What Makes a Smartphone Smart?

Smartphones offer additional features beyond a typical cell phone

A smartphone adds features to a basic 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 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.

Internet Access

More smartphones can access the web at higher speeds. Thanks to the growth of data networks and the regular roll-out of higher standards, 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 popular instant messaging apps.

Most phones today are smartphones although you can still find a few without some of these features if you look hard enough. Given today's connected world, however, it's a good idea to just buy a smartphone so you can stay in touch any way you want with the ones you love.

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