What Makes a Smartphone Smart?

Smartphones offer additional features beyond a typical cell phone

A smartphone adds features to a cell phone—such as email and web browsing. It connects to the internet and offers personalized services as a result.


Why Are They Called Smartphones?

Key Smartphone Features

In general, a smartphone runs an operating system that supports mobile and web applications. Apple's iPhone runs iOS, and BlackBerry smartphones run BlackBerry OS. Other devices run Google's Android OS, HP's WebOS, and Microsoft's Windows Phone. By 2020, Android and iOS capture almost all the global market.


While almost all cell phones include some sort of software—even the most basic models these days include an address book or some sort of contact manager, for example—a smartphone creates and edits Microsoft Office documents, download apps such as personal and business finance managers, capture and edit photos, get driving directions via GPS, and create a playlist of digital tunes.

Web Access

More smartphones can access the web at higher speeds, thanks to the growth of 4G and 3G data networks and the roll-out of the new 5G standard, a mix of mobile data and Wi-Fi data makes these devices powerhouses at consuming media.


All cell phones can send and receive text messages, but what sets a smartphone apart is its handling of email. A smartphone can sync with your personal and, most likely, your professional email account. Most smartphones support several email accounts. Others include access to the popular instant messaging apps.

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