View Excalibur Technology's Facebook page View Excalibur Technology's Twitter page View Excalibur Technology's YouTube page View Excalibur Technology's Google Plus page View Excalibur Technology's blog View Excalibur Technology's LinkedIn page

Ben

 


Which Approach Puts Your IT in a Better Position?

Posted December 11, 2017 by

Conceptual image of silhouetted directional sign and businessman on binary code matrixTechnology management is one of the major issues that challenges small businesses. Do you know the various strengths and weaknesses of having an in-house IT department versus an outsourced IT provider? As a managed service provider ourselves, we’re in a unique position to help your business make an educated decision about the future of its IT management.

In-House IT Management
If your business is fortunate enough to have its own in-house IT department, you know that to get the right people for the job you need to painstakingly assess all applicants. Since your business’s in-house team will always be at your disposal, your technicians have to be chosen with the applicable know-how to mitigate the technology troubles your organization will most frequently come across.

On the other hand, small and medium-sized businesses are known to have some troubles, even when working with an in-house IT department. Training new team members can be tricky, time consuming, and expensive, especially if your business has complex technologies that need to have dedicated management. Once these technicians are trained to cover the bases your business technology demands, they will only get more expensive; so seeing a substantial return on your investment may not be possible.

Managed/Outsourced IT
Outsourced IT provides one of the most sought after assets for a business: predictable technology costs. When you hire a managed service provider, your business will always be using maintained and monitored technology, where issues are solved remotely for a flat monthly fee. An MSP generally stays updated on the latest findings and technologies in the industry, making them more well-rounded technicians than those who are simply concerned with the workings of your business’ current technology. It’s actually much more affordable as well, as you’re only adding one payment to your budget compared to the multiple salaries that would be impacting payroll for an internal IT department.

The only issue that you’ll encounter with a managed service provider is letting go of the reigns a bit and trusting someone else with control over your business’s IT. Therefore, trust is something that is absolutely crucial if you choose to outsource your IT management.

Excalibur Technology wants your business to benefit from outsourced IT solutions. To find out what we can do for you, reach out to us at (877) NET – KING.


5 Security Analogies to Help You Better Understand Hacking

Posted December 08, 2017 by

Outline of a house with valuables inside.How often do you read a blog article about network security only to be blown away by all of the overly complicated and confusing jargon of the industry? We know that it’s not necessarily your specialty, but it’s still important that you understand how network security works for your organization. While the complicated details should be left to IT professionals, we can help you better understand the general idea of security by comparing it to a locked door.

Brute Force Attacks
Let’s say that a robber wants to break into your home. He will try to go through a door, but he might not have the keys required to get in. In this case, he will have to use everything at his disposal to get in. He might try to kick the door down or smash a window. In other words, he’s getting into your house by brute force.

Brute force in computing can consist of a hacker trying to use as many passwords as possible in a short period of time to get in. There are programs that can randomly generate countless passwords in seconds, making this method of attack quite devastating when it’s effective.

Social Engineering
Let’s say that you have a new neighbor on your street. They ask you over for dinner and you get to know them. You feel like you are getting along with them quite well–well enough to trust them to water your plants while you’re out of the state on vacation for a few weeks. You give them a key, but when you come home, all of the plants are dead and you’re missing some furniture or technology. Yup, they’ve robbed you–you’re sure of it.

Social engineering takes a calculated approach to hacking and data theft. Hackers will make personalized attempts to steal your passwords and information by taking on the identity of someone you think you can trust with this information, like an “old friend” or “your elderly grandmother.”

Security Exploits
Robbers may try to find weak points in your front door. Maybe the door doesn’t quite lock all the way due to a defect in the manufacturing process. In this case, the robber may research what the weak points of the door are so that they can know the best and most efficient way of getting past your defenses.

Security exploits are weaknesses in software on your computer that allow hackers to sneak into your system and get into all sorts of trouble. These can range from weaknesses in the way that sensitive information is handled, to particular lines of code that create problems for your organization. Ultimately, it only takes a single crack in your defenses–a security exploit–to allow a hacker into your infrastructure.

Trojan Horse
Someone might knock on your door and tell you that something within your household is in need of repair. Maybe they know that you have a leaky faucet that needs to be addressed, or they know that you have some concerns about your furnace. They are then invited into your home and go about their business. You may then notice that you’re missing important items afterward, hinting that the off-the-street good Samaritan was, in reality, a scammer.

Trojans work like this in many ways. Just like the Greek horse of old, a Trojan sneaks onto your system and plants a backdoor, allowing for secret re-entry at a later date. Often times, a Trojan will use a larger data breach to mask its presence, and then continue to steal information in small doses as time goes on.

