Smartphone, what is a smartphone?

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You may have lost the thread of the current affairs and lately you get a poker face when you see a catalog of mobiles. Looking at the models that hit the market, and comparing them with the one you bought three years ago, you may suddenly not know anything. What is Android? And a Smartphone? Don't worry, we at have created this guide to get you up to speed as quickly as possible.

What is a Smartphone?

First of all, what is a Smartphone and how is it different from a lifelong mobile? Well, Smartphone is the Anglo-Saxon name for what we here call a smartphone. This definition may fall short because you find all phones smart (or stupid).

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Some operator may try to sell you a touch mobile like a smartphone. Make no mistake, it is not a smartphone because it has a touch screen, nor is it a smartphone because it does not. In fact, the word Smartphone has a lot of advertising, since there are not some characteristics accepted by everyone to define what it is. You will find many definitions, but the general consensus points to two basic aspects : having an Internet connection and the ability to install applications.

Internet on mobile

Part by part. You will no doubt remember ads from a few years ago that promised to have Internet on your mobile. And when we say a few years we mean quite a few. And if not, remember this Telefónica ad from the year 2000.

However, there are many differences between those phones that promised the Internet and current Smartphones. The biggest is that those of today work and the others basically do not.

The “ Internet ” that could be accessed a few years ago was just a series of pages designed by the operator in which very restricted content could be accessed. You couldn't visit normal web pages or you had to do it at ridiculous speed. No photos, no videos. The Internet accessed through a Smartphone is just that, the Internet, the same that can be seen from a computer.


But what many consider the difference between a Smartphone and a simple mobile phone are the applications. And what is an application? Well , an application, or App, is what we have always called a program . Just like those programs that we have always installed on our computers : word processors, spreadsheets, games, etc. and others that take advantage of the specific characteristics of a mobile phone, such as those that use the camera as a barcode or QR code reader.

And is that a Smartphone is basically that, a phone to which programs can be installed. The difference may seem small, but in practice it is huge. A traditional mobile phone has a closed operating system, with a series of preset programs that cannot be changed. The Smartphone has an operating system, more or less open , in which you can install many programs (or applications) that may not even have been created by the phone brand itself.

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After all, a Smartphone, or smart phone , is a small pocket computer with a phone included. A computer like the one you have had for years, with somewhat reduced capabilities and a ridiculous size in comparison. And in most cases, a similar price.

The biggest difference between today's smartphones is the operating system with which they operate. The dilemma that you have known for years between buying a Windows computer like everyone else, an Apple with IOS as you had seen in a movie or installing that Linux that the office computer scientist told you. Well, believe it or not, today, in mobile phones, the situation is more or less the same, although now having Windows is not the most normal.

Mobile Operating Systems


It is based on Linux and created by Google. Today it is the most widely used OS in smartphones around the world, and the one with the highest growth rate. He was not the first to arrive at the party, but today we have phones from almost all well-known brands with this system.

Some criticize it that it is too complicated to use, but its different versions are becoming more accessible to the user. Maybe there is something we haven't told you yet. When you buy a computer, it is difficult for you to ever change the operating system, however, the updates of the OS for mobile phones arrive every few months, and they usually bring very interesting news.

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Android is the paradigm of this. Since its appearance in September 2008, eight updates have been released, all named after dessert. The latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Ice Cream Sandwich in Spanish.


Apple's operating system and the one used by the most famous Smartphone, the iPhone . It is a proprietary and closed system, which does not allow much play with other platforms. But it gives them a bit of the same, because they have the largest application market that exists ”¦ For now. And it is that although they started very strong with the iPhone and its Apps , Android has been gaining ground little by little, and today they are almost tied.

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It's easy to operate, beautifully designed, and terribly expensive. The iPhone has been the benchmark when it comes to smartphones, but it has lost its reign. The variety of Android smartphones is huge, and some of the most cutting-edge make it tough competition. Today you can no longer say with your eyes closed that the iPhone is the best.

Blackberry OS

The heart of the famous Blackberry . It has filming and a good application store for these smartphones. Like Apple's system , it is closed and only works on their phones. And it is logical, because these terminals are quite different from the others.

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They do not usually have a touch screen, in fact, their screen is much smaller than that of most smartphones. They also usually include a physical keyboard. It was first the typical tool for businessmen and later became popular with young people. He is currently in decline, and trying to find new products.

Windows Phone

They were the last to arrive at the party. Microsoft got stuck trying to carry out its Windows Mobile system , which did not convince anyone, until it decided to start from scratch and present Windows Phone 7.

Today, it grows slowly thanks to Microsoft's alliance with Nokia . The system works and convinces, but the last one has arrived and, of course, its app store is still somewhat smaller than that of its competitors. As I said, the alliance with Nokia and the launch of the Lumia family can give it a lot of strength in the coming months .

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In the end, a Smartphone has much more of a computer than a telephone , and as such we have to get closer to them. Think what can this mobile do? It is something that belongs completely to the past, and today, the correct question would be more: What can I install on my mobile to do this?