The best smartphones for nurses, 2013 edition




In 2010, we supplied you with a list of the best smartphones for nurses. Which phones made the cut? The iPhone (winner!), Droid and Nexus, BlackBerry, and Palm Pre and Pixi. While these all remain solid options, we thought we’d update the list with a few new smartphone picks.

So, why is a smartphone important for nurses to have? As Andrew E. Craig wrote in our previous post, smartphones are more cutting-edge than handheld computers, and are usually thinner and lighter. They even can be used to access a variety of clinical applications that can improve your workplace efficiency!

Pros and Cons of Popular Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy

Samsung has been working hard to stay in competition with Apple, releasing several editions of the lightweight and large-screened Galaxy. It’s sold well (and we can certainly see why), but there are drawbacks to consider, especially if you have small hands (the phone is huge!).

Pros and cons of the Galaxy:

  • Pros: Super thin and light; great radios; software that’s easy to use; lots of storage; a good camera.
  • Cons: Clunky display design; short battery life; feels like plastic.

Nokia Lumia 520

The most affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone from Nokia (according to its website) has some pretty great specs: A dual-core CPU, a 5-megapixel camera and a super sensitive 4-inch touchscreen.

Pros and cons of the Lumia:

  • Pros: Fast; several eco features; superior battery life; lighter than the iPhone; thin but has a large memory (with expansion if needed!).
  • Cons: No HDMI port; hardly any access to popular applications; the touch screen doesn’t always work properly.

Sony Xperia Z1

The only phone that really competes with the iPhone (in the hearts and minds of true techies, that is), the Xperia is a good choice for a smartphone. With a recently released new edition, they made further improvements on a great model.

Pros and cons of the Xperia:

  • Pros: Water and dustproof; super fast; great glass screen; solid storage space; nice camera; tons of available apps; long battery life.
  • Cons: A bit heavy and large; gets warm if used for a long period of time; busy display screen.

Motorola Razr

The Razr I is the first phone released as part of Motorola’s partnership with Intel. This smartphone touts performance from an Atom processor and an “edge-to-edge” display for a mid-range price. It’s not the fanciest of smartphones, but can certainly do the job if you’re looking to save a little cash but not skimp on quality.

Pros and cons of the Razr:

  • Pros: Thin and light; large edge-to-edge screen; great build quality; good speed; camera takes great photos and video; great screen displays and lock screen; can set up automatic settings (like turning to mute during synched meetings on your calendar); decent battery life.
  • Cons: Storage is limited; a bit slow when playing games; no HDMI port; not great at streaming content; not too many flashy extras.


If you’re an Android fan, the HTC One may be your best bet for a smartphone. The flagship phone has a vibrant and clear full HD screen, a quad-core processor offering strong performance and a fun UltraPixel camera that shoots great in low light. It’s a beautiful, bigger iPhone with rounded edges!

Pros and cons of the HTC One:

  • Pros: Looks and feels luxurious with brushed metal backing; light; the fastest web browsing phone on the market; great graphics performance; good storage; studio quality sound; music player software displays lyrics as you play songs; great voice call quality; you can pair it to your TV and use it as a remote (!); sharp screen; camera can turn images into a video.
  • Cons: Prone to scratches; gets hot when you use it for too long; camera is only average.

Note: Smartphones and PDAs come in many shapes and sizes, and finding the one that works best for you is a highly individualized process. Feel free to take these recommendations with a grain of salt.

What phone do you currently use? Would you recommend it to fellow nurses? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

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