Two-Factor Authentication
Two locks are better than one in most circumstances. For example, you can have one lock on the doorknob and another on the deadbolt, which keeps the door fastened in place even if the door is forced open near the doorknob. Basically, having two types of locks makes it twice as hard to get to anything of value.

Two-factor authentication can be used to provide this secondary credential to your digital assets, including online accounts or network logins. A secondary code can be sent to an email address or mobile device, which allows your employees to access important information only when both of these are present.

Does your organization need help with network security? Excalibur Technology can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (877) NET – KING.


Tip of the Week: Saving a Windows Product Key to a Microsoft Account

Posted December 06, 2017 by

Icon with the word KeyTo activate Windows 10, every user will need a product key. Every legitimate version of the software has one, but often times, users will need the product key later down the road, only to find that they’ve lost it or tossed it. For this week’s tip, we’ll describe a way to link your software’s product key to a Microsoft account so that you’ll never lose it again.

Step One: Get a Microsoft Account
In order to link your Windows 10 product key to your Microsoft account, you’ll have to have a Microsoft account in the first place. If you don’t have an account under the Microsoft umbrella (Hotmail, Live, Outlook, etc.) and depend on another platform such as Google or Apple, have your IT administrator set up a Microsoft account for you. This way you can know you have an authorized account that is ready to go.

Step Two: Link the Product Key to Your Account
Now that you have a Microsoft account that is authorized by your organization’s IT administrator, you can log in and navigate to Settings in the Windows 10 Start Menu. Click on Update & Security, and then on Activation.

The Activation page will read “Windows is activated with a digital license”. If it doesn’t, you can stop because your product key doesn’t enable you to digitize your license and you won’t be able to link your Microsoft account with Windows 10. If this happens to you it is important that you keep your Windows 10 product key on file.

If you have a digital license, you then have to change your type of account to successfully link your Windows 10 product key to your Microsoft account. To do this, open Settings and then click on Accounts. You will then click on Your Info. Find the hyperlink on the page that reads “Sign in with a Microsoft account instead” and click on that.

You will then sign in using your Microsoft account using your username and password and click the Sign In button at the bottom of the screen. Enter your Windows password if it is different, otherwise click Next and it will ask you to Set up a PIN. If you don’t want to set up a PIN, you can click on the “Skip this step” hyperlink on the left side of the box.

Step Three: Verification
To check to see if this process has been successful, open your Settings, click on Update & Security, click on Activation, and you will see “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft Account” under the Activation subheading in the main box under Windows.

To protect your software and yourself, knowing the best practices of software management is important. If you would like to know more great tips and tricks in Windows 10, visit our blog regularly.


BDR Needs to Be a Business Priority

Posted December 05, 2017 by

Diagram representing files being backed up to a server.Of any of your business implementations, a data backup and disaster recovery system is a serious contender for the most important. However, many neglect to prepare for a data loss event or disaster, which means they leave their business vulnerable to the ill effects of both. Protecting your business begins with a data backup and disaster recovery solution that prepares you for a worst-case scenario.

For a long time, tape backup was the preeminent form of data backup for business purposes. This process, storing a copy of your data on magnetic tape, is no longer sufficient for the modern business due to shortcomings that would only slow down your recovery efforts after a data loss event.

First of all, backing up on tape isn’t an automated process, so it falls to an employee to initiate the backup process when the workday is over. How likely is it that one of your employees will be focused on running a data backup at the end of a particularly long and stressful day? In addition to this, restoring from a tape is also a manual process. All it would take is a slight mistake, and poof–there goes your data.

Secondly, a tape backup doesn’t keep a full backup of your data in the first place, only saving changes that have taken place over the previous 24 hour period, technically even less. Tape backup is a resource-intensive process, and so can only be run once each day, typically after-hours. Therefore, you could lose a full day’s worth of data to a disaster.

Finally, the third reason that tape is considered outdated is the amount of time it takes to restore your backed-up data. If you needed to restore your data, the process could easily take hours–and that’s assuming that whatever event caused you to need to restore from your backup didn’t also damage your internal hardware infrastructure. This downtime will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your business, and can be avoided.

Instead of relying on tape, companies today leverage enterprise-level Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solutions such as Excalibur Technology’s Net-Safe Cloud Internet Backup solutions. Utilizing the cloud, BDR takes data backups that are more complete and can be restored much more quickly, leading to decreased downtime. This is accomplished through ‘snapshot’ data backups, which updates any changes as often as every fifteen minutes. This means that any data that may be lost is minimized, offering your business improved protection from threats to your data.

