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  • Availability in-country. 
    • In case of theft or damage, there should be a reasonably fast and efficient way to get a replacement.
    • Local phones also come with the right fonts/character set, dates, voltages, and plugs needed in-country
    • Availability of local servicing outlets in case of device damage and need for repair
  • If not sourcing locally:
    • Unlocked. Particularly if sourcing a phone from a high-income country, many phones get locked into particular network providers and 
    • Correct frequency band for the country of deployment
  • Accessories (might include SD card, SIM cards, solar chargers, extra batteries, extra chargers (if poor quality grid electricity), plug adapters (if sourced from somewhere with different plugs), locks or boxes to prevent theft (if phone is attached to a facility), engraver to label devices (to prevent theft)...
  • Battery life. This is particularly important if you're working in rural areas where access to power can be infrequent or expensive.
  • Longevity of the platform. Will the model you choose still be available in-country in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years?
  • Likelihood of theft. Is the phone similar to others in the region or will it stand out as obviously a higher-end phone?
  • Ruggedization. How easy is it to break the phone?
  • Cost
  • Speed/memory
  • Screen size and resolution
  • Desired features (e.g. camera, GPS)

Table: Device Selection Criteria

 

SMS

Android Phone

Android Tablet

Computer

Feature Phone

(JAVA Enabled)

Hardware Factors

Availability

All Phones

Country Dependent

Country Dependent

All PCs or Laptops

Country Dependent

Battery Life

High

High

(1 – 1.5 days)

Medium

(1 day)

Low

(4 hours)

High

(2-3 days)

Durability

High

Medium

Medium

High

High

Initial Cost

n/a

$150 - $250

$400 - $600

$500

$75 - $100

Usability Factors

Questions per Transaction

1

1,000s

1,000s

1,000s

100s

Cases stored per device

0

1,000s

1,000s

unlimited

100s

Questions per screen

0

3-5

5-7

unlimited

2-3

Works Offline

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

...