Only 1 out of 3 people can access the internet today. In a country like India, 81% of the population doesn’t have access to internet. At SocialCops, we aim to drive the most important decisions facing mankind through data — in most cases, these decisions heavily impact the 70% non-internet-accessing, non-Facebook-using population.

So we set out to map the remotest of areas – along with the people living in them – by providing a data collection and monitoring tool for nonprofits around the world. By building a kick starter for data collection – we aimed to empower non-profits and public sector organizations to effectively collect and manage their data. We decided to build the field worker tool on Android. Given the Android revolution and the decreasing cost of phones – it was the only logical option. Not the easiest task though.

Read about how our Android developers overcame the challenges of building for the offline world here.

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is to do with the kind of devices that Collect runs on and the ones we recommend. We’ve (hopefully) made it pretty clear by now that Collect works exclusively on Android phones as of now; this post, as an extension, is intended to help you narrow down the choices between the gazillion Android device options there are. However, keep in mind that while listing these devices we choose to stick to the options that were more pocket-friendly — there definitely would be better devices at much steeper costs than the ones listed below.

So, here’s a list of the 5 best Android phones and tablets that have been tried and tested for rigorous on-field implementation of Collect:

3 Phones…

Collecting data using phones ensures that these devices are easy to carry and much cheaper compared to tablets. However, the smaller screen size might make few organizations incline towards the bigger counterparts. Here are the 3 best Android phones.

Micromax Canvas A1best android phone

The Indian brand Micromax has been setting waves in the mobile phone market and has made a name for itself as a trustworthy brand. Although they have released phones with better specifications, the Canvas A1 is as good a device as Micromax has launched. The fact that it is stock Android only ensures that updates are rolled out regularly, as and when they are available. It gives the user a great overall experience while being very pocket-friendly – making it extremely good value for money.

Pros:
1. High ram and memory (1GB RAM, 4GB ROM)
2. Fast processor (1.3GHz)

Cons:
1. Small screen (4.5 inches)
2. Less working hours (Battery 1700mAh)

Price: Rs. 5999/-

Moto E (First Generation)best android phone

This was the phone that revolutionized low budget Android phones in the country. When Motorola launched the Moto E, it was the first of its kind low budget phone that could genuinely appeal to the masses. Since then, other manufacturers have learnt from the Moto E and rolled out a bunch of good value for money phones – but the Moto E still stands the test of time.

Pros:
1. More working hours (Battery 1980 mAh)
2. Fast processor (1.2 GHz)

Cons:
1. Small screen (4.3 inches)
2. Less ram and memory (1GB  RAM 4GB internal memory)

Price: Rs. 5999/-

Moto E (2nd generation)best android phone

Motorola then decided to one up themselves and launch the successor of the Moto E — the Moto E 2nd generation. For a slightly higher price, the 2nd gen comes with better battery and a slightly bigger screen. Though there are alternatives with higher specs out there in the market for a similar price (Redmi 2 for example), the Moto E with its stock Android is way more stable in its performance (especially for Collect) and hence we recommend it over — let’s say — the Redmi.

Pros:
1. More working hours (Battery 2390 mAh)
2. Fast processor (1.2GHz)
3. High ram and memory (1GB RAM 8GB internal memory)

Cons:
1. Small screen (4.5 inches)

Price: Rs. 6999/-

…and 2 tablets

Tablets bring with you a much larger screen size to ensure clear visibility and easy typing. However, they are definitely slightly more cumbersome to carry than phones, and well… more expensive. Here are two Android tablets that we recommend.

Samsung Tab 4mobile, android

Our first recommendation would be the Samsung Tab 4. The 1.5 GB RAM ensures that multi-tasking is a breeze, and the excellent display makes viewing on the tablet a pleasure. It is the most expensive device on our list, but for good reason – it has successfully gone through rigorous on-field testing with one of the most complicated surveys we’ve ever seen.

Pros:
1. More working hours (Battery 4000mAh)
2. Fast processor (1.2GHz dual core)
3. High ram and memory (1.5GB RAM and 8GB internal memory)
4. Large screen (7 inches)

Cons:
1. High price

Price: Rs. 16,500/-

Samsung Tab 3best android phone

The Tab 3, like its earlier mentioned Samsung counterpart, is a very durable tablet that endures on-field data collection on a regular basis. Although it does have considerably smaller memory – making multi-tasking slightly patchy – that shouldn’t exclusively affect Collect in any way as it will still be able to run the app smoothly.  The fact that it is a good sum less expensive than the TAB 3 might be a good reason why you might want to prefer this over the otherwise superior TAB 4.

Pros:
1. More working hours (Battery 4000mAh)
2. Fast processor (1.2GHz Dual Core)
3. Decent RAM and memory (1GB RAM and 8 GB internal memory)
4. Large screen (7 inches)

Cons:
1. High price (compared to phones)

Price: Rs. 12,500/-

So that’s our list. Which device to take up between these options is up to your discretion. We will keep updating this list as and when we find suitable devices that work well with Collect in the field. Happy collecting!


Sign up for collect at https://socialcops.com/collect