Brown’s Bytes – And now for something completely different…

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

27th April 2018

Last week I investigated the iPhone SE in the Enterprise and decided that this week I would look at an alternative for around the same cost.

The first thing to do was to come up with criteria for selecting a handset. In particular I wanted these to be criteria that were Enterprise focused, rather than just the usual consumer criteria for phone selection.

Here’s what I believe the key items were:

1. Price
As discussed last week, most Enterprises are not looking to buy top of the range handsets. This is a fleet device so we’re looking at Approx. £400 as a top end.

2. Security/ Manageability
Kind of obvious, but it needs to be a Secure phone – in the world of GDPR we need to be able to manage and secure the phone well and also have it regularly patched.

3. Screen
This is a business phone. It’s going to be used for documents and email mainly. So super high def screens aren’t really a pre-req. It just needs to be large and clear… and I do believe the larger the better for screen size generally!

4. Battery Life
This is a really interesting one. Business phones tend to actually get used for making phone calls(!) and this drains the battery on a smartphone very quickly. Long battery life is a must.

5. Build Quality
This is a key area. It’s got to stand up to 2 years plus of daily heavy use.

6. Full suite of Apps available
In other words, it has to be Apple iOS or Android. Windows phones no longer need to apply for the position!

The first thing to say is that Apple are so close with the iPhone SE to stitching this market up… it has the right price, the most popular mobile OS in Enterprise and great build quality. It’s let down by the screen and to a certain extent the battery life (battery life is an issue today on most phones to be fair). Hence last week’s Byte… it’s so frustratingly close!

Now also note what didn’t make it to my list of criteria:
– Camera Megapixels
– FaceID
– Animated Emojis
– Premium Accessories/ VR headsets etc
– Super-fast CPU

Or to put it another way:
Most of the features that differentiate phones in the Consumer market are not really relevant to Enterprise!

Now scanning around the market there are LOT of Android handsets to choose from. Those of you who read this regularly will know that I have a beef in general with patching of Android and I have struggled to find a handset that fits the security/ manageability criteria in particular.

However, I think I’ve found something:

– Under £400
– Secure boot Android device (apparently never been rooted)
– Android Enterprise recommended
– Very extensive set of management APIs
– Security patching direct from the handset manufacturer
– Big screen
– Massive battery
– Solid build

Have any of you guessed what it is yet??


The BlackBerry Motion (made by TCL) is pretty impressive on paper based on Enterprise requirements – so I’ve decided to try one out. It’s up and running and I’m actually running it on MobileIron as a test, it worked first time which was rather cool!

More on this in a future Byte.

What do you think? Off the mark, or have BlackBerry potentially launched an interesting business focused smartphone??

Get in touch if you’d like to know more…