Smartphone – What it is, concept, history and features

We explain what a smartphone smartphones is, its characteristics and differences with other phones. In addition, we tell you how its origin and history was. The arrival of smartphones has changed the way we do things.

A smartphone, also known as a smartphone (from the English smart, “smart”, and phone, “phone, “phone”), is a portable device that combines the traditional functions of a cell phone, with those of a pocket computer or touch tablet. Its name “smart” comes from the fact that it is capable of executing many complex functions, in addition to simply communicating by phone to two people.

Smartphones are a type of cell phone, and constitute its technological evolution, its most advanced version, whose existence is possible thanks to the invention and popularization of the internet, and the so-called Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Thus, a smartphone not only allows you to make calls and send text messages, but also surf the Internet, establish video calls, send emails, use social networks, take pictures, scan documents, and many other innovative functions.

The emergence of smartphones is considered a milestone of great importance in the contemporary history of technology, which has quickly left a deep mark on the way we do things, from working and shopping to getting a partner and entertaining. After less than 20 years of mass presence, smartphones are more popular than ever and are deeply integrated into our daily lives, so they have become an indispensable tool of the 21st century.

As is often the case with anglicisms and foreign language borrowings, the term smartphone is always written in italics, and academic institutions recommend the use of “smartphone” instead.

See also: Input and output devicesOrigin and history of smartphonesThe first antecedent of smartphones was the PDA.

The first smartphones emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s, from the integration of traditional cell phones and digital agenda or pocket computer devices, known at the time as PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant).

These first “hybrid” phones offered the functions of both devices in one: the ability to make phone calls and small analog screens, which allowed the registration of names and numbers, as well as small notes and messages.

The leap forward of this type of devices brought with it the OmniGo 700LX, manufactured and marketed by Hewlett-Packard in 1996. It was a hybrid phone with a grayscale LCD screen, compatible with the DOS 5.0 operating system and capable of making calls, creating and receiving text messages, and also emails and faxes. In the same device were combined an HP 200LX and a Nokia 2110 cell phone, which represented an advance in the milestone reached in 1993 by IBM with its hybrid models.

However, the first smartphone itself emerged in 1999, almost from the hand of third-generation technology (3G), which emerged in 2001 and allowed the transmission of information at high speeds, which allowed the sending of larger data packets (photos, videos, etc.). This first properly smart phone was the pdQ Smartphone, from the company Qualcomm, and combined a Palm PDA with a CDMA cell phone with internet connectivity.

Another great quantum leap in smart telephony was made in 2007 with the launch of the first iPhone by Apple, which significantly changed the standards and aesthetics of telephony forever. Its operating system (iOS) was revolutionary and its only real competitor appeared in 2008: Android. Both were the prevailing systems in smart telephony for the next decade.

Since then, smartphones have only gained features and grown in complexity. The marked trend towards the miniaturization of cell phones, for example, began to reverse with the adoption of the touchscreen, which required increasingly bulky devices to have functional and color screens, along with the large batteries needed to power the system.

To this must be added the appearance of 4G networks (from 2010 onwards) and the announcement of 5G (expected by 2025), which brought with it a huge increase in the capabilities of smartphones, hand in hand with downloadable apps from the internet and the incorporation of cameras of increasingly better quality. Differences between a smartphone and a basic cell phone

The big difference between a smartphone and a conventional cell phone has to do with the possibility of handling large amounts of data through the phone signal, which allows the smartphone to connect to the Internet, and thus send and receive emails, instant messaging and other software packages.

While traditional cell phones clung to the idea of being a phone (and therefore serve to make calls or, at most, send and receive short text messages), smartphones took a step forward. Telephone communication is just one of the many functions of a smartphone, and it is possible that it is even one of the least used, since they are, at bottom, pocket computers. Instead, a basic cell phone is committed solely to its task of making calls. Main features of a smartphoneA smartphone is a multitasking device that exceeds telephone communication.

The main technical features of a smartphone are:

  • It combines the functions of telephone communication with the data processing of computers.
  • It allows connection to the internet and to different information transmission networks, such as GPS (Global Positioning System). In them you can send and receive large data packets.
  • It has a touch-responsive screen that allows the user to input information into the system, such as keyboards and pointers on ordinary computers. Generally, the screen is liquid crystal.
  • It contains some kind of operating system that regulates the allocation of resources and complies with the user’s instructions.
  • It has added and built-in functions such as camera (front and rear), bluetooth receiver, microSD memory card reader, SIM Card reader, wireless connectivity through radio waves (WiFi), fingerprint recognition, among many others. It is a multitasking device.
  • It also fulfills the role of agenda and personal organizer, as well as as a device for entertainment, socialization, mathematical calculation, and many other uses, depending on the software that is downloaded (apps or applications).

Advantages and disadvantages of smartphones

Like all technology, smartphones facilitate human tasks and provide great opportunities, but they also bring with them significant challenges. Some of its advantages and disadvantages are:

Advantages of smartphones

  • They centralize very different processes (telephony, personal agenda, game tools, among others) in the same device that fits in a pocket.
  • They expand the possibility of human communication to levels never seen before and through different channels and tools: oral, written and audiovisual.
  • They allow you to venture into online shopping and surf the internet with ease and practicality, which makes the smartphone a useful tool to work and also to enjoy leisure.
  • The large number of apps that are generated daily allow a very versatile operation of the device, even as a work tool.
  • They are relatively light and small devices, which fit in a pocket and can be connected to other devices wired and wirelessly.