Not more than two decades ago, you needed a separate device to play music, a device to make phone calls and send text messages, another one for navigation and so on. Today, however, all of these tasks can be done with a single device, a smartphone. To describe a smartphone, I would call it a cell phone that can do more than just make phone calls and send text messages.
You can also think of a smartphone as a pocket computer that lets you do tasks on the go that originally required a full-blown computer. Smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives that it's almost impossible for someone who owns one to live a day without it.
This article will explain the main functions of a smartphone that make it an indispensable device that almost everyone must have or wants. There are numerous other functions, but we will limit ourselves to the basics. These are:
- Browsing the Internet on the Go
- Capturing and Storing Photos and Videos
- Voice Dictation Taking Notes
- Displaying Weather and Temperature Information
- Navigation Is Now Much Easier
- Streaming Video and Audio
- Communication technologies (phone, email, messenger apps)
And now a little more detailed:
1. Browsing the Internet on the Go
Before the smartphone, people needed a computer to access their favorite website on the Internet. Since the invention of the smartphone, however, the number of people using a conventional computer to surf the Internet has been shrinking year by year. As of 2021 over 54% of website traffic is from mobile devices.
This means that even when you're on the move, and thanks to ever-improving network reception, you can access the Internet from almost any remote location and get information in almost any situation.
2. Capturing and Storing Photos and Videos
The average person doesn't need a digital camera to take photos or videos anymore. Smartphone cameras are more advanced today and can take photos and videos good enough to capture all your favorite moments. The cameras on most flagship smartphones are now so good that the average person can't tell the difference between the photo quality of a dedicated camera and a smartphone.
They also have automated modes that allow you to take good pictures with little to no knowledge of photography, which makes them appealing to beginners.
3. Voice Dictation Taking Notes
Smartphones have note-taking apps and word processors that allow us to take notes at meetings and events where notes are required. With a smartphone, you can now afford to be on the road without your notebook. Newer smartphones even have a dictation feature that allows you to take notes just by speaking.
This is a widely underestimated feature that can save an enormous amount of time, because regardless of your typing speed, speaking is faster.
4. Displaying Weather and Temperature Information
With a smartphone today, we can get the weather forecast for the day with just a few clicks. So we can plan our day, taking into account the expected weather conditions of the day.
You can even set alarms for unexpected weather changes, which can be a great feature if you spend time outdoors.
5. Navigation Is Now Much Easier
Another core function of the smartphone is navigation and finding places. In the past, when visiting a new place, finding important places like hospitals, restaurants, ATMs, and gas stations was no easy task. However, with a smartphone, you can find all these places with just a few clicks thanks to smart apps like Google Maps.
You'll also get even more information like reviews from other visitors, traffic jams on your route, how crowded a place is at certain times, and so on.
6. Streaming Video and Audio
Ever since our smartphones became capable of streaming both videos and audios, their usage has been steadily increasing. Today, more than 33% of people of all ages stream every day. Younger people tend to stream more (up to 58%). This is the result of a Statista study.
It can be very handy to be able to access pretty much any audio or video material, regardless of one's location. Or, if it's nothing useful we're streaming, it's at least convenient. And it's a great way to keep yourself entertained.
7. Communication technologies (phone, email, messenger apps)
Last but not least, a smartphone offers the possibility to communicate with others. This is the main task from which smartphones have evolved. Despite all the multifunctionalities at our disposal, communication tasks are still the core of a smartphone.
They are often found in the form of standalone apps such as the call function, text messaging, email, and classic messenger apps. Nowadays, however, it is very common for communication channels to be woven into apps with other functions. Examples of this are the comment section of YouTube and the like.
With all the above features, a smartphone has become a basic device that almost everyone needs and is not just a luxury. The good news is that smartphones are becoming more and more affordable as technology advances. You can get a good smartphone for as little as $200. If you're thinking about getting your first smartphone, you can check out some of the renowned models like the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel and OnePlus.