A graphic image that represents a person.
On a phone, an avatar can be a cartoon-like graphic that serves as a visual symbol to identify different people for caller-ID purposes.
More advanced types of avatars are animated. An animated avatar can serve as a "virtual anchorman" for a multimedia newscast displayed on a phone.
An even more advanced type of avatar is an animated character that represents someone you know, where the face is automatically animated to match their voice, as a type of virtual video call.
Animated avatars use far less bandwidth than streaming video, saving money on data charges.