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Best Smartphones With Physical Keyboard in 2019

Smartphones have evolved quite a bit since the past few years. There was a time when phones with physical keyboards were considered the norm. However, that’s no longer the case with the advent of touchscreen handsets. With displays becoming larger and bigger every year, it’s nearly impossible to accommodate a physical keyboard within its exterior.

Best Smartphones With Physical Keyboard

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone447.45
BlackberryBlackberry Priv190
SamsungSamsung Stratosphere28.95
MotorolaMotorola Droid 4Check Price
1byone1byone Foldable Bluetooth KeyboardCheck Price

However, some manufacturers have decided to challenge convention and go with keyboards anyway. BlackBerry is one such manufacturer. With phones like the Priv and more recently, the KEYone, the company has offered a slider form-factor with a physical keyboard and a touchscreen display. It’s for the customers to decide if this concept works, but we’ve been mightily impressed so far.

Just when touchscreen smartphones started becoming mainstream, some companies like Motorola, LG, HTC, and Samsung have also tried out the touchscreen + physical keyboard form factor. These haven’t been that successful in the market, although they’re still up for grabs from online retailers. We’re going to talk about a handful of smartphones like that today to help you pick the best device in this segment. Some of them, like the  BlackBerry Priv and the KEYone, are relatively new in the industry whereas the others have been around for quite some time. Read on for more details on the handsets.

Best smartphones with physical keyboard in 2017

BlackBerry KEYone

Comfortably one of the best smartphones with a physical keyboard right now, the BlackBerry KEYone is a logical evolution of the Priv which was launched a couple of years ago. The company has made some big changes here compared to the Priv, mainly with regards to the hardware. While the Priv was considered to be a high-end product, BlackBerry is really targeting the mid-ranged market segment with the KEYone. What this also means is that BlackBerry can market this in wider markets and also appeal to a larger audience across the globe. With the pricing being relatively low as well, more customers are expected to be interested in the handset.

Now for the hardware on board the device. Well, the KEYone uses the same tried and tested touchscreen + physical keyboard combination and it works pretty well on the device. Since it uses a slider format, customers have the liberty to use any form factor they want. It houses a crisp 4.5-inch 1080p display on board, which is convenient as a larger display would make using the keyboard awfully difficult. On the back, the smartphone comes with a 12-megapixel camera, while the front houses a standard 8-megapixel sensor which should be more than decent for selfies. Powering this beast is the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, which is found in a number of popular mid-ranged handsets. The phone also comes with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, and Android 7.1 Nougat under the hood. Keeping the phone going for long intervals is the 3,505 mAh battery with Turbo Charging support.

Overall, the BlackBerry KEYone is the phone to get if you’re considering a handset of this form factor. There are no other phones in the market right now which offer the same kind of feature set. Coupled with BlackBerry’s state-of-the-art security features on board, you can be ensured of keeping your personal data safe on the device. It’s currently selling for $549.99 via Amazon.

BlackBerry Priv

The phone that was supposed to launch the company back to relevancy, the Priv showed great promise when it was first launched in the market. It is also the company’s first ever Android smartphone, and its arrival came as a bit of a shock to the world. However, the phone itself was solid in every aspect. Featuring a unique combination of the physical keyboard and a touchscreen display, the Priv came with a fantastic hardware specs sheet under the hood.

The Priv comes with a 5.4-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display on board. This is a pretty big deal, as we usually see Super AMOLED displays on Samsung’s smartphones. Further, the phone also packs the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core chipset, an 18-megapixel camera on the back, and a 2-megapixel front camera. I was frankly very disappointed with the front-facing camera on the device. However, this is but a small glitch in what is otherwise a well-packed handset. The phone also comes with 32GB of expandable storage, 3GB of RAM, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and a 3,410 mAh battery on board.

Although most retailers don’t sell the handset anymore, Amazon seems to have it in stock for  $279.70. That’s a pretty attractive price to pay for a smartphone that comes with a touchscreen and a physical keyboard. Given how rare this form factor is today, we suggest you head over to Amazon and get the device right away.

