What Is A Smartphone?!
What is a
Ok, so we've had a good discussion about why
smartphone selection was historically poor in the prepaid
space, and why it will continue to
increase (if you missed it, head over to Prepaid
). But now the question is:
"What makes a
smartphone smart?" There's actually no industry standard
definition of a smartphone, and people's perception of what it is
changes over time as technology evolves. For example, a phone
with a calendar, contacts, and email used to be considered a
smartphone (believe it or not!), however, these features are now
commonly found on
relatively low end feature phones. Here are some features
people believe help to define a what is a smartphone:
System - The operation system of smartphones is more
sophisticated, typically allowing for a high degree of customizable
options and settings (though it's arguable that the iPhone is not
customizable). It's also usually open to software
and allows installation of third party games and applications.
Some examples include: Google
Android OS, Apple
iOS, BlackBerry OS (now extinct), Palm WebOS (now extinct), Windows
Symbian (now virtually extinct), and
- Keyboard - Data
entry is an important element of smartphones. They'll
typically have a QWERTY keyboard, whether a physical or virtual (i.e.
Access - While most regular phones offer some type of Web
access, smartphones have a much richer browsing experience.
they don't always have to have a full HTML browser, what you can view
is far superior to a regular WAP (Wireless Application
even many "normal" phones can access email, and even do Instant
Messaging, smartphones have a much richer experience, mirroring
closer to what you would find on your personal computer.
As screen resolution and size
continue continued to improve/increase, the reading experience
has become truly pleasurable.
Where it used to be a feature found only a certain phones, and some
carriers proactively opted not to have it, WiFi has long since become
part of a
phone's core functionality. At first wireless
providers resisted included WiFi on their smartphones, thinking that it
would mean that customers wouldn't be so attached to their
services and network.
However, as data usage became so high, they realized that
offloading data to WiFi networks would help to reduce costs, as well as
improve the customer experience with generally faster
particular, I find it useful when I'm traveling abroad and don't want
to pay for data roaming. I can still use WiFi to access
Internet, Google Maps, etc. It's also said to improve battery
life compared to using a 3G or 4G network, however, I have yet to
notice or test this claim. They now even offload
voice calls using "WiFi Calling".
The Bottom Line!
- Large Screen-
probably seems pretty obvious, but it has to be noted for completeness.
Smartphones will always have a larger than normal
Though note that screen size can vary largely.
Interestingly, the original iPhones with 3.5" screens were
considered enormous, while now 4" screens are seen as being quite
small. The Galaxy Note has such a large screen that a new
was created for it: the "Phablet"; i.e. a cross
between a Phone and a Tablet!
all is said and done, all of these details about what is a smartphone
are to say that smartphones
are exciting, fun, and available on a prepaid, no-contract
Over time we've seen the selection of prepaid
increase to the point of being on par with postpaid.
The limits are really boundless! Interestingly, the
latest generation of youth likely doesn't even know what a
non-smartphone is, for they've grown up solely on iPhones and Android
Check out the Mobile
page to learn about a fantastic mobile broadband
option, or learn
how to turn your phone into a mobile hotspot with a Tethering