If BDR sounds like the right choice for your business, reach out to Excalibur Technology at (877) NET – KING to learn more about our Net-Safe Cloud Internet Backup.


Is a Generation Gap Causing Workplace Issues?

Posted December 01, 2017 by

People at work in an officeThere are over 83 million millennials in the United States. That is one out of every four Americans; and, now the most populous generation of people in the U.S. are all of working age. It is not a surprise, then, to find out that there are more workers who were born between 1981 and 1997 in the United States than any other generation. Millions of new workers for the modern economy that continues to grow.

A problem has come to light, however: the workers they would typically replace aren’t finished just yet. For the modern worker there are fewer opportunities to save money, and as a result, people are working longer and longer. What happens when young workers clash with the workers who have been in the trenches for decades? What specific issues do they have trouble with? We’ll look at this phenomenon and try to identify ways your business can limit generational strife among workers.

The Millennial Mindset
While only a few can definitively say that their job was great before millennials came along and ruined it, there has been a major shift in the type of work that companies do; and, the way that work gets done. Moreover, there is a shift in the way that these new workers (millennials) look at their job’s role in their life. People can argue about the viability of it, or the justifications behind it, but “The Millennial Mindset” (as it is sometimes referred to) has grabbed the business world’s attention as millennial workers demand more from a business than any other generation of American workers in history.

The millennial mindset, to explain it simply, is one that embraces flexibility, innovation, connectivity, collaboration, and most of all, transparency. This can cause conflict with older workers who have been plugging away for decades and have a routine method to work. Both the millennial’s perceived lack of respect for traditional constructs, and excess of pride in their own abilities can often set the stage for conflict. Since millennials have spent their formative years surrounded by technology, they tend to take for granted that they’ll have access to it at all times. Other generations have adapted to the use of technology and, as a result, often avoid it whenever possible. While technology has allowed people near-ubiquitous access to information, simply having access doesn’t make people experts.

Millennials also seek flexibility with their time, tending to leverage technology into jobs that feature access to remote work and flexible schedules. Like many of the workers before them, they want to be mentored, but can often rebuff potential mentors. They often seek for quick promotion, or at the very least, demand say in how they approach their jobs. Those who find it difficult to have their ideas taken seriously, or who feel underappreciated at work, are willing to look for other opportunities and explore their options. Since the workplaces of today have changed, largely as a result of technology, it really isn’t all that surprising that the people most proficient in the use of this technology are in high demand.

What’s the Problem?
Generational conflicts are nothing new. Young people of every generation have always been seen as a problem in America; but, those young people age. As older people, they then take issue with the next new generation of young people. That’s not to say there aren’t major differences between this particular set of people, but by-in-large, people will always squabble with people younger than them because young people generally are far more ambitious and less interested in convention. As useful as it is, the current generational friction in the workplace has been exacerbated by business’ reliance on technology.

Older workers tend to take exception to the millennial’s “me first” attitude, even if that attitude is based in an optimistic view of the work they are doing. Generation X-age workers tend to understand the world the millennial comes from a little bit better than Baby Boomers do, but since, as a whole, Gen-Xers tend to view the world, and people’s motives, through skeptical eyes, their motivations are typically their own.

One of the major problems you will see among your workforce is a misunderstanding on how each generation communicates. In a study performed by Robert Half, managers were asked “In which one of the following areas do you see the greatest differences among your company’s employees who are from different generations?” The results:

  • “Communication skills” – 30%
  • “Adapting to change”- 26%
  • “Technical skills” – 23%
  • “Cross-departmental collaboration” – 14%
  • “None” – 7%

What Can You Do?
You’ll have to consider two major steps if you hope to get them on the same page. The first is simply understanding that no matter what generation a worker is from, they are all individuals whom you are asking to work with others for a purpose. While older workers may respect you for looking at the bottom line when making decisions, younger workers may not as often, so leveraging the options you have at your disposal (pay increases, more time off, flex schedules, etc.) is always going to be a good strategy.

The second step is to follow a relatively simple four-step plan to get the most out of all of your workers. The four steps are as follows:

  1. Identify to what generations workers belong – Baby boomers were born between 1946-64; Generation X 1965-1980; and millennials 1980-2000.
  2. Employ the talents and strengths for each set of workers – To resolve negative conflict you need to find positive attributes of each set of workers and ensure they are dispatched in a manner that makes it possible for them to succeed and stay positive.
  3. Try to enable each generation with alternative management style – If there is generational friction going on in your workplace, you may have to alter your management style to gain the respect and trust of your staff.
  4. Focus on the merits of each generation, not the stereotypes – It’s best to stay positive and focus on the strengths that each can bring to your team, rather than dwelling on negative attributes that cause the conflict in the first place.

