Smart-Phone, PDA or Mobile Phone – What are You Using?

Posted in (Tech Trends)

In this article, we will analyse mobile devices which falls under the category of Electronic products. Today’s consumer electronics serve multiple purposes! Years ago cellular phones, also called cellphones or mobile phones, served a singular purpose. They let you send and receive voice communication. Today, mobile phones and similar devices are equipped with customized software, Internet access, digital cameras, portable music players, GPS functions and much more.

As technological advances, common terminology such as mobile phone, smart-phone, PDA and PDA phone become difficult to decipher. Each type of device changes constantly and features traditionally belonging to one type of device are now found on others as well. Here we will explore the popular category of mobile communication devices, the similarities and differences between some of the popular products to understand the mobile devices comparison.

What is a Mobile Phone?

A mobile phone is more frequently called a cellular phone or cellphone. These communication devices connect to a wireless communications network through radio waves or satellite transmissions. Most mobile phones provide voice communications, Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Message Service (MMS), and newer phones may also provide internet services such as Web browsing, instant messaging capabilities and e-mail.

What is a PDA?

Short for Personal Digital Assistant, this is the name given to small handheld devices that combine computing, telephone/fax, internet and networking features. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone, fax sender, web browser and personal organizer. These devices are usually pen-based, which requires the use of a stylus rather than a keyboard for input. PDAs today are available in either a stylus or keyboard version. Traditionally, PDAs did not have phone or fax services. The Palm Treo 700p and Motorola Q are considered to be a PDA phone.

What is a Smart-Phone?

A smart-phone is considered to be a combination of the traditional PDA and cellular phone, with a bigger focus on the cellular phone part. These handheld devices integrate mobile phone capabilities with the more common features of a handheld computer or PDA. Smart-phones allow users to store information, e-mail, and install programs, along with using a mobile phone in one device. The features of a smart-phone are usually more oriented towards mobile phone options than the PDA-like features. There is no industry standard for what defines a smart-phone, so any mobile device that has more than basic cellphone capabilities can actually be filed under the smart-phone category of devices. The RIM BlackBerry 8800 is considered a smart-phone — but its borderline on being a handheld PC device due to its size and features. The popular Apple iPhone is a combination of smart-phone and iPod

What is a PDA Phone?

It’s definitely a lack of standardization that makes the category of mobile devices so confusing to the consumer. As technology changes, so do the functions that these different devices perform. Years ago, many people differentiated PDA and smart-phone simply by looking for touch-screen capabilities. If it had a touch screen it was a PDA, if it didn’t, it was a smart-phone.  The Sony Ericsson’s smart-phone, for example, offers users both a touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard.  Despite the fact that the manufacturer calls this product a smart-phone, the generic term for a PDA oriented device with cellular phone capabilities is called a PDA phone.

The Pocket PC itself is not a specific category of mobile devices, but rather the name given to PDAs that use the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system. In order to carry the Pocket PC label, the device must meet specific criteria such as use Microsoft’s Windows Mobile for Pocket PCs, include a touch screen, include a touchpad, and other specifications. The HP iPAQ Mobile Messenger is a Pocket PC

Did you know…

The first cellular call was placed on April 3, 1973 by Martin Cooper who was the general manager of Motorola’s Communications Systems Division. He made the call to his rival, Joel Engel, Bell Labs head of research.

Article author - M. Shahanawaz

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