The Definition of a Smartphone

Originally our mobile phones were designed to make and receive calls but with mobile phones getting so advanced in functionality we’ve started to call them smart – or the phone companies have made us call them smart. Nonetheless, our typical opinion of a phone which isn’t smart would be a Nokia 3310 but that is our opinion of a traditional¬†mobile phone that makes calls and SMS.

Nokia 3310

Lately, I have had a lot of people telling me and commenting about smart phones along the lines of “Why do I need a smart phone when all I need it to do is make calls?”. The answer is,¬†“You don’t, but it is difficult not to find a smart phone”. And when someone’s smart phone is running slow “All I want to do is make a call but I can’t! How the f**k is this a phone!?”. My answer is “It’s not a phone” (or at least its primary function isn’t to be a phone).

So, if it is not a phone, what is it? I’d say it’s a PDA (personal digital assistance). Remember those?

PDA

I guess PDAs were never popular as I can only count the number of PDA owners I knew on one hand. If we were ought to compare a smartphone today with a PDA, and a smart phone today with a traditional mobile phone, there would be more similarities in terms of functionality with the PDA than a traditional mobile phone. Both Nokia 3310 and PDAs were out at the same time but our smart phones today have been given to us by an evolution from our traditional mobile phones as oppose to being derived from the old PDAs. I would use Nokia/Symbian OS as an example of direction followed by the first Apple iPhone who pioneered the type of smartphone we use today (i.e. not much of a phone but more of a PDA). Unfortunately, we’ve been stuck with this term “smartphone” where the phone is more of a secondary if not tertiary function of what we use the device for.

SmartPhone OnePlus One

In conclusion, our smartphones do make phone calls, but in fairness, it’s all about the apps now and not about the phone calls.

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