Canstar Blue’s 2021 Small Business Smartphone & Tablet review has seen Samsung and Apple rated on value for money, customer service, user friendliness, reliability, design and customer satisfaction.
The business world never stops turning, meaning having a phone or tablet on hand to keep you in the loop or on-call can make a big difference, particularly if there’s an emergency. But while many of us simply use our personal devices for work, there’s a certain freedom that comes with separating your business and personal lives, and considering how many business phone plans are available out there, it’s not surprising how many Aussie businesses may be arming their workforce with phones and tablets.
But with plenty of choice comes plenty of decision making, with no shortage of brands, models and options available, meaning you’ll have to consider what you primarily need your smartphone and tablet for, how much you’re willing to spend, and if they’re worth the money at all, as you don’t want them collecting dust!
To help small businesses ensure they’re not left with a dial tone, our annual ratings provide a guide as to which brand may prove the best fit with your business practices and workload. This year, Canstar Blue surveyed over 180 business owners and key decision makers that have recently purchased technology or electronics – such as smartphones and tablets – for business purposes, so we could turn their feedback into the ratings table you see above, with brands compared on important factors like customer service, reliability, design, value for money and so on. Those which received the minimum survey sample size of 30 responses are featured in our results. So, what did we find?
Samsung took out top spot in our inaugural Small Business Smartphone and Tablet ratings, claiming five stars across all categories, including value for money, customer service, user friendliness, reliability, design and overall satisfaction.
Here are the best small business smartphone and tablet brands in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s inaugural review:
Samsung edged out rival Apple to take top spot in our 2021 ratings, scoring five stars across all ratings categories, including value for money, customer service, user friendliness, reliability, design and overall satisfaction. However, Apple wasn’t without a five star rating, scoring five stars for customer service, user friendliness and reliability, with four stars in all remaining categories.
While only two brands qualified for our ratings, both Samsung and Apple are both well-known, offering a wide variety of smartphones and tablets to be used for business or personal use. If you’re interested in learning more about what each brand has available, check out our brand guides below.
One of the most well-known smartphone brands available in the market, Samsung is often a go-to for many, with no shortage of smartphones available in its range. Including the flagship Galaxy S range – which includes the S21, S20 and Note models – Samsung additionally offer the more affordable Galaxy A range, alongside the Galaxy Z flip phone models for those after something a bit different. Alternatively, if you’re looking to go out on the job site, the Samsung Galaxy XCover may be the best fit for you, coming with an IP68 rating to help protect against any bumps and accidental drops, with the phone screen fitted with additional sensitivity so you can still get hands on even while wearing protective gloves.
Samsung also offer a number of tablets, split into the Galaxy S and Galaxy A ranges. The Galaxy Tab S7 includes features such as an 11inch display, Low Blue Light Certification, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor to keep pace with the hustle and bustle of the working day, as well as a 5G compatibility for improved connection. The Galaxy Tab A7 model features 4G compatibility, a 10.4inch display, 64GB memory, and can be equipped with an external SD memory card for upwards of 1TB of storage for all of your work photos and documents.
As one of the largest smartphone brands available in Australia, Samsung is also available on a variety of phone plans through major telcos, with 5G smartphone models also available to help keep you and your business ahead of the tech curve.
Another tech giant, Apple has long been a mainstay within the smartphone industry, with its flagship iPhone range creating ripples with each new release. Offering a variety of models, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone SE and iPhone XR, Apple may also be worth considering if you’re looking to make your office an Apple space, with the brand also offering a range of computers and laptops to keep the workspace functioning.
Apple is also known for its range of tablets, with the iPad available in Pro, Air, Mini and traditional models. You can also purchase a stylus or keyboard separately to equip as needed to help with your workflow or preferences. The top-of-the-line iPad Pro model is equipped with the M1 processing chip – claimed to be one of the fastest built by Apple – as well as a 12.9inch XDR display, ultra-wide camera to help with online meetings in addition to five studio-quality microphones to help with recording videos, music or sounds, suitable for all types of industries, offices and jobs.
Similar to rival Samsung, Apple is also available through multiple Australian telco operators on a number of phone plans, with 5G also available for those looking to future-proof their business.
Choosing a smartphone or tablet to help with work may not seem like that big of a decision to make, but you’ll realise that they can quickly become one of the most useful co-workers you’ve ever had, or one of the worst. While you may be tempted to simply go for the top shelf, paying out the nose for something that offers way more than you need can quickly become as much of a liability than picking a model that struggles to keep up with what you need it to do, meaning looking into of all your options, as well as really consider what tasks you’ll need it to do, will ensure you end up with the best fit for your business.
And if all this talk has got you thinking about lining up a new smartphone or tablet for when you’re off the clock, check out our ratings on smartphones and tablets to find out which brands are rated at the top. Or why not check out our ratings on the best computers for businesses, or what printers and photocopiers were rated best for the office space? It will give you plenty to read on your new smartphone!
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This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Content Projects Lead, Dean Heckscher. He’s our resident expert on all things automotive, health & fitness, streaming and more. Dean is also one of Canstar Blue’s customer research report producers, helping to turn complicated subjects into easily-digestible information for our readers. He’s passionate about helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services.
Photo Credit: Jacob Lund/shutterstock.com, Andrei_R/shutterstock.com
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 2,000 Australian small to medium-sized business owners or key decision-makers (i.e. the key decision-maker for the business) across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased technology or electronics for business purposes in the last two years (e.g. printers, computers, mobile phones) – in this case, 182 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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*Prices correct as of publication date.