What’s the difference between a basic phone and a smartphone?
Question by DrSunil Vaswani /

What are the differences between an advanced-basic phone and a smart-phone? In terms of practical uses to a common user and features and specifications? At what point does something stop being just a cell phone and is instead a smartphone?

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Answers (20)
  • Drsunil V

    Thanks to experts

  • Min Xuan Xie

    In the past, it’s easy to tell the difference between a feature phone and a smartphone. Physical keypad/keyboard vs Touchscreen. Slow vs Fast. Cheap vs Expensive. etc.

    But now, it’s harder to differentiate the two types of phones as phone makers constantly tries to add different features from a smartphone into a feature phone. One perfect example of this is the Nokia Asha series. They may look like smartphones, with some sporting a full touchscreen and others a smaller touchscreen and a full keyboard, or they have very fast processors and so on. However, they are still feature phones, though at a premium end. Yes, it’s very hard to tell about these phones and they are often mislabeled as smartphones, but these phones are designed to make smartphone more affordable to all so that they can experience the use of a smartphone themselves, while keeping the fire in the pocket at a minimum.

  • Bruce Carrie

    I think the difference is smart phones are software based, programmable and users can add or remove apps at will.

  • Sunil

    I had asked difference between advanced-basic phone and smart-phone but the word ‘advanced’ may have got unintentionally mal-edited

    • Rajaa Chowdhury

      Advanced and Basic are terms contradictory to each other. The two categories of mobile phones categorized are basic / feature phones and smartphones. As this two categories hve already been aptly described above, probably the third category defined by you as advanced basic phone will certainly have all the features of a basic phone plus probably features like twitter, Facebook and email access. Someone above said that in smartphones you can install apps and in basic phones we cannot. So as the advanced basic phones is still a sub class of a basic phone, so let us abide to the definition and probably say you cannot still cannot install 3rd. party apps to a advanced basic phone.

  • Oklahoma_Mike

    To me the difference is pretty simple. If a phone has the capability of installing “apps” then it becomes a smart phone. Otherwise it’s a basic cell phone.

    • Min Xuan Xie

      Opera Mini supports a HUGE number of phone models and some, if not most, aren’t smartphones at all.

  • Bishal Heuju

    Smartphones are the phones which are smart. In other words, smartphones are able to do nearly anything that is possible to do on a pc because there are so much apps available for those purpose. Android, iphones, blackberry, windows phones are the most popular smartphones available. Smartphones have just very much more features than cellphones. Cellphones may limit your job but smartphones overcome them.

  • Rajaa Chowdhury

    Basic phone or feature phone as it is popularly known, where phones which were meant to do only SMS texting and make and receive calls. However, with passage of time, media functionality like music/video players, FM radio and some basic level of data access all became a part of the feature phones. Now even twitter and facebook access are getting integrated to basic / feature phones. The smartphone concepts in the initial days had more to do wth full corporate e-mail access and office productivity capability aka similar to Microsoft Office on your phone. Initially this was driven by the Blackberry of yesteryear along-with probably the Nokia Communicator and the E series. Still today smartphones has more to do with full internet access, corporate and personal email access and office productity with apps similar to Documents on Go or Kingsoft office and thousand of similar office productivity apps. Over it with passage of time, GPS location service, voice recognition and command, and thousands of app choices have got thrown in. In tems of communications, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G/4G have all piled on. However, as times goes on, the demarcation between feature phone and smartphones are getting thinner and thineer till ultimately one day everyone will be carrying some sort of smartphones only. Obviously the prices of low end smartphones will be driven to the level of feature phones of today. We are already seeing that trend.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury

      Also smartphones are slowing becoming part of corporate networks and are getting integrated in corporate policy ad security with corporate device management policies and show up as objects in the NDS/ADS or LDAPs.

    • Sunil

      hullo I had asked difference between advanced-basic phone and smart-phone but the word ‘advanced’ may have got unintentionally mal-edited

  • DalSan M

    The term “smartphone” has changed over the years. Officially, smartphones are any phones that can accomplish e-mails and some form of internet access. Now it is used towards touchscreen phones with internet access and downloadable applications and the possibility of productivity apps being used. Most of the people nowadays only accept touchscreen phones running either android, iOS, or Windows Phone, though they are of the higher class smartphones and just about any phone you can get is essentially a smartphone (so long as it is email and internet capable). Now it is really a difference of smartphone or “smarter” phone.

    • Sunil

      hi I had asked difference between advanced-basic phone and smart-phone but the word ‘advanced’ may have got unintentionally mal-edited

    • DalSan M

      Sorry about that. An advanced feature phone is one that generally has less processing power, memory, and application program options than a full-fledged smartphone. Productivity suite features would probably be one main application that may not be offered on an advanced basic phone. Advanced basic phones are for filling the gap between basic cell phones and smartphones (of today), allowing more functionally with less cost, but not full-featured as a smartphone. Essentially, they are both pretty much “smartphones” because of the internet capabilities and email capabilities, but the media and public misguides and changes the meaning to things into what they want in order to make products sound better than another.

  • Chris Marcoe

    I’ve always thought of a regular phone as one that you can use to call and text. That is it.

    As for a smartphone, its everything besides the text and calling that makes it a smartphone. Basically, if you need a data plan, even if you are not using it, you have a smartphone.

  • ha14

    smartphone i think was for non touch phone devices like windows mobile smartphone and touch screen mobile was for windows mobile phone. also smarphone can be used for advanced phones if you compare to basic phone that can do call and small text messaging.

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