If you’re giving a job of picking out counterfeit money how would you go about it? By memorizing every kind of counterfeit? No. Your time would be better spent if you studied real money. After you know what real cash look like, you could recognize a counterfeit. Similarly when we learn about smartphones, we can easily identify them even without seeing them, from their specifications, features and others we will know them. After all they say by their fruits we shall know them.

Think about the question that titled this post, this is one of the most important question you can ask if you’re a smartphone user.

No doubt you’ve been hearing about Smartphones, infact you may have become familiar with that word despite not knowing its full meaning, because of this you may now feel like you know what it means. But do you really know what you need to know? Do you confuse smartphones with feature phones, dumb phones and even tablets? What are the different and types of smartphones we have?

You should endevour to ask and seek answers to this questions, not only will the answers help you make some important decisions it will also help you fill the void created by lack of information.

We are going on a journey yes a journey into the world of smartphones, we are going to explore them, compare them and fish there types out. So strap on your seat belt, relax and focus, this is a ride like no other.

Phones that are smart what are they?

They are mobile phones with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than basic phones, They are  very small in size when compared with a computer, but possess many features including all of those features found in ordinary phones (more on that later) plus the features of a touchscreen computer, including web browsing, Wi-Fi, and 3rd-party apps.

Like computers smartphones run on an operating system (OS). With a processor, random access memory(RAM) and harddisk drive (HDD) for some, those are the key components of phones that are smart, as such it deserves our consideration.

What is a smartphone Operating System (OS)

An operating system on a mobile phone, is an environment that brings together the two main parts of a phone i.e the hardware and software together fusing it to allow the smooth operation of the phone via visual display, it also have a say on functionality and ability of that smartphone.

This operating system is responsible for the overall function of the device, switch on your device the OS kicks in and helps power your device exactly how it is programmed, download an app, launch your browser, play your favourite games it is all made possible through the OS. It can be rightly said that the operating system is one of the major cog in a smartphone; in a layman’s words, it can be said to be an invisible link that connects the wires, metals, and leads found inside a phone thereby successfully making it available on liquid crystal displays (LCDs) or screens.

Types of Mobile Operating Systems (OS)

There are different types of operating systems on mobile, each with its own capabilities; functions, features and specs etc. This is where the following OS comes in
*. Java (platform)
*. Symbian
*. Android
*. iOS
*. Windows
*. Blackberry

Java Mobile Operating System or platform

Java phones

This is a Java platform designed for embedded systems such as mobile devices. Target devices range from industrial controls to mobile phones (especially feature  phones) and set-top boxes. Java is also known as Java Platform, Micro Edition, or Java ME, it was formerly known as Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition(J2ME).

The Java platform is used to power a lot of phones, mostly features phones as in old generation Nokia, Samsung, LG devices that are intenet enabled with cameras. Mobile devices that run on Java has limited functions, yes they have cameras, internet, and can do calls and text messages just like smartphones, but very limited, for example a Java phone can take a picture, a smartphone can take a picture, so what the heck they are the same? No the difference is in the quality, while the former tend to be of low quality the latter is clear, crisp and of high quality.

Examples of Java phones

This is how you know Java phones when you see it, so that you wont mistake any with dumb phones. Java phones has the following
*. Look out for Memory Cards (external storage usually micro SD but not a must), a camera, keyboards (Querty or 123abc)
*. Wifi absent,
*. No RAM, no harddisk,
*. Infared present

This are examples of feature or Java phones by brands and phone models


Nokia C series like C1, Asha series like Asha 200, E series like E5, X series like X2, 5200, xpressmusic and many others.

Old generation Samsung device, LG, Sagem, etc.

That can help you get the idea of what Java phone is. For a clearer understanding about feature phones, dumb phones and smartphones see

what makes a phone a phone.

 ii. Symbian Mobile Operating System

symbian smartphones

Symbian is a closed-source ( EPL) mobile operating system (OS) and computing platform made for smartphones, it is designed to be compatable with Java platform, installing Java applications (.jad, .jar) and Symbian applications (.sis) with ease. A thing which do not happen between tho other two remaining OSes. The Symbian platform is an improvement when campared to Java, as it accepts many applications also apps especially games are faster. Symbian is the first truely built OS for smartphones, it was rocking prior to  2010 as many cell phone manufacters adopted it as their number one OS for manufacturing smartphones. This started a massive exodus from Java to Symbian until it was halted by the emergence of Android.


Some mobile phone manufacturers include S60( Nokia, Samsung and LG), UIQ( Sony Ericssonand Motorola) and MOAP(S) (Japanese only such as Fujitsu, Sharpetc.)

Features of Symbian OS

Symbian has had a native graphics toolkit since its inception, known as AVKON or Series 60. S60 was designed to be manipulated by a keyboard-like interface metaphor, such as the ~15-key augmented telephone keypad, or the mini-QWERTY keyboards. AVKON-based software is binary-compatible with Symbian versions up to and including Symbian 3.
Symbian 3 includes the Qt framework, which is now the recommended user interface toolkit for new applications. Qt can also be installed on older Symbian devices.

