A feature phone is a type of mobile or cell phone that does not have some of the main characteristics of a smartphone. Feature phones can make and receive calls, send text messages and provide some of the advanced features found on a smartphone.
As such, a feature phone can be described as a basic cell phone with a much smaller screen, more limited text entry mechanism (usually an alpha-numeric keyboard), and much more limited computing capabilities than a smartphone. A feature phone runs on proprietary firmware, with third-party software support through a platform like Java ME. A feature phone may or may not include internet capabilities. Where internet capabilities is available, the features are very basic – email client and web browser with limited capabilities.
Feature phones often provide a basic calendar, media player, alarm, and a few others. As mentioned before, difference between smartphones and feature phones is that the range of activities that are possible on a feature phone is much more limited than what obtains on a smartphone.
Mobile phone manufacturers that make feature phones include Nokia, TECNO, itel, ZTE, among others.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones?
Smartphones keep you connected all the time, as long as you are within network coverage area or have access to WiFi. They allow you carry out many computing tasks on the go without the need for a laptop or desktop. Those activities include Word processing, Web browsing, email, social networking, image and video editing, music and video playback, etc.
However, the biggest disadvantage of modern smartphones is the invasion of the privacy of users. A smartphone – whether it is an iPhone or an Android phone, constantly tracks your location and movement and transmits this data to remote servers. All smartphones from mainstream manufacturers do this. It also scans through your Contacts, emails, text messages, calendars and more and transmits many of those data to remote servers for various uses.
Whiel some of the data is used to make your smartphone a more personalised experience for you, there continue to be concerns about how such information can be used in damaging ways. This is the greatest disadvantage of owning a smartphone. And this is why people who do not want to open themselves up this way stay away from smartphones and use dumb phones – feature phones without location tracking and Internet access.