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A category of mobile phone that provides the functions of a small computer. Smartphones run complete operating system (OS) software that provides a standardized interface and platform for advanced third-party apps. Popular smartphone OSes include Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

See: OS

Compared to more basic phones, smartphones also usually have larger displays and more powerful processors.

Most applications written for a given smartphone platform can run on almost any smartphone with that platform, regardless of manufacturer.

Basic phones that are not smartphones are called Feature Phones.

See: Feature Phone

Last updated Feb 7, 2017 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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