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Cognito iQ Mobile

Choosing a new device for your workforce is not easy: Consumer v Rugged? Android v Windows? With so many devices on the market, the choice is endless...

So, why not work backwards...

Rather than looking at devices and then assessing if they meet your needs, establish your device requirements and source the market with an exact shopping list.


Having a good understanding of the business applications which the device will support and their technical requirements, is key to making the right selection. In particular, consider the memory footprint of those applications, how they may use RAM in the background and how they might indirectly affect the device performance. We recommend you go for as much as you can afford and a minimum of 2GB.

Storage space for signature capture and any photographs you may need is also vital and we recommend a minimum of 200MB.

The processor speed can have a significant impact on the smooth working of all applications on the device and how well the workers engage with it; at least 1Ghz is recommended.

We support Android operating systems for approximately five years from their release date. We currently support:

Version Number Range  Name Release Date
5.x.x Lollipop 03/11/2014
6.x.x Marshmallow 29/09/2015
7.x.x Nougat 22/08/2016
8.x.x Oreo TBC


Establishing exactly how a device will be used in the field really helps to narrow down device options:

  • Will it be exposed to dust, water or a potential drop? If so, an IP (Ingress Protection) rating will be required.
  • Will it be being used outside? If so consider readability in sunlight – contrast and brightness levels, is it waterproof? Some are designed for outdoor use.
  • How will the device be carried and transported? Vehicle mounting may be a consideration here.
  • Will field workers need to view maps and diagrams? Will it be used portrait or landscape? If so, screen size will be important. Screen resolution should also be considered with this in mind.
  • Battery usage is crucial to device selection. How long will it take to charge? Larger battery capacity may be required or the ability to charge in vehicle.
  • Do your field workers need to take pictures or scan items? Is the camera front facing as well as rear? How does the camera operate in low light conditions?
  • What locations will your field workers be working from – does the device need to support differential GPS and if it does will the Wi-Fi environment in which the device will be used support D-GPS? LAN, Wi-Fi prerequisites, 3G/4G.
  • Will your field workers be barcode scanning? Scanning using the camera is adequate, but if you’re scanning a lot of data, a device with a built in scanner may be more effective.
  • The weight of the device can have an impact depending on how it is to be used in the field. If it needs to be held for longer periods of time a lighter device may be appropriate.



Is there a Device Refresh Policy in your business? How long will the device need to be used for?

Costs to consider include:

  • buying devices
  • accessories
  • on-going maintenance


Rugged devices provide assurance of availability and repair. Maintaining an estate of devices which are all the same make/model can be an important factor to an organisation. Consumer devices provide greater choice at lower cost which can also be appealing.

However, a shorter lifespan can lead to a mixed estate, making maintenance more complicated.


It’s a really good idea to involve the people who will be using the device during the selection process and any trial. Getting user buy-in and including them in the selection process will help to ensure a successful refresh. 

So you’ve got the shopping list, now what? Our customers often engage with an accredited hardware solution and services partner at this point. They can provide a valuable technical resource, manage the manufacturers and help you select the most appropriate device. They can also demonstrate devices to you, provide SIM connections, accessories and car kits, as well as advise on maintenance packages and Mobile Device Management (MDM). Cognito iQ partner with the UK’s leading hardware providers and distributors to ensure our customers have access to the best possible advice when choosing a device.

Cognito iQ Partners