A smartphone is a mobile phone that is more computer functionality and connectivity as a conventional advanced mobile phone. Current smartphones can usually have additional applications (called apps) to upgrade the individual users with new features. A smartphone can also be seen as a small portable computer (PDA) with additional functionality of a mobile phone.

Smartphones can be distinguished by the following features of traditional mobile phones, PDAs and electronic organizers:

  • Smart phones are optimized in design and operation not only for making calls, but to the ease of use allow a wider range of applications. Typical features are thus relatively large and high resolution displays, alphanumeric keyboard and / or touch screens.
  • Smartphones usually have an operating system with open API specified (see operating systems). It allows the user to install third party programs. Mobile phones have in contrast, usually a pre-defined user interface, which is limited, for example, Java applications can be extended.
  • Smartphones often have different sensors, which are rarely found in traditional mobile phones. This includes in particular motion, position, magnetic field, light and proximity sensors and GPS receiver.

These features provide the foundation for smart phones mobile office and data communications into one device. The user can enter data (such as addresses, text and dates) on the keyboard or a pen and install additional software itself. Most devices have a digital camera and some have two, including one for video telephony.

The PDAs are in, for example, to synchronize common connection types such as WLAN, Bluetooth, Infrared or USB cable connection complemented by the usual range of the mobile communication protocols such as GSM, UMTS (and HSDPA), GPRS and HSCSD for example.

It is for example possible to use the road next to the mobile telephony, SMS, MMS, e-mails, and, with modern devices, video conferencing via UMTS and Internet telephony (VoIP) with Wi-Fi Internet access points. Theoretically, it can be received in addition to streaming video from the Internet (eg over WLAN) and television programs over DVB-H and with the appropriate hardware and DVB-T.

Another example is the built-in or optional Java support (CLDC or MIDP on-base) - Mobile phones are considered as one of the most popular applications of embedded Java.

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