Wednesday
October 1, 2014

Smartphones 2011 Shopping Glossary

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Smartphones 2011 Shopping Glossary

Know the latest terms when shopping for a new smartphone.

3G/4G: Terms describing the third and fourth generations in wireless cellular networks. As the newer technology, 4G can deliver significantly faster data transfer rates than 3G, but ii isn’t yet as widely available.

Android: Google’s operating system for smartphones and tablets, embraced by a variety of handset manufacturers. Android is offered in different versions — Froyo v. 2.2 and Gingerbread v. 2.3 — that have slightly divergent features.

Apps: The software programs or applications for the smartphone. The choice in apps depends on the phone’s operating system.

Dual camera: Some smartphones have two cameras: a lower-resolution one, similar to a webcam, which faces the user for video chats; and a higher-resolution camera on the backside of the handset that serves as its camera/camcorder.

Locked or unlocked: A locked phone can be used only on the carrier’s network, and the purchase price is usually subsidized through the service contract. An unlocked phone can be purchased separately from service. It will work on compatible networks, but the price is much higher, reflecting the smartphone’s actual cost.

Virtual keyboard or keypad: A software keyboard for data entry.

Wi-fi hotspot: The ability to use the smartphone to connect several devices to the Internet.