What is Smartphone: Definition and 35 Discussions

A smartphone is a portable device that combines mobile telephone and computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider software, internet (including web browsing over mobile broadband), and multimedia functionality (including music, video, cameras, and gaming), alongside core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically contain a number of metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) chips, include various sensors that can be leveraged by pre-included and third-party software (such as a magnetometer, proximity sensors, barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer and more), and support wireless communications protocols (such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or satellite navigation).
Early smartphones were marketed primarily towards the enterprise market, attempting to bridge the functionality of standalone personal digital assistant (PDA) devices with support for cellular telephony, but were limited by their bulky form, short battery life, slow analog cellular networks, and the immaturity of wireless data services. These issues were eventually resolved with the exponential scaling and miniaturization of MOS transistors down to sub-micron levels (Moore's law), the improved lithium-ion battery, faster digital mobile data networks (Edholm's law), and more mature software platforms that allowed mobile device ecosystems to develop independently of data providers.
In the 2000s, NTT DoCoMo's i-mode platform, BlackBerry, Nokia's Symbian platform, and Windows Mobile began to gain market traction, with models often featuring QWERTY keyboards or resistive touchscreen input, and emphasizing access to push email and wireless internet. Following the rising popularity of the iPhone in the late 2000s, the majority of smartphones have featured thin, slate-like form factors, with large, capacitive screens with support for multi-touch gestures rather than physical keyboards, and offer the ability for users to download or purchase additional applications from a centralized store, and use cloud storage and synchronization, virtual assistants, as well as mobile payment services. Smartphones have largely replaced PDAs and handheld/palm-sized PCs.
Improved hardware and faster wireless communication (due to standards such as LTE) have bolstered the growth of the smartphone industry. In the third quarter of 2012, one billion smartphones were in use worldwide. Global smartphone sales surpassed the sales figures for feature phones in early 2013.

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  1. Delta2

    Problem with smartphone

    My smartphone seems to have a very weird problem, when ever the battery drops below 35%-30% it "loses" the sim card so I can't make or receive calls? The fix is to first recharge it fully and then turn it off and switch it back on It is a Samsung A12 Is this a known problem for A12s? Or perhaps...
  2. T

    Optical power of Smartphone (Galaxy S20) torch

    In doing a project on phototransistors I am using my smartphone as illumination source. In order to find the responsivity of the induced current from the light, I need to know the surface power density, which I could estimate, if I knew the effective optical power of the light from the...
  3. S

    Cellular or smartphone calls / texts / data when on a moving train

    Do smartphone users get good cellular service as well as good cellular data while on a moving passenger train? This is assuming no wi-fi available.
  4. ZapperZ

    Unlock the World of Smartphone Physics Experiments for Remote Learning

    This is a good article describing the rise in the use of smartphone to do various physics experiment, especially now when in-person classes are a distant memory for the time being. I've used smartphones in my in-person labs in a couple of experiments, especially using the accelerometer in the...
  5. S

    Would there be a smartphone today without Einstein's discoveries?

    I told a friend that without Einstein's discoveries he would not have his smartphone. I thought about the components (display, CPU, radio waves, ...) containing discoveries made by Einstein. But I can't name an exact example. My friend told me it's all pure electronics. No relativity and so...
  6. D

    Teleporting a modern smartphone in 1980

    This is just an imaginary experiment hence I post it in this section so the idea is that somehow I'm able to teleport my relatively modern smartphone, an Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro back in the year of 1980 together with a small printed pamphlet describing it as a computer with radio...
  7. jtbell

    Elon Musk's smartphone implants: anticipated in 1967

    Life imitates art? Elon Musk is making implants to link the brain with a smartphone (CNN) This made me think of the movie "The President's Analyst" (1967), in which a global communications conglomerate, The Phone Company (TPC), plots to take over the world by injecting microsocopic Cerebrum...
  8. Edge5

