AGNERDS – Comparing Smart Phones for Farmers (Droid, Blackberry, iPhone)

I get calls often from farmers that want to know what smartphone to buy once their contract is up. Many farmers are trying to get a smartphone for all the uses that are available.  How you plan to use the device has a great impact on which one you should buy.  Although all the devices seem to be getting similar as time moves on.  Each device does have its special features that make it more or less appealing depending on you use.

Peter Gredig, AgNition has joined our list of contributors on Realagriculture.com and will be participating in our new AgNerds segments.  In the AgNerds segments we will be focused on bringing the latest in tech to our agriculture audience from the perspective of the farmer.  We hope you enjoy this new feature and we look forward to your feedback.

If you cannot see the embedded video below click here.

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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6 Comments

Philip Shaw

There was no mention of the high wireless costs in this segment in Canada for each of these smartphones and how these costs might compare. For instance its my understanding that BB using its own messenger system, has a decreased wireless cost versus iPhone and others because it encrypts data differently, especially between BBs. I may be wrong, I dunno, as I find the cost of these smartphones extremely high. However, I had coffee with a young farmer today, who has an iPhone. I asked him if he had a landline into his farm and he said no because he deemed it “useless and too costly”. So he and his wife have two iPhones. I asked how he got his internet to his home PC, he said satellite. Everything works well in this case. I can see if you got rid of the landline, it would make the iPhone and Smartphones in general much more cost effective. In the cities, its the norm, not so much in farm country. The other thing I was wondering is how the BB is more business oriented. I don’t know why other than possibly the secure BB Messenger, which only works with other BBs.

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Chris

I’ve used three of the models discussed (not W7 yet) I have had a Droid (Motorola Milestone) for a year now, it’s tougher than the rest, it does all that an I-Phone does, but it has a great keyboard as well, better then the BB keyboard. It’s sealed better too.

Only downside is that it’s not as efficient as BB and I-Phone on data use.

Droid is highly recommended by someone who’s very hard on them, and has tried most options.

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Matt

I have been debating which way to go for a while now, and no matter which way I go it will be a quantum leap from the flip phone I have now. Almost everyone I know has a BB so BBM will work well for me. There is also the “just email plan” with BB which is half price compared to the full BB data plan. BB is the only platform that offers this. The cell phone dealer I use really likes the android and the open platform for apps (and all free apps), and he said the windows phone is going to be a big player soon but they need some time to get the kinks out. Think I am going to try the BB Torch and buy Canadian. Thanks Shaun.

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Pete the AgNerd

Hey Philip – is $50/mo “extremely high”? This will get you plenty of capacity on a data plan (email, web, BBM, sms, GPS, etc). Mega bills are almost always due to going over the plan limit on voice minutes – which has nothing to do with the smart phone functionality. If you can type out 20 or 30 emails a day on the virtual keyboard on an iPhone, then you are a better man than me. BB are business friendly because of the real keyboard and super solid email platform. Android and Windows 7 also offer phones with real keyboard. If iPhone offered a true keyboard (maybe iPhone 5?), they would have my interest. It’s like combine/tractor paint color – I don’t care which you favor – they all do the job. Just get one and start learning!

Matt – you’ll love the torch and by selecting BB, you’ll have better access to apps built specifically for Cdn farmers. BBM is also very useful.

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Steve

Had a WimMo6 for 4 yrs and loved it’s stable, seamless syncing with my outlook and excel…but then the battery gave out, replaced it, and the keyboard started to fail. Guess the design life was being exceeded. Went for a new Win7…for less than 24 hrs…when i discovered it COULD NOT SYNC MY OUTLOOK or EXCEL (wtf Microsoft?). I am not ready to buy into cloud computing and need a keyboard for my big fingers…and a good screen for WX maps, etc. The ONLY alternative is the DROID which I absolutely love…ok, so the outlook sync has a learning curve but its way cool and fast. Once the app designers catch up it will dominate I think.

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Steve

Hey Peter..not sure how you can justify $50/mth? That is more than i pay for my unlimited HS wireless connection at home with 5 addresses, spam blocking, and website hosting (if i ever get it set up). I have wrangled a good mobile plan by CDN standards but it still averages over $250/mth all in…which is double what my peers south of the 49th pay for the same or better service. Spoke to GFO and hopefully they will get there app on droid soon (Iphone coming out soon i understand).

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