When it comes to browser some older  Symbian 3 phones uses webkit, while some others use Opera mini as its default browser. Nokia browser, an improved browser is now used on newly built Symbian Nokia phones.

iii. Android mobile Operating System

The true definition of smartphone came alive with the advent of Android, no wonder this is amazingly the most popular OS out there.

Android is an operating system based on the Linux kernel with a user interface based on direct  manipulation, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet  computers, using touch inputs, that loosely correspond to real-world actions, like pinching, tapping, swiping, and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects, and a virtual keyboard.

Android OS is fast, of high quality, increased functionality and much more. The OS in a way resembles your typical PC, as it boots to the homescreen with icons and widget displaying, it also share some things in common with the normal typical computer, working hand in hand  with the major components mentioned ealier, things like

*. Random Access Memory(RAM) An Android smartphone has a RAM, the RAM is neccessary for the speed of the device. RAM simply put is a storage, a place to hold data. Think of it as a big filing cabinet that keeps things ready for the Central Proccessing Unit in your phone to present it to your eyes and ears.  It is very fast, and used differently by different operating systems. It serves as a gateway that connects the other memorys together, information goes through the RAMs first before being stored permanently in HDD or memory card.

The more storage a smartphone’s RAM has, the more speed it will have, for instance a RAM with 512MB memory is bound to be lower or slower in speed than a 1GB RAM. This because the memory in 1GB is higher than the one in 512MB. To understand this better take for example a 512MB RAM. There are some apps you use often, the’re others you rarely use, assuming you use Google Talk a lot, always openning and closing it, this will be loaded into the 512MB RAM making it possible for you to access it without loading it again, this is why you can receive messeges as soon as it is sent. Let’s take it you have 10 other such applications each with 50MB of memory all loaded in your RAM. Do they math 50MB x 10 will give you 500MB, so 500MB memory is now taken out of 512 remiander 12MB. 12MB is too small because of this your device will be slow.

Upgrading your RAM to 1GB will make it fast again. So we can rightly say that RAM is directly proportional to speed, such that as the memory increases the speed increases.

*. Hard disk drive (HDD)

Soon to be out is a mobile HDD for Android, the ultra Mobile HDD gives Android slates the capacity of a laptop drive without giving up the speed or resilience of flash storage.
This means Android users can now do somethings with their devices, they priovously can’t do.

*. Mobile processor

Another important cog in smartphones is the processor, which is mainly responsible for the graphics you see on your device. Picture quality of movies, photos, and games, along with the speed (RAM has a say too) are all determined by the processor.

Examples of Android phones

*. Gionee  Elife E7
*. Motorola  Moto X
*. Motorola  Droid Maxx
*. Motorola RAZR HD
*. Motorola RAZR i
*. LG G2
*. Google Nexus  5
*. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
*. Samsung  Galaxy Note 3
*. Sony Xperia SP
*. Huawei Ascend Y300
*. Huawei Ascend P6
*. LG Optimus G Pro E986
 *. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

 iv. Windows Mobile Operating System (OS)

windows smartphones
windows smartphones

Developed by Microsoft for smartphones Windows OS powers many phones today, notable among them is the Nokia Lumia, which is rich in features and functions.

They’re 3 versions of Windows mobile for various hardwares

*. The Mobile Professional runs on smartphones with touchscreens
*. Windows Mobile Standard runs on mobile phones without touchscreens
*. Windows Mobile Classic which runs on personal digital assistant (PDA) or Pocket PCs.

Examples of Windows smartphones

*. Nokia Lumia  928
*. Nokia Lumia  925
*. Nokia Lumia  1020
*. Nokia Lumia  1520
*. Nokia Lumia 720
*. Nokia Lumia 820
*. HTC Windows Phone 8X
*.HTC Windows Phone 8S

V. iOS Operating System for smartphones.

iOS is a mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. and distributed exclusively for Apple hardware. It is the operating system that powers many smartphones like the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Apple TV.

Examples/list of iOS smartphones

*. iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C and 5S iPad 2, 3rd, 4th generations
*. Air iPad Mini 1st and 2nd generations
*. iPod Touch 5th generation

Vi. Blackberry mobile OS

BlackBerry OS is a proprietary mobile operating system
developed by BlackBerry Ltd for its BlackBerry line of smartphone devices. BB OS provides multitasking and supports specialized input devices that have been adopted by BlackBerry Ltd. for use in its mobiles.

Examples of Blackberry smartphones

*. Blackbery Q5
*. Blackbery Z10
*. BlackBerry Curve 8520
*. BlackBerry Curve 9360
*. BlackBerry Bold 9790
*. BlackBerry Curve 9320
*. BlackBerry Curve 9380
*. BlackBerry Touch 9860
*. BlackBerry Torch 9810
*. BlackBerry Bold 9900

Categories of Smartphones

There are three (3) main categories of smartphones.
* Smartphones without touchscreen, but with keyboard
*. Smartphones with touchscreen, but without keyboard
*. Ones with both i.e keyboard and touchscreen (a hybrid)

1. Smartphones without touchscreen but with keyboard

All touchscreen phones might be said to be in the category of smartphones but difinitly not all keyboard phones can be among smartphones. The fact is there are hardly any touchscreen phone that isns’t a smartphone, but there are many keyboard phones which are not smart, that is to say for a phone to be smart it must have a touchscreen or be a hybrid having both touchscreen and keyboards which must be QUERTY. (Blackberry and Symbian might be an exeception)

It’s not that there isns’t any smartphone with only keyboard, there is but they are few. Infact Blackberry accounts for 80% of smart mobile devices with only QUERTY keyboards, others are left for phones on the Symbian platform.

