The Case for Carrying Two Smartphones

Are you satisfied with just one smartphone? Maybe you just haven't given two a chance. If you're anything like CIO.com's mobile maestro Al Sacco, you may not only boost productivity with two devices, but improve your quality of life. Seriously.

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Tue, March 27, 2012

CIO — I'm a two-smartphone man. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Why, you ask, would I want to carry two smartphones in a day and age when modern handhelds are more powerful than some high-end PCs of recent years--and when pockets, and wallets, are only getting smaller? (Bye-bye cargo pants, hello skinny jeans.) A single smartphone can wake you up in the morning, start your car and open your locked office doors, you say. So why carry two?


BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Motorola DROID 4
BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Motorola DROID 4

I admit it, I get a lot of strange looks when I place two handhelds on top of each other on a conference room table or bar top. Truth be told, CIO.com Managing Editor Shane O'Neill often pokes fun at me due to my tendency to tote two devices. But two smartphones are simply better than one--especially if you plan a strict usage strategy for each device and stick to it.

It's rare these days that I leave my home with just one smartphone, and when I do I inevitably regret the decision not to bring along the second device. Here's why.

Why Two Smartphones are Better Than One

I currently carry an AT&T BlackBerry Bold 9900 and a Verizon Wireless DROID 4, two smartphones that really could not be more different. And that's why they work so well together.

My BlackBerry Bold is a messaging powerhouse. It's sturdily built. The keyboard is the best you'll find on a mobile device today. Its battery life is stellar, especially if you drop the network mode down to "2G" or EDGE, which I do because I really don't need a faster connection on my BlackBerry. And the BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) offer a level of security that's not available on other platforms, so I know any data I store on my Bold device is as secure as it would be on any other smartphone.

The DROID 4 is a master of multimedia. Its 1.2GHZ dual-core processor makes it one of the most powerful devices available today. Its qHD display is great for watching TV and movies. The 8-megapixel camera captures 1080p HD video, and the device has a frontfacing shooter for video chat. A ton of quality apps exist for Android. And the DROID 4's 4G/LTE Verizon wireless connectivity is consistently speedy.

Back to my Bold: To be honest, the device stinks when it comes to multimedia. The screen is too small, its 3G (or faux G) connection is too slow for streaming high quality video. The 5-megapixel camera has focus issues, among other things. No front-facing camera. And the selection of high-quality BlackBerry apps is lacking when compared to iOS or Android, to say the least.

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