Being umbilically connected to your office email is essential for the modern business person, but if your company budget won’t stretch to an Apple iPhone or the very latest BlackBerry Bold there’s no need to fiddle the books. This crop of business phones have CVs that boast push email and more, but they’re available for peanuts…
O2 XDA ZEST, £150
Emailing work mobiles that make fiscal sense Windows Mobile on a budget – it can be picked up for under £150 online – the Zest has push email and synchronises your calendars and contacts. It also supports microSD, Wi-Fi, HSDPA and GPS, and there’s CoPilot satnav to help you ind your meeting. This uses Windows 6.1, not the new, improved WinMo 6.5, so you’ll need to do plenty of stylus wielding to get a response from the 2.8-inch screen. Still, if you can live with WinMo 6.1’s less-than-winsome charms and the Zest’s ugliness, it’s a steal.
LOVE: Lots of connections for not much money
HATE: WinMo 6.1 – wielding a stylus doesn’t really shout, “I’m on the creative cutting edge”
HTC Tattoo, £270
The Tattoo’s Android interface doesn’t pack the document-editing power of WinMo, but it’s useful if your job involves more social networking and less looking at spreadsheets, with always-on access to Facebook, Twitter et al. Push email is simple to set up thanks to HTC’s user-friendly Sense interface, so you can receive updates from your ofice inbox without delay. Typing on the 2.8-inch touchscreen’s virtual keyboard is fairly accurate and with Wi-Fi, HSDPA, GPS and a microSD slot, it’s a good package for the money.
LOVE: Easy to use push email and Android apps
HATE: No document editing options and a slightly cramped screen
BlackBerry Curve 8520, £180
Featuring the excellent BlackBerry Enterprise connection, a QWERTY keyboard, 512MHz processor and 258MB of storage, expandable via microSD, the Curve 8520 is the best email phone in this here test. The 2.46-inch screen isn’t as impressive as some and there’s no 3G, so web browsing is tiresome. Battery life is less than amazing at 4.5 hours, too, but as with all ’Berrys this is highly adept at email. It’s available cheap without signing up to a two-year contract and can also be had with unlimited data for about £30 a month if you shop around…
LOVE: An easy to use keyboard and polished BlackBerry email
HATE: No 3G and little style
Nokia E55, £230
The only phone on test with a half QWERTY keypad – two letters per button – the E55 has HSDPA, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and a lengthy, three-day battery life. Push email can be set up in minutes and your messages and calendar can be easily accessed via a dedicated button. Quick Ofi ce is included for viewing documents, and from next year you’ll be able to upgrade to full Microsoft Ofi ce Mobile. Sleek design, Nokia’s simplistic interface and powerful functionality make the Nokia E55 a useful, affordable tool.
LOVE: Classic candybar design. Handy keyboard. Long battery life
HATE Having to wait for an upgrade in order to edit documents
Best…on a budget
T-Mobile Pulse, £180
An affordable Android option, the Pulse comes with Datawiz’s RoadSync app built-in – it would normally cost £6.10 – giving you access to push email. The 3.5-inch screen is flashy but unresponsive when typing and with push email turned on it’s a drain on power, with the battery lasting less than a day. 3G, Wi-Fi and 2GB of memory make this as well-connected as anything on this page, but the lack of Office compatibility and underperforming battery make the Pulse less appealing overall.
LOVE: Android interface. Push email. Large screen
HATE: Unresponsive touchscreen. Won’t open Office docs. Battery lacks staying power
Acer Neotouch S200, £300
With Microsoft Office Mobile included as standard and a speedy 1GHz processor, the NeoTouch has all the trappings of a decent business phone. The 3.5-inch screen looks plush and push email is a cinch to set up. The virtual keyboard, however, is woefully inaccurate and if you use Wi-Fi or 3G you’ll have to ensure you’ve got a charger to hand as battery life is pitiful. There’s 512MB of storage which is expandable via microSD, but we expect better performance from the most expensive phone on test.
LOVE: Microsoft Office support. Fast processor
HATE: With such a poor keyboard and battery life, it feels over-priced