What is Smartphones: Definition and 13 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. A

    Android Devices and Nerds (poll)

    Greetings folks. I have noticed that a lot of people into physics and math tend to use Androids (Samsung, etc), so here is a poll to see if that is true. I like both operating systems, but currently use a lower range Android, but am planning on getting a mid-range Android from Samsung instead of...
  2. bob012345

    If Ma Bell had not been Broken Up Would We have Smartphones Today?

    If Ma Bell had not been broken up would we have smartphones today?
  3. kolleamm

    Where can I find small speakers like the ones in smartphones?

    The speakers in smartphones are very loud for their size. Where can I find a small one like this? Everything on Amazon or eBay is significantly larger. There are small speakers online but they are no where near as loud as the smartphone ones. Thanks in advance.
  4. dRic2

    Smartphones and radiation health effects

    Is it just me or lately there is a big fuss about this? I keep running into news of a recent study that has found smartphones may induce cancer on rats and so on... Did they really find something relevant or is it just the same old story?
  5. prashantakerkar

    Smartphones with inbuilt projector circuit

    Is it feasible to design and construct State of the art Smartphones with inbuilt mini projector device functionality ? As we know there is a inbuilt torch feature in the Smartphones but has limited functionality. If not, Why? Thanks & Regards, Prashant S Akerkar
  6. prashantakerkar

    Calculators Cooling fan for Smartphones CPU

    Is there a cooling fan with a heat sink on the Smartphones CPU - Quadcore processor and above similar to the desktop and Server CPU? If not, why?. Is it not required? Thanks & Regards, Prashant S Akerkar
  7. 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
  8. M

    Graphing Calculators vs. Smartphones

    I was wondering about to buy a graphing/scientific calculator but I have some hesitations. Should I really buy one to make math study better or would buying a smartphone be a better choice? I have an win 8.1 smartphone with 512 mb ram and 4.5-inch screen. Would it be a better choice to buy a...
  9. K

    Content transfer between smartphones

    My old iPhone 5S is retiring. Today got my new LG G6. I am able to sync the contacts to G6 via Gmail. My question is how to transfer text messages, photos, notes and music from iPhone to G6? There are about 70G of data.
  10. J

    Magnets and Smartphones: A Dangerous Combination?

    So I've been looking at information at how magnets interact with things like credit cards, smartphones, etc. and I've noticed that there's an endless debate as to how magnets affect smartphones. I realize that it has to do with the size of the magnet and exposure, so for the sake of example...
  11. MathematicalPhysicist

    Speeding up charging speed of smartphones.

    Is it technologically possible to improve the speed of these machine's charging? I mean, I want to go now for a walk, but it seems I need to charge my phone for at least 30 minutes, can we lower the expected charging time? What obstacles do we find to overcome this? Thanks in advance, MP.
  12. G

    Do you tolerate smartphones at the dinner table?

    So I was at the restaurant last night, and noticed that at every single table with parents that had kids that looked like they were in college/high school/ or even preteen, all of the kids were on their smart phones for almost the entire dinner. The one table looked like there were 2 or 3...
  13. B

    Accelerometers in Smartphones and Tablets

    Today's smartphones, almost every model have accelerometers. Is it possible that one can obtain the x,y,z co-ordinate positions from these accelerometers time to time? And how accurate are these values? Means what's the frequency of receiving signals? What is the approx. minimum displacement...