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Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
Register
Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
Register
Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
Register
5 Oct 2023
2 min
Technology

The Best Affordable Mobile Device for Field Service Workers in 2023

Deploying AMI project on the budget

Utility contractors can significantly reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their field projects by selecting the right mobile devices for their field workers. To assist clients in finding the right one, the Fieldman team conducts regular device tests. Check out the device that costs $150, we highly recommend it to our customers.

Field service workers require devices for two primary reasons. Firstly, to assist them in their workflow, providing addresses and reminders of the necessary steps that must be taken. Secondly, for the crucial task of data collection for utility or municipality needs, like serial numbers, photos, and meter readings.

Workflows are seamlessly integrated into a field service app that can usually operate on any mobile device. However, challenges arise when it comes to data collection, particularly with GPS. The type of data required is typically specified in a contract.

If a contract requires a utility vendor to collect sub-meter GPS coordinates (accuracy is less than 3 feet) during installation, you must use a specialized device such as a Trimble R2 or Arrow 100¬ģ Submeter GNSS Receiver. These devices support GNSS and can be costly, they are indispensable. The good news is that such high data accuracy is only needed in 3-5% of all projects.

If your project doesn't require collecting sub-meter GPS coordinates, you can choose a simpler device such as a smartphone.

Smartphones can:
- capture photos,
- record GPS coordinates (with an accuracy of 10 feet or more),
- should have Bluetooth capabilities.

This level of functionality is typically adequate for field service projects, including smart meter deployment, and provides an opportunity for utilities or contractors to optimize their expenditures.

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Trimble Nomad
Trimble Nomad

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It hadn't been always that easy. Previously, companies used specialized handheld devices, such as the Trimble Nomad or Honeywell 6160. These devices were expensive: the average price for a Trimble Nomad is between $2,000 and $3,000, and for a Honeywell 6160 is between $1,500 and $2,000.

However, in the last two years, widely available consumer devices have become much more robust and capable of delivering the same functionality. In 2023, there is no need to invest in handheld devices for field service projects because modern field apps run on almost any smartphone.

Samsung for field service projects
Samsung Galaxy A14

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The Fieldman team is constantly testing new devices that come on the market. This year, our top pick for an affordable data collection smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A14. It costs $150 on Amazon and comes with a protective case and memory.

It's perfect for field service projects, and we recently recommended it to one of our clients, who purchased several for their field crew.

If you're interested in finding out which field service apps run on smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy A14, watch our video about progressive field service apps.

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