Motorola DROID 4

Launched five years ago, the smartphone is surely not going to be on your horizon. The phone is hard to come by at this point, which is to be expected. The DROID 4 was ahead of its time when it was announced, as it came with a proper touchscreen and a vertical slide-out keyboard. There’s a 4-inch display on board here, featuring a resolution of 960 x 540, also known as qHD. The handset is equipped with a TI OMAP 4430 chipset, which has long been discontinued. This device is meant for those who want a phone with a physical keyboard and a touchscreen along with it. The DROID 4 also comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera, accompanied by a 1.3-megapixel front camera.

There’s 16GB of storage, and 1GB of RAM to go along with. Much like every Android smartphone of its time, the DROID 4 comes with expandable storage as well, although you can only add microSD cards of up to 32GB. The 1,785 mAh battery leaves a lot to be desired, although large batteries weren’t exactly in trend back then. Finally, the device comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which can be expanded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. These are pretty ancient terms for Android loyalists, but such is the nature of the tech industry today. The smartphone can be bought via Amazon right away for just under $45. As you probably guessed, this smartphone is only compatible with customers of Verizon Wireless. If you’re an existing customer of VZW and are looking to get a slider phone such as this one, we recommend you have a closer look at the listing.

Samsung Stratosphere

Launched a few months before the DROID 4, the Samsung Stratosphere also targeted a similar audience. While touchscreen phones were the norm back in 2011, some manufacturers decided to offer something for those who live by physical keyboards. The Stratosphere was quite popular back in its day, although it didn’t manage to live up to Samsung’s expectations. This phone is only compatible with Verizon Wireless, which means that customers of GSM providers are out of luck here. Amazon’s listing mentions that it’s been tested by the company and is completely ready for activation, so you have nothing to worry about.

In terms of hardware, the Samsung Stratosphere comes with a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. The device also features a single-core 1 GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage (expandable), a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and a 1,800 mAh battery. The company even offers a 4GB microSD card by default to get you started, which is quite neat. As you probably noticed, the Stratosphere was launched as a mid-ranged offering back in 2011 and targeted a different market segment than the DROID 4. It can be bought for as low as $39.99 from Amazon right now and is likely to have a shipping charge as well. Since it’s only compatible with Verizon now, the phone won’t have a lot of takers. However, for a device that offers the ruggedness and feel of a physical keyboard combined with the sensitivity of a touchscreen display, that’s not a big price to pay.

1byone Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard

Now that we’ve spoken about multiple smartphones with physical keyboards, those who already have a touchscreen phone don’t have to feel disheartened as there are alternatives for you as well. You can get this amazing Bluetooth keyboard by 1byone, which is currently selling on Amazon. This Bluetooth-powered keyboard can be used on any modern day Android smartphone or tablet, effectively letting you use a physical keyboard even if it’s not available on your phone by default. The best part here is that the keyboard can be folded, meaning that you can practically carry it in your pocket when you go out. While conventional Bluetooth keyboards require AA or AAA batteries to function, this particular offering comes with a rechargeable battery under the hood, allowing you to charge it up whenever it’s low on juice. This is a particularly handy feature to have since swapping batteries can be a frustrating affair.

The keyboard also comes with an on/off button on board, allowing you to conveniently switch it on or off whenever you off. It is recommended to turn off the keyboard when it’s not in use to avoid unnecessary draining of the battery. You can get this particular product for just $31.99 from Amazon right now. So even if you don’t have a physical keyboard on your phone by default, getting an accessory like this is a viable option. Be sure to check it out.

Best Smartphones With Physical Keyboard

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone447.45
BlackberryBlackberry Priv190
SamsungSamsung Stratosphere28.95
MotorolaMotorola Droid 4Check Price
1byone1byone Foldable Bluetooth KeyboardCheck Price

Top 7 Android smartphones with physical QWERTY keyboards

Phones with QWERTY keyboards aren’t getting much love with the major manufacturers these days, but you can still find some high end phones with a physical keyboard.  In this June 2017 update, we’re recommending the Blackberry KEYone as the best QWERTY keyboard smartphone on the market right now.  