Below are some smartphones that are not touchscreens

Some Smartphones with Keyboards Only
*. Symbian phones, including Nokia E71, E72, N86
*. Some Blackberry phones like BB 9700, BB Curve 8500
*. HTC Snap (also sold as the HTC Ozone or T-Mobile Dash 3G)

2. Smartphones with touchscreens, but without keyboards

There are many in this category, this is where you find the good, the bad and the ugly in mobile devices; the best, popular, expensive and cheap smartphones in the world can all be found here.

Some phones of this persuation are

*.Motorola Moto G
*.Samsung Galaxy Note  3
*.Sony Xperia Z1  Compact
*.Nokia Lumia 1020
*.iPhone 5s
*.Google Nexus 5
*.Sony Xperia Z2
*.Samsung Galaxy S5
*.LG G2

3. Smartphones with Keyboards and Touchscrens

They’re not that rare like the first category, nor popular like  the second one, this 3rd category is some how caught in the middle.

Hybrid smartphones are becoming lesser and lesser as the days rolls off. Manufacturers don’t fancy producing such devices again as this takes time and cost more money, not to mention some troublesome parts like the slider, which is prone to developing faults.

Examples of hybrid phones

*. Sony Xperia Pro
*. Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330
*. BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900
*. Nokia Asha 303
*. Motorola Fire XT311

Phones Round Up

Smartphones with best cameras :

Here are some examples of phones with better cameras, best picture quality is the hallmark of this smartphones hence they are devices with best cameras on Earth, for now.

1. Sony Xperia Z1s

Good for outdoor use, with the Sony Xperia Z1s You can take photos underwater using its dedicated shutter button and even use the touch screen even when submerged in water. Equipped with 20.7-MP camera which has an advanced Exmor-RS sensor, the same  technology used in Sony’s stand-alone cameras. HDR when activated can use stills and video to bring out the detail often lost in parts of a scene that are especially dark or bright. It also has other modes like Timeshift Burst and Background Defocus.

2. Nokia Lumia 1020

This device is ideal for power users, and comes with a 41-MP sensor;  you can zoom after you take a photo and still see a high level of detail. Optical image stabilization that  prevent shaky images is supported. It has a Pro Camera app, which enables users to change everything from ISO to shutter speed, white balance and exposure compensation. It comes with a tutorial guide to help you.

3. Samsung Galaxy S5
The S5 is equipped with a 16-megapixel sensor and 0.3-second autofocus time, this device can snap detailed images in the blink of an eye.  A real-time HDR feature lets you see what your image will look like before you take it. Another feature is the S5’s Shot & More mode, which allows you to shoot photos and adjust them after the fact. With this feature you can erase would-be photobombers or chose the best faces in a group shot.

3. iPhone 5s

5s comes with an 8-MP sensor with image stabilization and a dual LED flash, which is good for taking pictures in low light.

Other good Camera smartphones are
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Smartphones with best  Battery life

1. Lenovo Idea phone P700i

it has a 2,500 mAH battery in this smartphone which gives an overwhelming 22 hours of Talk time.

2. Karbonn A30

This device offers 2,500 mAH battery which has Talk time of 10 hours.

3. Alcatel One Touch Scribe Easy

A battery of 2,500 mAH and 9 hours on 2G and 8 hours on 3G Talk time, is no small thing.

4. Micromax A80 Infinity

This smartphone by Micromax has a 2,500 mAH Battery which gives 7 hours Talk time.

5. Samsung Galaxy S4

The Galaxy S4 provides 2,600 mAH battery and a talk time of 17 hours.

6. LG Optimus G Pro

The Optimus made by LG has one of the best battery: a 3,140 mAH battery which gives 18 hours of Talk time.

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The Galaxy  Note 2 comes with a 3,100 mAH battery which gives 35 hours on 2G and 16 hours on 3G Talk time.

To help you choose the best phone here are what should pay attention to

  • – Battery capacity, higher figures indicate long long lasting battery
  • – Camera – the higher the figures the higher the camera quality
  •  – Size – higher figures indicate how big the device is
  •  – RAM – the higher the RAM the more chances your device have in running smoothly without hanging.
  • – Storage –  the more the figures the more data your device can hold.
  • – Network – A Tab with a SIM gives 3G network at least, but without SIM only Wifi as the means to browse the net.
Others are OS, Processor and SIM

By Chimatim

Mr Tim an author in nethelpblog.com, he writes for various digital and prints media platforms.

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