By following these steps, you will prove to your staff that you are committed to understanding what exactly every person is after. Using these principles can also help you ascertain who among your staff is ready for more responsibility, and which members of your staff may just not be a good fit to keep your organization working productively.

What do you think about generational conflict in business? Do you consider it a major hurdle to success, or just a blip on the radar? Let us know in the comments below.


Is a Data Backup Really That Necessary? In a Word: Yes

Posted November 30, 2017 by

Graphic of colored Save icons.Does your business have a dedicated data backup and disaster recovery system? It’s one of the most critical parts of managing a business, yet some don’t have a plan in the event of the worst. If your organization were to suddenly lose a significant portion of its data, would it be able to continue functioning as needed? With a data backup and disaster recovery solution, you won’t be dealing in the realm of “what if,” and instead focus on “when” you experience a data loss incident.

Traditionally, tape backup has been the go-to solution for small businesses. Tape backup is the process of storing data on magnetic tape, and at one time was considered the most prominent type of backup in the business world. However, tape has its own set of inconveniences that can hinder operations in times of disaster.

The number one reason not to use tape is that it’s not automatic. One of your employees has to set the backup at the end of each work day so that it can run. Furthermore, when it comes time to activate the backup, it must be performed manually as well. This means that even the slightest amount of user error could completely demolish any chances of your recovering from a data disaster.

The second biggest reason not to use tape is that it doesn’t take a full backup of your data. At the most, it only captures data that has been changed over the past 24 hours. The reason for this is that the data backup can only be performed once a day. Due to the immense strain placed on your network, a tape backup is generally reserved for after-hours implementation, so up to 24 hours of data could potentially be lost in the event of a disaster.

The third and final reason why you shouldn’t implement tape is that it takes considerably longer to restore from in the event of a data loss incident. Tape backup can take several hours to restore, and that’s assuming that you still have an infrastructure and hardware capable of running your organization (let’s face it–natural disasters like floods can damage more than just your building). This type of downtime can be an issue even for businesses that do have the required hardware to get back in business, as it’s just more wasted time and resources that must be accounted for.

A better solution for small businesses is an enterprise-level Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution from Excalibur Technology. Our Net-Safe Cloud Internet Backup solutions use the cloud to perform data backups, which provides a significantly better system for getting back in the game following a critical loss incident. The cloud allows for faster restoration times, less downtime, and more complete data backups. The cloud utilizes snapshot-based data backup, which only updates the current backup if the files have been changed. These snapshots are taken every 15 minutes or so, significantly reducing the amount of data lost in the event of a data loss incident. It’s truly the best way to go about protecting your organization from unforeseen threats.

To get started with our Net-Safe Cloud Internet Backup, reach out to Excalibur Technology at (877) NET – KING.


Tip of the Week: Using Your Computer to Its Full Potential

Posted November 29, 2017 by

Hands holding swords.Your computer, and the many resources you use it to access, are made for utility. As a result, there is an assortment of useful features built into many commonly used systems and solutions. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some of the shortcuts that you may not have known about.

For Windows
The Windows operating system itself comes with a few shortcuts that can make using your computer much more convenient.

A cluttered screen can be extremely distracting, but minimizing and maximizing each window each time you need a different one can add up to be a major time sink. Arguably even more so, it gets annoying pretty quickly. Windows provides a fix that sounds a little silly — to quickly minimize every window other than the one you want to keep, click and hold the bar at the top (where the minimize, full screen, and close buttons are located) and shake your mouse. All other active windows will minimize. Repeating this action calls your windows back to your display.

  • You can also use your taskbar to accomplish a similar result. Pressing the Windows key and the number of the application on your taskbar will open it, and then can minimize and maximize it.
  • If you have a file selected and you need to rename it, pressing F2 will allow you to do so without right-clicking and selecting Rename from the options.
  • If you want to speed up deleting a sentence you just typed, pressing Ctrl as you hit backspace will delete your text word-by-word, instead of character-by-character.
  • Windows also makes it easier to take specific screenshots of your active window: all you have to do is press Alt and Print Screen.

For Chrome
Google Chrome is a highly utilizable browser, with plenty of shortcuts and features baked in.