ProductBrandNamePrice
BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone GSM Unlocked Android Smartphone (AT&T, T-Mobile) - 4G LTE – 32GBBuy on Amazon|$268.94(Price as of 02/21/2019 00:31 ET)

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If you can’t stand using the touch keyboard phones that’s dominating the market, give the KEYone a shot.  It’s highly unlike you will find another smartphone with physical keyboard that will beat the Blackberry KEYone, since most manufacturers simply do not make these type of phones anymore.  You can find the specs here for this Android phone with QWERTY keyboard.

Blackberry Priv

BlackBerry, a company that was once renowned for their business-oriented smartphones with physical keyboards, has to fight for significance in a world dominated by virtual keyboard typing experience. Just like Clark Kent dressed in casual clothes, the BlackBerry Priv looks deceptively ordinary, perhaps with the exception of the curved display. But it takes just a quick slide to reveal Priv’s 4-row QWERTY keyboard hiding underneath the display.

The keyboard also features an integrated trackpad and several programmable keys for launching apps and changing the position on the screen. You can swipe up across the keyboard to access a full-sized virtual keyboard with special characters and symbols. Clever stuff, indeed.

Also hiding under the 5.4” display with 540 ppi is the powerful Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 chipset, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage space, and Adreno 418. With such high-end specifications, the Priv is a productivity beast with ample power to fuel any multitasking (or gaming—we won’t judge) frenzy.

While the Android operating system looks close to the pure Android experience that you get on Nexus devices, BlackBarry has made a lot of changes under the hood. Privacy and security have been given a special attention, for example, with the BlackBerry DETEK app, which can tell you how secure you are and what improvements you can make.
Pros

  • 4-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Beautiful curved display
  • Sharp, vivid camera
  • Good performance
  • Increased privacy

Cons

  • The smartphone is slightly top-heavy

Talk QWERTY to me
The age of the Q is over. There’s no point denying it, arguing it or sugarcoating it. Flagship physical QWERTY phones are long gone, and they’re not coming back. Sad? Damn straight, as we all remember how we used to be able to send like five texts a minute on a full-size keypad-boasting handheld.

Since phone manufacturers simply aren’t seeing too much demand for Android smartphone with keyboard, they just aren’t releasing too many new variants of these.  But if you really need that keyboard, a good work around is to get the latest and greatest smartphone you can find, and get a mini bluetooth keyboard that you can carry around with you and sync with your phone.  If that doesn’t work for you, then check out these smartphones with keyboard currently on the market.

Yes, they were bulky, clunky, even ugly, but they got the job done in a way no touchscreen-toting iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S will ever get close to. Whatever “highly intuitive” apps like Swiftkey or Swype evolve into.

It’s also odd though how each and every mobile player (save for BlackBerry, maybe) turned their backs on productivity-centric gadgets all of a sudden, especially when Samsung, LG and Sony are so vocal about the diversity of their product lineups. Cater to the needs of everyone, my arse. Where’s my Galaxy S5Q, my LG G2 Slider and my Xperia Z2 Chat?

QWERTY meme

Heck, right now, I’d probably settle for a Galaxy S3Q or LG Optimus G Slider. Any semblance of a decent, upper mid-range Android QWERTY phone would be nice. Instead, the seven best physical keyboard devices of March 2014 are these old geezers:

7. LG Mach

Still stuck on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the 15 month-old Mach basically makes the cut here because there are no half-decent alternatives. I mean, I wouldn’t touch this thing with a ten-foot pole nowadays.

Not only is it four software generations behind the times, it’s mostly unavailable stateside and restricted for use on Sprint and Boost Mobile. The latter sells it online for $180 with prepaid plans, whereas if you want Now Network’s version, you’ll need to reach out to some fairly obscure Amazon sellers and cough up $360 (!!!).