    Force felt by the accelerometer in a smartphone

    My smartphone has an accelerometer inside it. Does the phone itself and the proof mass of the accelerometer feel the same acceleration OR do they feel the same force, when I apply a force to my phone? I think they feel the same acceleration, F=ma. Force felt by proof mass and the force felt by...
  9. dRic2

    Suggestions to help me buy a smartphone

    I had a smartphones last year, then it broke and I used to get by with an old "phone" (it was actually one of the first smartphones), but I'm using it just for calls/texts and nothing else. I really got used to this "old" style: no distractions and other stuff I always hated about smartphones...
  10. prashantakerkar

    Smartphone torch light

    Is it feasible to design and develop a Smartphone torch app which can display light in different colors selected by the end user? Thanks & Regards, Prashant S Akerkar
  11. prashantakerkar

    Calculators Smartphones apps for accessing Quadcopter Drones

    Is it feasible to design and development Smartphones apps which will access,control & monitor quadcopter Drones operating at 2.4 GHz & 9.8 GHz wireless frequencies? Thanks & Regards, Prashant S Akerkar
  12. Wrichik Basu

    Can stylus be used on any smartphone?

    I have a simple Samsung Galaxy On7, Android 6.0.1. I was checking on the net if my phone can support a stylus, but didn't find any material. One of my relatives was asking me too (she has a Lenovo phone, which doesn't come with a stylus), but I couldn't give a satisfactory answer. Can any phone...
  13. Y

    Can a smartphone transmit/receive 125KHz?

    As part of my final project in my EE studies I was thinking if it is possible to read 125KHz RFID tags with a smartphone. I know it is possible with NFC (13.56MHz) and I was thinking about implementing a 125KHz reader. Is there any antenna in a regular smartphone that can deal with these low...
  14. M

    Reflection from smartphone screen

    So here's a mystery one of you may be able to solve. I noticed that the reflection of light from the fingerprints on my iPhone screen depend on it's orientation toward a light source. For instance, use your finger to make two perpendicular smudges across the screen. You'll find that the smudge...
  15. V

    Optical geometry of smartphone camera.

    I posted the following on a phone forum and got no replies, as expected. It's a bit out-of-the-way and technical. Thought this might be a better place since the question still interests me. I'm using my phone to take photos of assembly procedures on my electronics workbench. However, the focus...
  16. M

    How to measure whether a smartphone is inside a 5 meter range?

    Hi there, As currently work for company that builds mobile apps I am looking into a way to measure whether a smartphone is outside a 5 meter range. As I am not an engineer I hope your expertise can help me out in order to come up with a right direction for further research. NFC, RFID, GPS...
  17. HyperTechno

    My smartphone battery drains rapidly....

    My Huawei Y6 2 With a 5.5" HD LCD screen has a Kirin 620 CPU with 2gb RAM and 3000 mili ampear battery. The battery percentage dropped from 80% to 50% after 2 HOURS and 18 minutes of web browsing on chrome. Is this unusual? The phone is very new, bought it last month brand new. Please help. The...
  18. blue_leaf77

    How does Line search work?

    So here is the situation, I just got to know a certain person and I was recently notified through my Line that he added me as his friend. I have his phone number but he doesn't have mine. All he has about my contact is my e-mail. However, when making a Line account I was not asked to input my...
  19. Newtonfalls

    B Detecting Smartphone Waves Using Toy - VIDEO

    Hi, i came across this video on BBC yesterday: <link to video deleted> Now I wonder how this stuff works in detail? Is it the carrier wave or the multiplexer signal of the phone? best regards
  20. berkeman

    Calculators HP42 calculator on your smartphone

    A friend showed this to me today, and I downloaded it and am loving it. The HP42 was my favorite calculator, and after my latest one died many years ago, I hadn't been able to find any to buy (at a reasonable price). But now there is a free app that you can download to your phone that brings...
  21. DiracPool

    Experience the Latest in Smartphone Technology: Samsung Galaxy S4

    I love my smartphone. I love my new one more than my old one, and I Ioved my old one a lot. My old one was an LG Optimus F6. It had a 245 pixel density. 540 x 960 4.5 inch screen. Snapdragon 400 chipset, dual core Krait, 1.2 G's. It even had an Adreno GPU. Unfortunately, it only have 4...
  22. B

    Smartphone GPS Interference

    Homework Statement The number of GPS units/receivers on smartphones has increased tremendously. Is this going to cause interference? Why? Homework Equations None The Attempt at a Solution I'm not sure if the units only interfere when they are close to each other or what prevents them from...
  23. C

    Question: how do you back up your Android Phone?