  • We’ve all had those searches we regret, and Google never seems to let us forget about them–until now, that is. Using your arrow keys, select the unwelcome suggestion, and press Shift + Delete to eliminate it.
  • If you’ve ever wanted to move multiple tabs to a new browser window, you know how quickly the back-and-forth gets old. By holding Ctrl, you can select multiple tabs and drag them to an existing window or create an entirely new window.

For Any Browser
If you aren’t a Chrome user, there are still plenty of shortcuts that will work for any of the popular browsers.

  • Selecting text in a web page can be frustrating, as you can easily grab an unwanted chunk by drifting your mouse too far one way or another. This can be avoided by clicking in the text where you want to begin highlighting, then pressing Shift as you click on the end of your desired segment.
  • You can quickly access the address bar at any time by pressing F6, or Ctrl + L.
  • Once you’re done with one of your tabs, middle-clicking it (i.e. clicking your mouse wheel if using a mouse that has one) will close it.

How many of these tips did you know about? Are there any you know of that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!


Tip of the Week: How to Write a Better Email

Posted November 27, 2017 by

Envelope Mail IconWriting an email is one of the most prevalent methods of communication in the business world, but it’s not as easy as you might think. There are considerable details and intricacies to mastering this art, and we’re here to help. By the end of this blog article, you’ll be armed with five tips to write the most effective email that you can.

Keep It Short
Nobody wants to read a long message in their email. After all, they likely have more pressing matters to attend to, and many more messages that they have to read. Therefore, it makes sense that you get right to the point when you have to send an email. Try to include only information that’s absolutely critical. Remember, concision is the friend of any businessperson, as they only have so much time in a day to read and respond to messages that aren’t mission-critical.

Present a Clear Subject Line
Similarly, you want to use only the most clear and concise subject lines, as anything less could mislead the recipient into thinking that the message either isn’t important or doesn’t warrant immediate attention. Basically, you want to provide enough information in the subject line to give the recipient a reason to open it.

Personalize the Email
You shouldn’t be copying and pasting a catch-all message into an email. You should take the time to personalize each message that you send so that it looks as authentic and genuine as possible. You should always use your full name, as well as the organization you belong to–especially if you are sending messages to vendors or clients.

Perform a Spelling and Grammar Check
Nothing is more embarrassing than making a major spelling or grammar error in an important email. Thankfully, this can be avoided by giving your message a quick proofreading before hitting the Send button. Try to avoid statements in all caps, as they can create a subtext that you don’t necessarily want to convey.

Keep it Business-Friendly
If you’re going to send a bunch of memes or other fun things to your employees, it’s best not to do it through email. It’s one thing if you have a dedicated email thread designed for sharing information unrelated to work, but when you have your employees sending things that have no place in a professional environment, you get clutter (and a general lack of focus), both of which can create an unproductive workplace environment.

For more information on how to make the most of your email, reach out to us at (877) NET – KING.


2018: What to Expect from Technology

Posted November 22, 2017 by

A processor chip with a code lock and the number 2018.Twenty Seventeen (2017) saw the rise of many great technology solutions for small business, including an explosion of popularity in business intelligence, artificial intelligence applications, and machine learning. Meanwhile, other established technologies have continued their domination of the industry. What can your organization look forward to seeing on the forefront of the small business technology race in 2018?

We’ll take a look at some of the upcoming and emerging technologies that your business may want to consider for future investment.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence in terms of business use consists of analyzing data to create better outcomes, remake the customer experience, and completely change the way that organizations conduct themselves through the use of automation. Artificially intelligent technology can help to streamline operations and the customer experience through the implementation of chat bots and other machine-learning capabilities. However, researchers have recommended that AI be limited to specific roles rather than broad concepts, as too much of a lack of focus could lead to poor performance as a whole, deterring organizations from implementation in the future.

Even if businesses aren’t implementing artificial intelligence as soon as possible, 59% of businesses are still collecting information so that they can benefit as much as possible from such an integration. By taking this proactive stance on artificial intelligence, they are ensuring that they can hit the ground running when it comes time to do so.

Intelligent Analytics
Analytics have become an increasingly important part of doing business. This is because the availability of data, and software that allows for the analysis of said data, creates an environment where better decisions can be made using this analysis. By taking a carefully crafted deep dive into the numbers behind goods or services, organizations can make greater profits and eliminate inefficiencies in never before seen ways. Think of it like “trimming the fat,” so to speak.

Of course, these intelligent analytics can also be used to find new and more lucrative business ventures. Without proper analysis, though, these statistics and analytics are just empty numbers. Business intelligence apps aim to provide perspective and create insight for operational efficiency and effectiveness. Businesses that want to reap the most benefit from their data will invest in business intelligence strategies to glean important insights.

