In this age of technology, it can be hard to keep up with all the terminology. If you are reading this, you probably wonder about the meaning of these two terms related to mobile phones. Fortunately, you are at the right place. In this article, we will be explaining what is a smartphone and what is an android along with their differences to clear your concepts.
Short answer – Android is an operating system. It was developed by Google to serve as the software part of the mobile phones. Almost all the major mobile manufacturers – with an exception of Apple – use Android for their mobiles. On the other hand, a smartphone is a generic name given to all touch-screen, intelligent mobile phones.
Long answer – Let’s take a look at both of these terms in detail to get a better understanding of the two terms.
What is a smartphone?
If you look for the definition of a smartphone, it means that it is a mobile device that has much more functionality than an ordinary cell phone. They come with features like touch screens, voice commands; intelligent sensors; GPS navigation, and similar ones. All these features make them quite smarter than your usual phones. Then why they are called smartphones? The reason behind this name is that all these extra functionalities can be used as per the user’s choice and convenience by installing different apps on them.
The word “Smartphone” was first used by Dodgeball, one of Google’s services. It was introduced to the public during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in 2007. The first device which used this name was the Samsung i7500 which ran on Android OS. Since then, all touch phones have been called smartphones.
What is Android?
Now, it would be interesting to look at these two terms in detail – what does Android mean, and what do they stand for? Well, this term was first coined by Andy Rubin, who was an ex-employee of Apple Incorporation. He worked there till 2004 before he left the company after facing accusations of stealing some trade secrets from them. After that, he started working on his new company – Android Inc. Google bought this company in 2005, and they released their first commercial version of the Android OS called ‘Android 1.0’ in September 2008.
Since then, almost all the major mobile manufacturers have used Android to develop smartphones with advanced functionalities. These include LG, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, etc. Moreover, since having an app store is very important for smartphones to function properly, Android works according to this rule. They have their own app store called Google Play Store, which you can download different apps on your android device.
What is the difference between a smartphone and an android phone?
Since many people don’t know the difference between these two terms because of the similarity in appearance, let us now highlight the major differences between the two terms.
A smartphone is, without a doubt, an android phone which means that all the touch-enabled devices run on Android OS. However, you cannot call them smartphones unless and until they do not have any functionalities like GPS, touch screen, voice commands, etc. These features make them quite smarter than your usual cell phones, and that’s why we call them smartphones.
On the other hand, Android is nothing but a software part of your mobile which you can use to perform different functions. A good example would be – it allows you to install different applications (or apps) on your phone according to your convenience and requirements. As for the term, it was first coined by Google Inc., and since then, almost all touch-enabled devices have used this term for themselves.
It doesn’t end here!
There are many other differences between a smartphone and an android phone – let us look at them below:
1. The major difference between these two terms is that there can be smartphones that do not run on Android OS and similarly, there can be android phones which do not have any advanced functionalities or applications to perform different tasks. However, it is impossible to find a mobile device running Android OS but not called a smartphone because, basically, they run on the Android platform itself.
2. Moreover, there cannot be any smartphone with less than 1GHz CPU speed because that would lead its performance to a point where it becomes really slow in doing basic tasks like calling, messaging, etc.
3. Since Android is a software part of your phone, you can easily upgrade it whenever new versions are available via the app store portal of Google Play Store. On the other hand, upgrading an android phone is not as simple as that – for this, you need to contact your service provider and ask them if they provide this facility and what would be their charges for doing the same. Moreover, you cannot do anything further on your device until you upgrade it, which means that all your apps will stop working. There may also be possibilities where some unwanted things might happen on your device due to incompatibility issues between different operating systems (like Windows 10).
4. Unlike smartphone users having touch screen devices; android phones normally don’t have any touch-enabled screens. Therefore, you can operate them via keypads only with the use of data cables.
5. If you want to customize your smartphone according to your preferences, there are many things that you can do on them with the help of third-party developers who provide customized ROMs, launchers, etc., which give enhanced functionalities to your mobile device. However, that is not possible with android phones because of their different software platform. You can just install different applications (or apps), but you cannot change its visual appearance in any way whatsoever.
What about tablets?
You might have noticed that we had used smartphones many times throughout this article, but never once did we use the term ‘tablet,’ which means that if it is a touch-enabled device, you can call it a smartphone; if not, you can simply call it an android tablet.
A smartphone is basically an advanced version of your mobile phone. On the other hand, android phones are just different versions of an operating system that run on touch-enabled devices – both smartphones and tablets. However, you cannot find any full-fledged android phones because all the android phones have almost the same features that we discussed above. Moreover, there can be no such thing as a ‘null’ mobile device. Every mobile device runs some kind of operating system. Therefore, whether it’s a smartphone or not depends on its functionalities and rich applications rather than its own hardware specifications. Hopefully, now you know what is the difference between a smartphone and an android phone. Thank you for reading!
Read our review of the best Smartphone today, Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max