aluminum casing. Like the Mate 10 Pro, the tablet includes 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, up to 64 GB of storage and a 5,100 mAh battery.
Huawei does not provide list prices, but the company offers online resources for organizations to submit requests for pricing information and to search for resellers.
Huawei also provides dedicated product support for enterprise customers, although the list of products does not include mobile devices. Potential buyers should contact Huawei or one of its representatives directly to get more information on enterprise mobile devices.
Lenovo offers resources for organizations of all sizes, although the focus seems to be more on smaller businesses. Lenovo lists over 40 Android smartphones, many of them under the Motorola brand, as well as 15 Android and Windows tablets.
One of Lenovo's newest phones for business is the Moto Z4. The Moto Z4 is listed for $499.99 and includes a 6.4-inch screen to the edges and an in-screen fingerprint scanner. The phone has a Snapdragon 675 processor, 4 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of storage. The phone comes with a 48-megapixel rear camera, and a 25-megapixel front lens camera.
Lenovo Tablet 10 runs Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, which means it comes with a built-in MDM client and can interface with the Windows management ecosystem. The tablet supports the Intel Celeron N4100 Processor up to 2.4 GHz, with 4 MB cache. The tablet, listed at $496, offers to 128 GB of eMMC storage.
In keeping with its business-centric focus, Lenovo offers a store, financial services and other resources for small businesses, the implication being that Lenovo wants to work with enterprises directly.
LG's latest mobile phone offering is the V50 ThinQ 5G, which is powered by an 855 Octa-core processor, has triple rear camera and a dual front camera. The phone has a 6.4-inch touchscreen, with a resolution of 3,120 x 1,440 pixels, and a 4,000 mAh nonremovable battery. The V50 ThinQ 5G has 6 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of storage. It is listed at $999.99.
LG also sells the G Pad X2 8.0 Plus tablet, which features an 8-inch display, with 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and 5-megapixel front and rear cameras. The tablet runs Android 7.0 (Nougat) and comes with an Octa-Core 1.4 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage and a 2,900 mAh battery.
When shopping for LG products, buyers should look for those that support LG's Guarded Access to Enterprise technologies, which provide MDM capabilities and security mechanisms, such as data encryption and VPNs.
LG also offers dedicated business support for its products, as well as advanced service plans. However, the company provides no clear path for purchasing its products in bulk.
Microsoft has discontinued its Lumia line of smartphones, but the Surface Pro is a separate matter altogether. The latest addition to this product line is the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, which comes with eighth-generation Intel Core 5 processors, a 12.3-inch display and up to 13.5 hours of battery life for video playback. List price starts at $699. Users can configure the tablet with up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 1 TB of solid-state drive storage.
Because the Surface Pro runs Windows 10 Pro, the tablet includes the built-in MDM client, supports the latest Windows technologies and integrates into the Windows management ecosystem.
Samsung offers four different series of smartphones: A1, A20, S10 and Fold. And it offers six different tablet models: Tab S, Book, Tab A, Ver 2, Elite and Tab E. All of the devices are part of the Galaxy line.
Samsung also provides additional software for its mobile devices, such as Samsung DeX and Samsung Knox. Samsung DeX is an application that connects Samsung mobile devices to a monitor or TV with a USB cable. DeX for PC is only available on select Samsung devices, on Windows 7 and 10, and versions of macOS higher than 10.13. A full list of device compatibility can be found on Samsung's website.
Samsung Knox is an enterprise mobile security platform that provides a secure environment for corporate data and apps for all Galaxy devices. Samsung Knox is built in for Samsung smartphones, tablets and wearables and protects business and personal privacy against malware and malicious threats.
The Galaxy S10 is Samsung's flagship mobile phone. Its latest S10+ model features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor; either 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM; a 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display, with edge-to-edge screen; and internal storage up to 1 TB at an unlocked price of $899. Samsung S10+ Ultimate performance edition offers 12 GB of RAM and up to 1 TB of storage.
Samsung offers the superlight -- less than 1 pound -- Tab S5e. The tablet comes with a corner-to-corner 10.5-inch AMOLED display; a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 Octa-core processor; RAM at 4 GB or 6 GB; and internal storage from 64 GB to 128 GB, expandable to 512 GB with microSD. Front and rear camera resolutions are 8 megapixels and 13 megapixels, respectively, and battery is 7,040 mAh.
List price is $479 for the 128 GB version and $399 for the 64 GB version. Users can accessorize this tablet with a keyboard, if desired.
As part of its support, Samsung provides a resource center, with information specific to products and industries.