Smartphones vs. Cell Phones

For many people a smartphone is a necessity; for others the smartphone vs. cell phone dilemma continues. This article will help you choose the device that best fits your needs and budget.

Which is better for you?

The popularity of smartphones continues to rise as more and more people enjoy the added features that aren’t available with traditional cell phones. In addition to talk and text, smartphones let users share photos, listen to music, send emails, and access thousands of applications that can be used for work, entertainment or even running the household. Many smartphones have unique time-saving features like voice-to-text, which allow you to speak into the mouthpiece and record notes and emails that are instantly transformed into text. Although there are many advantages to having a smartphone, traditional cell phones are still a very effective and potentially less costly means of communication. They can also be useful when used along with a connected device like a portable laptop or tablet. 


Cell phones do offer features beyond text and voice calling. These can include a calculator, calendar, speakerphone, alarm clock and Bluetooth capability for talking on a wireless headset. But from a feature standpoint, smartphones are in a different league. They’re more like a mini-computer with all the functionality of a phone. The Wi-Fi connection allows you to browse the web or download your favourite movies and songs. Most have enough storage space to house your own music or video library. You can also take high-resolution photos or HD video, and share them instantly with friends and family. But for many people the real advantage to smartphones are apps. Thousands of smartphone applications can be downloaded from your phone’s app store. There are apps available, both paid and unpaid, for shopping, banking, gaming, brain training, exercise, travel, video chat, restaurant reviews, taxi services, news and all forms of social media.

Feature Phones

A relatively new term, feature phones bridge the gap between traditional cell phones and smartphones. Additional functions can include email, GPS, a music player, and even a camera to take photos and videos. What you don’t get is the extra convenience that comes with owning a smartphone.  


Most wireless carriers offer an international plan which allows you to travel abroad with your phone. You can make calls, send texts and check your voicemail without incurring high roaming charges (remember to turn off data unless using it). Losing your cell phone while traveling is an inconvenience, but losing your smartphone can be a catastrophe, and not just because of the monetary value. You’ll also lose any information (phone numbers, music etc.) that isn’t backed up. Smartphones are also a prime target of pickpockets across the world. That said, having a smartphone with you on vacation can be handy. In addition to keeping up with your email, work and social media, you can also map out new adventures, read restaurant and hotel reviews, find tourist spots, and even translate words or phrases into the local language.


A traditional cell phone is usually cheaper to purchase than even an entry-level smartphone. So if budget is a consideration and you don’t necessarily require email, social media and other smartphone features, a cell phone may be the right choice for you. A smartphone in good condition, however, will retain some of its resale value. This is especially true for a smartphone that is “unlocked”, meaning it is no longer bound by a contract with a wireless carrier. 

Service Plans

A cell phone service plan will be relatively inexpensive because it only includes services such as voice, text and long distance calling. A smartphone plan, on the other hand, tends to cost more because the device has the ability to deliver more services. The added cost typically includes a specific amount of data for browsing the internet, checking emails and using social media. Regardless of your phone type, it’s best to shop around to find a service plan that best suits your specific needs. 
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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