Cloud Technology
The cloud retains its importance as one of the best ways to take full advantage of modern technology. This is because no matter what type of business applications are released in the future, the cloud will remain one of the best ways to access them. The cloud offers dynamic access to business-critical computing constructs and applications that business owners will want to utilize because they offer cost-reduction and other benefits.

How does your business plan on using the cloud and these other technologies in 2018? To learn more about your options, reach out to Excalibur Technology at (877) NET – KING.


These Smartphones Make an Excellent Gift (Even To Yourself!)

Posted November 20, 2017 by

The holiday season is the ideal time to pick up your next best smartphone–especially since you might get something great as a gift from your loved ones! We’ll help you decide which type of smartphone is best for your specific needs by taking a close look at some of the great new devices on today’s market.

Since there are so many devices out there, we’ll be taking a deep dive into some of the most popular ones, while providing the specs and features of others so that you can make an educated decision for your big purchase.

The New iPhones: 8, 8 Plus, and X
With three iPhones on the market, it can be challenging to know what the big differences are between them. Compared to previous iterations of the iPhone, the 8 and 8 Plus models now have been constructed with a glass and aluminum casing. You might think that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are similar to the iPhone 6 in terms of how it feels in the hand.

The main differences between the iPhone 8/8 Plus and the iPhone X is the display. The iPhone X also features improvements to the camera and overall build quality. Due to the iPhone X being significantly more expensive, iPhone lovers may want to choose the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus to achieve a comparable experience.

Model: iPhone 8
Construction: Front/back glass & aluminum frame
Screen Size: 4.7-inch
Display: LED-backlit IPS LCD, 16M Colors, 1,334 x 759 (~326 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Apple A11 Bionic
CPU-GPU: Hexa-core (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral) – Apple GPU
Operating System: iOS 11

Memory

Internal: 64GB or 246 GB models; 2GB of RAM
Expandable: None

Cameras

Primary: 12 MP, f/1.8, 28mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, quad-LED flash
Front-Facing: 7 MP, f/2.2, face detection

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, No 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Features: Fast charging, Qi Wireless charging, Siri commands and dictation, iCloud integration
Battery size-life: 1,821 mAh battery – 66 hours
Available Colors: Silver, Space Grey, Gold
Price: $699.99-to-$899.99

Model: iPhone 8 Plus
Construction: Front/back glass & aluminum frame
Screen Size: 5.5-inch
Display: LED-backlit IPS LCD, 16M Colors, 1920×1080 (~401 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: A11 Bionic
CPU-GPU: Hexa-core (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral) – Apple GPU
Operating System: iOS 11

Memory

Internal: 64GB or 246 GB models; 3GB of RAM
Expandable: None

Cameras

Primary: Dual 12 MP, f/1.8, 28mm and f/2.8, 56mm) phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, quad-LED flash
Front-Facing: 7 MP, f/2.2, face detection

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, No 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Features: Fast charging, Qi Wireless charging, Siri commands and dictation, iCloud integration
Battery size-life: 2,691 mAh battery – 81 hours
Available Colors: Silver, Space Grey, Gold
Price: $799.99-to-$999.99

Model: Apple iPhone X
Construction: Front/back glass & stainless steel frame
Screen Size: 5.8-inch
Display: Super AMOLED, 16M Colors, 2,436×1,125 ( ~458 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Apple A11 Bionic
CPU-GPU: Hexa-core 2.39 Ghz (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral) – Apple GPU
Operating System: iOS 11.1

Memory

Internal: 64 and 256 GB models; 3GB RAM
Expandable: None

Cameras

Primary: Dual 12 MP, f/1.8, 28mm and f/2.4, 52mm) phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, quad-LED flash
Front-Facing: 7 MP, f/2.2, face detection

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, No 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors: FaceID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Features: Fast charging, Qi Wireless charging, Siri commands and dictation, iCloud integration
Battery size-life: 2,716 mAh battery – 74 hours
Available Colors: Silver, Space Grey
Price: $999.99-to-$1,149.99

Samsung Galaxy s8 and Note 8
There are more differences between the Samsung Galaxy and Note lines than you might think. The Note line has noticeably larger screens with higher quality, but you’ll find that the larger screen makes it a bit bulkier and more unwieldy compared to the smaller and more compact Galaxy line. Still, the extra screen space will make any entertainment lover jump for joy. Users can also appreciate that, just like the iPhones mentioned above, the phone is made out of a mix of aluminum and glass casing, allowing for water resistance.