LG Mach

Yeah, right, like anyone would be so nuts as to drop that kind of money on a chunky little fellow tipping the scales at 168 grams and packing a 4-inch 800 x 480 pix res touchscreen, dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, as well as meager 1,700 mAh battery.

6. Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2

Despite its retro (read fugly) design, and overall underwhelming hardware, the Verizon-exclusive Stratosphere 2 is clearly not the worst QWERTY option around. Up for grabs via Amazon and Best Buy free of charge in a contract-tied flavor, the slider is on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, weighing 14 grams less than the Mach.

Galaxy Stratosphere 2

The juicer is a tad beefier, at 1,800 mAh, but sadly, the Super AMOLED panel is equally as mediocre. The dual-core 1.2 GHz SoC too. Bottom line, the Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2 is obviously not an ideal choice for productivity fanatics.

5. Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G

Though its two months older than the second-gen Stratosphere, the S Relay 4G is superior to its Verizon counterpart primarily in the aesthetics department. Less pronounced curves equals more elegance, not to mention the Relay is slightly slimmer while retaining the 1,800 mAh ticker.

Galaxy S Relay 4G

Hardware-wise, the T-Mo-restricted S Relay resembles the Stratosphere 2 greatly, but ups the processing power ante with a 1.5 GHz CPU. On-board software? Android 4.1 Jelly Bean starting April 2013. Price? $205 outright on Amazon.

4. Motorola Droid 4

One of the last remaining Mohicans of a lost era, the Droid 4 has aged rather gracefully, but it has aged nevertheless. Almost harder to score than the LG Mach, Moto’s once mighty slider is $220 with Verizon branding but no pacts via Amazon. Oh, and it’s pre-owned.

Worth the dough? Refurb products are always a gamble, two year-olds especially, yet the Droid still has a few things going for it. Like a decent 4-inch 960 x 540 pixels resolution touchscreen, 16 GB built-in storage, 8 MP rear-facing camera with image stabilization, 1 GB RAM, microSD support and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Motorola Droid 4

Downsides? For one thing, the dual-core TI OMAP 4430 is ancient and laggy. Also, the 1,785 mAh battery is pretty tiny, plus non-removable. Finally, have you ever carried around a brick in your trouser pocket? You will if you buy the Droid 4, as it weighs a staggering 179 grams.

3. LG Optimus F3Q

The youngest of the bunch, released but a few weeks ago on T-Mobile, the F3Q looks like a violent blast from the past design-wise, with a funky turquoise blue physical keyboard and an even swankier textured rear cover.

I personally think the blue-black color combo is a bit too much, but hey, kids may dig it, and in the long haul, it could help QWERTY phones become hip again. Available for $0 upfront and $312 full retail price, the device is hardly a powerhouse, with a dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 running the hardware show, aided by 1 GB RAM.

LG-Optimus-F3Q

The 4 GB on-board storage is cringe worthy, as is the 14 mm waist, yet software upgrades beyond 4.1 Jelly Bean could be on the horizon, and that should count for something. Also, it packs a gargantuan 2,460 mAh battery, capable of holding a single charge for up to 16 hours of talk time and 16 days (!!!) of standby time.

2. LG Enact

Yes, I realize the Enact and Optimus F3Q are in many ways virtually identical. From the design language to the CPU, RAM and battery life. Yet I like to think of Verizon’s Enact as F3Q’s classier brother. Sure, the Big Red fellow is chubby as hell (15.8 mm thickness, 170 grams weight), however it replaces the tacky blue keyboard with a black-and-silver one.

LG-Enact-Verizon

And the rear looks better too, in my humble opinion. Also on 4.1 Jelly Bean and likely to be upgraded before long, the Enact doubles down on storage, and costs a penny with contracts, as well as $400 without a service plan.

1. Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE

Not sure whether we should laugh or cry seeing a mid-2012 phone top a 2014 list. But that’s how behind the market is for QWERTY aficionados. And mind you, the Photon Q was hardly a high-ender when it first saw daylight, back in July 2012.

