What Is a Smartphone?

Not every phone is smart but yours probably is


A smartphone is worth buying because it's a device that lets you make telephone calls, but also adds features that you might find on a personal digital assistant or a computer. A smartphone also offers the ability to send and receive e-mail and edit Office documents, for example.

While there is no standard definition of the term "smartphone" across the industry, there are a few features that you'll find on every smartphone.

Here's a list:

Smartphones Use Operating Systems

A smartphone will be based on an operating system that allows it to run productivity applications, such as the BlackBerry OS, the Palm OS, or Windows Mobile.

Other Smartphone Features

A smartphone will offer more than just an address book. It may allow you to create and edit Microsoft Office documents or manage your finances.

Every true smartphone offers some sort of access to the internet. You can use your smartphone to browse your favorite Web sites, for example, or catch breaking new. If there is no internet access, you don't have a smartphone. Some people don't like this feature because they feel their smartphone is spying on them using the internet connection. 

All smartphones also include a QWERTY keyboard, so the keys are laid out in the same manner they would be on your computer keyboard.

All cell phones can send and receive text messages, but what sets a smartphone apart is its ability to send and receive e-mail.

Some smartphones can support multiple e-mail accounts. Others include access to the popular instant messaging services, like AOL's AIM and Yahoo! Messenger.

Alternate Spellings: smart phone