Just like with the iPhones, however, you’ll see some notable differences that might make all of the difference to power users. In particular, the camera on the Note 8 offers optical image stabilization–a great way to take better videos or images. Furthermore, the Note 8 is considerably more powerful than the Galaxy s8, sporting 50% more RAM.

Model: Samsung Galaxy s8
Construction: Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5) & aluminum frame.
Screen Size: 5.8-inch
Display: Super AMOLED, 16M Colors, 2,960 x 1,440 (~570 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU-GPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.35 GHz & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kyro) – Adreno 540
Operating System: Android 7.0, Touchwiz

Memory

Internal: 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
Expandable: microSD (up to 256)

Cameras

Primary: 12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, OIS, LED flash
Front-Facing: 8 MP, f/1.7

Audio: Dual stereo speakers, 3.5 mm headphone jack
Sensors: Iris scanner, fingerprint reader, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
Features: Samsung DeX, Fast battery charging, Qi/PMA wireless charging
Battery size-life: 3,000 mAh – 84 hours
Available Colors: Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold
Price: $725.99-to-$825.99

Model: Samsung Galaxy s8 Plus
Construction: Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5) & aluminum frame.
Screen Size: 6.2-inch
Display: Super AMOLED, 16M Colors, 2,960 x 1,440 (~529 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU-GPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.35 GHz & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo) – Adreno 540
Operating System: Android 7.0

Memory

Internal: 64 GB, 4 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6 GB RAM
Expandable: microSD (up to 256)

Cameras

Primary: 12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, OIS, LED flash
Front-Facing: 8 MP, f/1.7

Audio: Dual stereo speakers, 3.5 mm headphone jack
Sensors: Iris scanner, fingerprint reader, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
Features: Samsung DeX, Fast battery charging, Qi/PMA wireless charging
Battery size-life: 3,000 mAh – 84 hours
Available Colors: Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold
Price: $799.99-to-$899.99

Model: Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Construction: Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5) & aluminum frame
Screen Size: 6.3-inch
Display: Super AMOLED, 16m colors, 2,960 x 1,440 (~521 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU-GPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.34 GHz Kryo & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo)
Operating System: Android 7.1.1

Memory

Internal: 64, 128, 256 GB options, 6GB RAM
Expandable: microSD (up to 256GB)

Cameras

Primary: Dual 12 MP (26mm, f/1.7, PDAF & 52mm, f/2.4, AF) OIS, autofocus, 2x options zoom, LED flash.
Front-Facing: 8 MP, f/1.7, face detection

Audio: Dual stereo speakers, 3.5 mm
Sensors: Iris scanner, fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
Features: Samsung Desktop Experience, Fast battery charging, Qi/PMA wireless charging, s-Pen integration
Battery size-life: 3,500 mAh battery – 88 hours
Available Colors: Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, Deep Sea Blue
Price: $ 949.99-to-$1149.99

Google Pixel and Pixel XL 2
Google’s new flagship smartphone device, the Pixel, debuted in 2016, but the latest addition to the smartphone brand can make for a great gift this holiday season. Thanks to its impressive specs and the internal Snapdragon processors, the Pixel line of smartphones are quite powerful–moreso the Pixel 2 than the original Pixel.

Though there are only minor differences between the Pixel and Pixel 2, they are the ones that might matter for some users. The Pixel 2 doesn’t have a headphone jack, which means that you’ll need to purchase the external adapter if you plan on using the device for music (the front-loaded speakers are better for that anyway). Better yet is Google’s promise to support the Pixel 2’s operating system for a full three years, which makes it enticing for normal Pixel users to jump at the opportunity.

Model: Google Pixel 2
Construction: Aluminum unibody with hybrid coating, Gorilla Glass 5
Screen Size: 5.0-inches
Display: AMOLED, 16m, 1,920 x 1.080 (~441 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU-GPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.35 GHz Kryo, 4 x 1.9 GHZ Kryo) – Adreno 540
Operating System: Android 8.0

Memory

Internal: 64 and 128 GB options, 4GB RAM
Expandable: None

Cameras

Primary: 12.2 MP, f/1.8, laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
Front-Facing: 8 MP, f/2.4

Audio: Dual stereo speakers, no 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Features: Fast charging
Battery size-life: 2,700 mAh – 75 hours
Available Colors: Kinda Blue, Just Back, Clearly White
Price: $649.99-to-$749.99