Up for grabs for free with 24-month Sprint agreements, the big guy weighs in at a massive 170 grams, however it offers the most generous screen real estate of all seven QWERTY world champion title candidates: 4.3 inches.

Motorola-Photon-Q-4G-LTE

The resolution is decent, 960 x 540, there’s scratch-resistant glass on top of it, a dual-core 1.5 GHz chip beneath the hood, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB storage, 8 MP primary camera with LED flash, 4G LTE and microSD support. Compared with, say, the Galaxy S5, it’s a featherweight, but like I said, it’s all we got.

At least until the Motorola Droid 5 goes official, if it’s ever to go official. Any thoughts? Maybe some other contenders we unintentionally snubbed? Anyone else out there rooting for a QWERTY revival? Sound off below.

ProductBrandNamePrice
BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone GSM Unlocked Android Smartphone (AT&T, T-Mobile) - 4G LTE – 32GBBuy on Amazon|$268.94(Price as of 02/21/2019 00:31 ET)

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Five reasons why we need BlackBerry on the Android team

The rumor is not new. In some shape or form, we’ve been expecting BlackBerry to reach to the dark Google side for salvation for several years now. It seems to be the Canadians’ only shot at a hardware business revival of sorts, and by extension, the company’s survival as a whole.

BlackBerry Android

Granted, John Chen could always try to stop the ship from sinking by throwing the archaic QWERTY keyboard phones overboard and saving merely the semi-profitable software department. But that would obviously imply cutting thousands of jobs and settling for subsistence instead of aspiring to greatness.

Not an option yet, at least not until they experiment a little with an outside OS, probably to mutually beneficial effects. Come on, Android geeks, admit it. There may be something of value for us all in a BB recruitment on Big G’s team. Multiple advantages, actually, which we’d like to detail as follows:

Physical keyboards

Remnants of a time long past, these non-detachable “accessories” have to make a comeback in the Android landscape. They just have to. Businessmen, perennially on-the-run students or simply folks who live through typing need a user experience and interaction on-screen keyboards won’t ever be able to provide.

BlackBerry Classic

Sorry, SwiftKey and Swype, no matter how versatile and productive you get, you’re not the “real” deal. Meanwhile, the BlackBerry Classic is, and the awkwardly designed Passport comes pretty close. Now shut your eyes, imagine for a moment BB joins forces with Samsung and they devise a high-end QWERTY/touch hybrid powered by a lightly forked Android iteration.

Something to borrow the robustness and professionalism of BlackBerries, and at least part of the Galaxy S-series glitz. Sounds too good to be true? Unfortunately, we’re dreaming here and grasping at straws, really, when likely the best QWERTY Android around is the two year-old Jelly Bean-running LG Enact.

Security

Waterloo’s CEO may have wanted to exhibit tact when invoking the reason his outfit can’t dive into shark-infested Android waters yet, but he sure struck a nerve among malware-concerned mobile enthusiasts.

Android security holes

Let’s not beat it around the bush, stock Android has a security problem. And so far, Samsung, LG, Sony or HTC’s proprietary skins haven’t managed to deal with it in a universally satisfactory manner. Could BlackBerry perhaps reduce the typical risks associated with Google-powered devices?

Definitely, but of course, they need to modify code, customize features and even remove certain Google services, replacing them with their own. Do we want that? Not all of us, yet some would love, love, love the alternative.

Competition

Speaking of alternatives, wouldn’t it also be nice to find a balance between Eastern and Western tech forces? Clearly, gadget reliability doesn’t depend on geography, but stubborn, patriotic, slightly prejudiced North Americans will always show reservations to Chinese brands, favoring local companies… if they get the choice.

Android BlackBerry

If they don’t, they’ll go the Apple route and we obviously don’t want that. Call us haters, but Cupertino needs to lose a few market share points to once and for all align prices with real iPhone value. So, we’d like to see BB regain its lost touch, especially since they know how it feels at the peak of the totem pole and we trust they won’t allow themselves to tumble a second time.