    What your method to back up your Android phone? A whole back up or partial back up instead? I usually back up my content individually via Android desktop manager. How about your option?
  24. D

    Periscope for Smartphone

    Homework Statement I would like to built a periscope with lenses for a Smartphone. I know that the Smartphone camera has approximatley 4mm of focal depth. I don't want a vignette effect. Homework Equations Unfortunatley I do not know how to set the specifications of the lenses. Can someone...
  25. M

    Are smartphone accelerometers useful for vibration test?

    I've found several accelerometer apps for smartphones (for example http://www.iseismometer.com and http://www.now-instruments.com/products/3-vibsensor ). Are these useful for doing quantitative vibration analysis, and if not, what are their deficiencies?
  26. Psinter

    Will a high current (3.1A) destroy smartphone battery?

    Will a high current destroy my smartphone battery? I know very little about batteries, but I'm getting really annoyed at having to wait 8 hours for my phone battery to charge (it's a 6 year old smartphone). So I was thinking of raising the 2.1A output of the charger to 3.1A without raising the...
  27. D

    Challenge Connecting Multiple Smartphone Mic's Simply & Quickly

    Dear Readers, I'm facing a pretty interesting challenge, which is: "How to connect multiple smartphone mic's in the quickest and simplest way?" Here is a use case. I go into a meeting with a group of random (strangers) that all have smartphones, Android, iOS, Windows. Now I want to record this...
  28. B

    Smartphone and the type of wave?

    Homework Statement A person speaks into a smartphone. What type of wave does the smartphone receive? 2. The attempt at a solution I thought the answer is longitudinal wave. Is that right? Or does the smartphone receive radio waves?
  29. jtbell

    Do you really want a bigger smartphone?

    With Apple expected to announce a larger iPhone tomorrow, let's all brace for the... Attack of the Giant Cellphones! (CNN.com)
  30. C

    Second small battery in a smartphone

    Hi guys, I'm Chris from Germany. First of all, I'm not an expert in science, biology or electrical engineering. But i would have this question to experts, that's why I'm here. Sorry if my question will sound "dumb" or "easy" but as i said, i don't have any knowledge in this field. Is it...
  31. E

    Samsung vs Sony vs HTC smartphone

    Which one of these smartphones is the best? Samsung i8262 Core vs Sony Xperia M vs HTC Desire 500 Dual SIM I looked all specifications and i think HTC is first choice.
  32. A

    Could computers be made more powerful by using smartphone technology?

    So I just got a galaxy s3 and the performance is amazing. It can browse the internet just as fast as my laptop and do other things just as well. I was wondering if laptop or desktop engineers could cram in much more hardware than they already do by using shrunken smartphone technology.
  33. D

    Smartphone App Programming

    Hey all, I have an idea for a smartphone app but know nothing about how to program them. I have taken an intro programming course in which I learned C++ and MatLab but I cannot figure out which language smartphones use (I have looked online and have found many possibly unreliable answers). Is...
  34. H

    How to buy a smartphone?

    Hey guys, I don't know much about the new smartphones and all the data plans, for years I've just used a shabby prepaid phone, but now I'm kind of interested in the Blackberry Bold. I know that if I get it in stores, it will be around 50 dollars with a 3 year 60 dollar/month data plan contract...
  35. F

    Medical Cancer detection via smartphone app

    http://www.scientiaweb.com/2011/02/28/smartphone-app-that-helps-doctor-detect-cancer/ Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have developed a system to detect cancer in a patient that will save them from many painfully long tests needed otherwise.