Choosing the Right Mobile Device for You

Choosing a mobile device that will fit all of your business needs can be a daunting task, especially considering all of the options available on the market today. However, as long as you follow these basic tips, you should end up with a mobile device that suits all of your needs:

Consider the Environment and the Users

The environment that you are going to be using the mobile device is crucial for its survival. A non-rugged device will not be able to survive in harsh conditions, and a rugged device may be overkill for an environment such as retail. Dropping mobile devices is a leading cause for their damage, which can be minimized by choosing the proper device.

Understanding who will be using the mobile device is also important in determining which kind of device to get. If workers are required to constantly lift and pull items, hands-free data entry capabilities such as voice/speech input would be valuable so that workers can focus on their tasks at hand. The need for barcode scanning, RFID reading, image capture and wireless printing should also be taken into consideration, as all of these options can easily be integrated into most mobile devices. The overall size and weight of the mobile device are also important, as ergonomics can greatly affect the health and productivity of the worker.

Follow Industry Standards and Certifications

It is important to adhere to enterprise standards for connectivity, security and development in order to keep development, integration and support expenses down. In addition, mobile computers should communicate with enterprise systems using standard connectivity and security so that they can be applied and managed consistently.

Simplify Support

While considering who will be using the mobile device is important, it is just as important to consider who will support them. Support-friendly features and compatibility with IT asset management and mobile device systems are crucial to run-time and support costs throughout the organization. Choosing devices with a stable operating system and integrated support capability is also important, especially in large roll-outs where some users may receive their mobile devices awhile after other users. Another aspect of support to consider is remote management, which is a particular concern for field workers and off-premise operations.


Since most mobile computers are replaced because they are considered technologically inadequate to support desired information systems or software applications, it’s important to select a mobile computer that can change with the organization and provide platforms for future enhancements. Such changes could include Bluetooth connectivity, barcode scanning, RFID reading or new software applications.


While often an overlooked aspect of mobile devices, power is extremely important because it directly impacts uptime and user productivity. Organizations should put thought into how much the mobile computers will be used and which capabilities will be used most frequently so that power requirements and performance results can be factored into the selection process.

By understanding how the above factors affect mobile devices and carefully analyzing them, organizations will be able to determine which specific mobile devices will provide the most value for them.

For more information on different types of mobile computers, you can learn more here.

Based on an Intermec White Paper. Download the full version: Top 5 Tips for Selecting a Mobile Device.