Software diversification

Unpopular opinion – Android skins aren’t inherently bad or counterproductive. Samsung is this close to making TouchWiz not only prettier than its vanilla kin, but also smoother, faster and easier to master for novice users. Don’t shoot the messenger!

TouchWiz vs Stock Android

Now, HTC’s Sense UI is all that’s wrong with third-party “optimization”, and Amazon’s Fire OS is a fiasco of closed-mindedness, rival envy and ego. Narrowly behind Samsung, we’d probably list LG as the designer of a convenient, minimally intrusive interface that’s greatly evolved over the years.

If BlackBerry decides to follow the path of Android adoption and alteration, you have to figure they’ll tweak a number of things, particularly in the privacy department, but as long as they offer full access to Google Play, we’re game.

BlackBerry Passport

There’s also the question of updates, handled by the Canadians themselves when it comes to BlackBerry OS (duh), but likely contingent on multiple factors if our dream scenario pans out. Ideally, Google would understand the perks of collaborating with a security specialist of this magnitude, and who knows, maybe they’ll unite forces to make stock Android the best it can be.

A touch of safety renovation never killed an open OS, did it?

Great brands live forever

Consider this – if Nokia were to return next year (which is more than likely, by the by) with a super-sturdy handheld sporting a phenomenal camera and cutting-edge internals all in all, would you be interested? Intrigued, at least?

Of course you would, regardless of their lengthy struggles, Microsoft dumping and the eternity passed from their last hit. It’s the same with BlackBerry, whose esteemed name will stick to people’s brains until long after the Prague debuts, no matter if it strikes gold or flops as hard as the Z10.

BlackBerry building logo

This isn’t an ephemeral champ we’re talking about, with its 15 minutes of fame over and done. It’s an enterprise destined for enduring success going through a lousy phase. It’d be a shame for this to be the end, and it’d be too bad if Google and Samsung didn’t realize the comeback potential.

Go on, give them a hand for the sake of the entire industry, future developments, breakthroughs and progress. They’ll be always in your debt, even when if back on top.

Best business-friendly and enterprise-ready Android smartphones money can buy

Browsing the web, social media activities, taking the occasional selfie, playing mostly rudimentary but highly addictive games, loading up on YouTube cat videos and catching up on one’s favorite TV shows while away from a larger screen.

Business smartphone

For many of us, those are the essential purposes of a smartphone, and if it can adequately tick all the boxes, it’s a must-buy. Even better if it doesn’t cost a fortune. But then there is this particular category of mobile consumers, with a particular set of needs and requirements, which Android device manufacturers seem to be largely ignoring these days.

Not us, though. We’re here to make sure every specific necessity is fulfilled, so we’ll do our best to dig up your top options for work projects. Enterprise users, listen up:

LG Enact – $0.01 with Verizon contracts, $360 outright

  • The typing crackerjack

LG Enact

It’s beyond sad professional typists have to settle for a two-year-old with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean pre-loaded, no KitKat, let alone Lollipop update hopes, a cringe worthy 4-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen, laggy dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU and crappy 5 MP rear camera.

Not to mention the preposterousness of that no-contract price tag! But until BlackBerry goes for broke with a Google-endorsed, Samsung-co-manufactured slider, we’re afraid the Enact has to do. Oh, well, purely as far as text message and e-mail writing goes, the entry-level handheld is the closest you can get to a powerhouse. So, so depressing!

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – $545 unlocked; $0 with AT&T financing; $200 and up at Verizon

  • The big, bad, ultra-secure, multi-purpose juggernaut

Galaxy Note 4 S Pen

If answering to urgent e-mails as fast as possible is only part of your job description, the Note 4 offers a huge on-screen keyboard, plus a host of extra business tricks. You have your S Pen always handy for note taking, a security-enhancing fingerprint sensor, full Knox compatibility and stellar multitasking prowess.

