When business people talk smart devices, they usually only mean BlackBerry and Apple.

So, in the past month, I’ve been trying out some other smart devices instead, to see how the competition stacks up.

Seeing is believing

Firstly, I was lucky enough to get my hands on the brand new Nokia Lumia 1020, which boasts a massive 41-megapixel camera. Super high-quality pictures do tend to be a bit niche in normal business activities. But I was seriously impressed that it offered both a simple point-and-shoot mode for everyday users as well as a variety of manual controls to keep the professional photographer occupied.

I’ve also been able to use Microsoft Lync 2013 on the Lumia 1020 – which is a brilliant addition. It’s allowed me to take full advantage of video calls and business messaging. And it’s been seamless over 3G and wifi. Using it with 4G has only enhanced collaboration on the move.

Office on the go

As a Windows phone, it’s unsurprising that the 1020 provides excellent Office integration. It renders Office documents better than my iPhone 5 does. And by using the 1020, I stopped getting complaints about using the wrong font when I edited documents.

A man of many interfaces

I’ve been using the Nokia Lumia 920 on and off for quite a while now, so I’m familiar with the Windows Phone 8 interface and the transition to the 1020 was a simple one. I was impressed with how easily it restored my backup from my 920; I was up and running in less than half an hour.

I’ve grown used to putting applications into folders on my iPhone. I can’t do that on Windows Phone 8, but grouping them into categories with scalable active tiles works just as well. In fact, it’s a very effective way of organising your home-screen for quick access to all your essential business apps.

What’s in store?

In a similar way, my concern over the smaller apps ecosystem for Windows Phone 8 proved to be unfounded. I’ve been able to find equivalents of even the most obscure apps I use – like Home Automation. And, even if certain elements of Windows Phone 8 apps don’t work in the same way, web access is so feature-rich, it easily fills in any gaps.

Does it work for work?

I’m not here to give you a score out of 100, but I have been surprised at how quickly I’ve been tempted away from my iPhone by the Nokia 1020.

The Windows Phone 8 interface is certainly an improvement on its predecessor and there are already a good number of quality apps (for business and home use). In all, this high-end phone has got a lot going for it.

If your business wants to try a device that’s a little bit different, Windows Phone 8 is a really good operating system to look at. There are devices in all price bands, but the Nokia Lumia 1020 has placed itself at the top of the pile and presents itself as a really powerful business tool.

Work out of the ordinary with a Windows smartphone from O2. Speak to your Account Manager or contact Tara Wilson on 01235 443670. You can also follow us on Twitter @O2Businessuk.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
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