Model: Google Pixel 2 Plus
Construction: Aluminum unibody with hybrid coating, Gorilla Glass 5
Screen Size: 6.0-inch
Display: P-OLED, 16m colors, 2,880 x 1,440 (~538 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU-GPU: Octa-core *4 x 2.35 GHz Kryo & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo) – Adreno 540
Operating System: Android 8.0

Memory

Internal: 64GB and 128 GB options, 4GB RAM
Expandable: None

Cameras

Primary: 12.2 MP, f/1.8, OIS, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
Front-Facing: 8 MP, f/2.4

Audio: Dual stereo speakers, no 3.5 mm headphone jack
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Features: Fast charging
Battery size-life: 3,520 mAh battery – 88 hours
Available Colors: Just Black, Black & White
Price: $849.99-to- $949.99

If these smartphones don’t quite pique your fancy, try taking a look at some of the specific details about these other notable smartphone brands:

Model: Motorola Z2 Force
Construction: front plastic w/ Moto Shattershield, back plastic
Screen Size: 5.5-inch
Display: P-OLED, 16M colors, 2,560 x 1,440 (~534 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM 8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU-GPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.35 MHz Kyro & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo) – Adreno 540
Operating System: Android 7.1.1

Memory

Internal: 128 GB, 6 GB RAM
Expandable: microSD (up to 256 GB)

Cameras

Primary: Dual 12 MP, f/2.0, laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
Front-Facing: 5 MP, f/2.2, dual LED flash

Audio: One front-facing speaker, no 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Features: Fast charging, Motorola Mods (insta-share projector, 360 camera, gamepad, JBL SoundBoost 2, turbopower pack, style shell w/ wireless charging, power pack, Hasselblad True Zoom, vehicle dock)
Battery size-life: 2,730 mAh battery – 69 hours
Available Colors: Super Black, Fine Gold, Lunar Grey
Price: $720.00

Model: LG V30
Construction: front/back glass, aluminum frame
Screen Size: 6.0-inch
Display: P-OLED, 16M colors, 2,880 x 1,440 (~537 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU-GPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.45 GHz Kyro & 4 1.9 GHz Kyro) – Adreno 540
Operating System: Android 7.1.2

Memory

Internal: 64 or 128 GB options, 4 GB RAM
Expandable: microsSD (Up to 256 GB)

Cameras

Primary: Dual 16 MP (f/1.6, OIS, 3-axis, laser & phase detection autofocus) _ 13 MP (g/1.9) LED flash
Front-Facing: 5 MP, f/2.2

Audio: Dual speaker stereo, 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, color spectrum
Features: Fast charging, wireless charging
Battery size-life: 3,300 mAh – 87 hours
Available Colors: Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Moroccan Blue, Lavender Violet
Price: $819.99-to-$929.99

Model: BlackBerry KEYone
Construction: Aluminum, Gorilla Glass 4, with soft-touch plastic, physical keyboard
Screen Size: 4.5-inch
Display: IPS LCD, 16m colors, 1,620 x 1,080 (~433 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625
CPU-GPU: Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
Operating System: Android 7.1

Memory

Internal: 32 GB with 3 GB RAM or 64 GB with 4 GB RAM
Expandable: microSD (up to 256 GB)

Cameras

Primary: 12 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED flash
Front-Facing:8 MP, f/2.2

Audio: Dual speaker stereo
Sensors: Fingerprint, Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Features: Full programmable keyboard, fast charging
Battery size-life: 3,505 mAh – 107 hours
Available Colors: Black & Silver, Black
Price: $499.99-to-$559.99

Model: Nokia 8
Construction: Glass Aluminum
Screen Size: 5.3-inch
Display: IPS LCD, 16m colors, 2,560 x 1,440 (~554 ppi)
SIM: Nano-SIM
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU-GPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.5 GHz Kyro & 4 x 1.8 GHz Kyro) – Adreno 540
Operating System: Android 7.1.1

Memory

Internal: 64 GB, 4 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6 GB RAM
Expandable: microSD (up to 256 GB)

Cameras

Primary: Dual 13 MP, f/2/0, laser and phase detection autofocus, Carl Zeiss optics, OIS, LED flash
Front-Facing: 13 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus

Audio: Two-speaker stereo, 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Features: Fast charging
Battery size-life: 3,090 mAh – 78 hours
Available Colors:Tempered Blue, Polished Blue, Steel, Polished Copper
Price: $479.99-to-$559.99

What do you think? Do you have a pretty solid understanding of what type of smartphone you want for your organization? Let us know what you chose in the comments, and be sure to subscribe for more great technology articles.



Excalibur Technology
Excalibur Technology
Excalibur Technology
Excalibur Technology
Excalibur Technology
Excalibur Technology