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Choosing the Right Size

Choosing the Right Size Device-Small Devices

Date Written: 12/19/13

When choosing a mobile device to use for your inspections there are several things to consider in regards to what size device is right for you. Luckily there are many options to choose from.

Here are some things to think about when making your decision:

  • Are you looking to keep your device in your pocket?
  • Will you be taking the device on roofs and in crawlspaces?
  • Will you be using the camera and does it need a flash?
  • Would you prefer a larger screen for easier viewing?
  • Will you have access to wi-fi? 

These are just a few questions to consider when deciding on what device to use in the field.

To keep things simple, we're going to separate mobile devices into three categories: small, medium, and large. We'll cover all three groups over the next few weeks, including smaller mobile devices today.

Small Devices - Typically 3.5" - 6" screen

Convenience, Camera, One device, Always connected, Quality cases and covers provide better durability

Cons: Screen size, Possibly Battery, One device, Typing

This category is going to include all smartphones. The screen on a smartphone phone can range from 3.5" all the way up to 6". The main benefit of using a smartphone is the convenience. You can fit it in your pocket and easily hold it in your hand. You can take it up on roofs or holster it and go into a crawlspace. A possible downside to the portability of a smartphone is the screen size. Some inspectors may find the phone's screen too small to use for their inspections. A small screen is also going to mean a small keyboard to type on. A tablet is a better option for a larger screen.

Smartphones typically offer a better camera than tablets and a larger selection of accessories. This includes necessities like a durable case and screen protector.

When using a smartphone, you will have one device that you use for inspections as well as answer calls, send and receive texts and emails, and schedule new appointments. Depending on the inspector this can be a positive or a negative. The positive is you have everything on one device and it's easy to navigate. The negative is that if you have something go wrong with your phone, you could be shut down for a period of time. You are also allowing possible interruptions during an inspection any time you receive a call, text, or email. Having multiple programs running at the same time can also drain your battery. However, you can always put the phone on vibrate and carry an extra battery with you. The decision will ultimately be up to the inspector and what works best for them.

Popular Smartphones:

  • iPhone 5 and 5S
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4
  • HTC One
  • Google Nexus 5
  • Motorola Moto X