The non-optional stylus accessory needs no introduction, your unique fingerprint can be used to unlock the phone if PINs don’t feel safe enough, Knox services let you easily switch between personal and work modes and keep everything separate, while the large 5.7-inch display and generous 3 GB RAM ensure seamless running of multiple apps at once. Which you often yearn for when juggling various documents, files and projects.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active – $0 and up with AT&T agreements; $559 unlocked

  • The bulletproof outdoor companion

Galaxy S5 Active

Travel a lot? Involved in construction or other potentially hazardous line of activity? Simply worried you’ll drop your precious, and both your personal and professional lives will spin out of control? Perhaps the S5 Active can’t take a bullet per se, but it’ll definitely survive a few bumps and contacts with hard surfaces, as well as up to 1 meter/30-minute swims.

Too bad Knox doesn’t work on the AT&T exclusive… for some reason, and despite the hefty price, there’s no fingerprint authentication provided either.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – starting at $380

  • The cheaper, more condensed nature-loving alternative

Xperia Z3 Compact

As tough as the S5 Active looks, it’s also short of portable excellence, which for many is probably a deal breaker. Enter the waterproof but not shock-proof Z3 Compact, endowed with advanced Smart Lock functions after a recent Lollipop update.

This fast and furious munchkin tips the scales at 40 grams less than the GS5 Active, and is far shorter and narrower for easier pocketability, all while handling everything you throw at it with grace, courtesy of a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2 GB RAM.

Motorola Droid Turbo – $150 and up on-contract; $650 outright for Verizon

  • The heavyweight battery champion

Droid Turbo

We can’t think of anything more annoying than remembering to take your charger or an external power bank on all your business travels, and always getting interrupted by skimpy cell capacity. Well, the Turbo is made of an entirely different mettle, with a gigantic 3,900 mAh pacemaker under the hood rated at a staggering 48 hours of continuous 3G talk time.

The design is ideal to complement your classic, classy, businessy look, with sharp edges, an overall industrial vibe, robust ballistic outer shells and a splash-resistant chassis. Last but not least, the 5.2 incher can go from 0 to 60 percent juice in half an hour, thanks to Quick Charge 2.0 technology.

Motorola Moto G (2nd generation) – $175 unlocked

  • The ultra-affordable option

Moto G 2nd generation

Not everyone is lucky to have their employer offer them gratis gadgets or start at a six-figure salary allowing them to score the costliest “tools” off the bat. So, provisionally, the 2014 G can get the job done.

It’s not any more secure than other Android soldiers, but on the plus side, runs a silky smooth, modern, near-stock OS iteration. No bloatware means fewer security risks, less chances of random system crashes or reboots, as well as vital data loss.

Blackphone – $629

  • The untraceable, privacy-first phone

blackphone

Listed as “temporarily out of stock” on Amazon, but likely to come back soon (hopefully, before the sequel drops), the extravagantly priced 4.7 incher protects your online anonymity like no other, through VPN.

Then you have a slew of privacy-centric functions for phone calls, emails, texts and even cloud backup, some of which unfortunately expire and require additional payments after a year of undercover use. Paranoid individuals will no doubt find extreme happiness in Blackphone’s arms, although we have to underline Android here is essentially unrecognizable, due to severe customization and “PrivatOS” forking.

Samsung Galaxy S6 – $590 factory unlocked; $200 with Verizon or Sprint pacts

  • The one you may not need, but really want

Samsung Galaxy S6

Today’s mainstream top dog isn’t specifically targeted at enterprise users, with a tiny, non-removable battery and sealed internal storage hands down its biggest flaws. Also, there’s no protection against liquid interaction whatsoever, let alone more advanced ruggedness.

Ergo, the S6 could break, fall apart or shut down on account of low battery in the middle of the most important video conference of your life, or while out on the job. But think about how good it’ll make you look in the eyes of your clients, partners and even superiors.

After all, your image is key for your deal-sealing abilities. Besides, it’s got touch-based fingerprint authentication, the most complex Knox support available and device protection-adding Android 5.1 software in certain territories, with others on the way.