Smartphones are distinguished from traditional feature phones by the way they integrate new and emerging technologies into mobile devices. While feature phones focus on basic features such as voice calls and text messaging, the smartphone market includes the basics but adds many extras, including mobile apps, screen quality, multimedia capability, wireless communication and hardware sensors. The technology found in smartphones is constantly evolving and redefining the mobile device market. High-end smartphones include the newest technologies and often portend which features will eventually become standard in the market.
Most smartphones provide a much larger screen than traditional feature phones. While smartphone screens have been known to feature resolutions as low as 240 by 320 pixels, most new high-end smartphones feature high-definition resolutions of up to 1080 by 1920 pixels -- commonly known as full HD. Flexible displays have also entered the smartphone market, making it possible to display information on specific areas of the screen by bending the device while the display is off.
Camera and Video
Cameras on smartphones often boast higher resolutions as well as the ability to capture mobile video. In addition to higher pixel resolutions, high-end smartphone cameras feature increased film speed as well as brighter and faster lenses and advanced noise reduction. Smartphones utilize the display as the viewfinder for the image and can support image filters, adjustments and custom resolutions. Captured media can be stored on the device's internal memory, SD cards or uploaded to cloud storage services such as Flickr, Dropbox and iCloud.
Hardware sensors help your smartphone respond intelligently to the physical world. The accelerometer measures acceleration which can be used to protect hard disks upon free-fall; it also allows movement to be used as a form of input. GPS sensors triangulate a smartphone's location through satellites, cell towers and Wi-Fi networks. Gyroscopes measure the orientation of the device -- commonly used to help automatic display rotation. A magnetometer is used as a directional compass for smartphones by measuring the strength of the earth's magnet field. Ambient light sensors, also referred to as lux meters or ALS, measure how much light is reaching your device and can adjust your screen's brightness and camera flash settings accordingly.
Wireless Data Access
Mobile data networks are provided by wireless carriers for smartphones. Wireless Internet access is available over-the-air to smartphone users with mobile data plans via 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Infrared and Near Field Communication sensors make it possible to establish wireless network connections between devices. Most high-end smartphones include 4G and NFC. First introduced in 2013, Li-Fi -- known as Light Fidelity -- represents the fifth generation of high-speed wireless communication. New high-end smartphones support Li-Fi, making it possible to create wireless networks using visible light communication technology.
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