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What Is a Feature Phone?

By Whitney Leigh White
Updated May 16, 2024
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Many times, people become confused about the differences between a cell phone, a feature phone, and a smart phone. When trying to decipher between the three, it helps to remember that both feature phones and smart phones are cell phones, but a feature phone is any cell phone that is not a smart phone. Smart phones typically have many more capabilities than feature phones and operate off of third-party software programs. Feature phones, on the other hand, usually do not operate from software programs, yet they still come with many capabilities and benefits. Often having the capability to integrate with other types of technologies, feature phones can be used to help the average person to organize his or her life or business, and can also be used as a way to fight crime.

All feature phones have the capability to make and receive phone calls. Most have the ability to send and receive text messages as well. Consumers can also purchase feature phones that have web=-browsing capabilities.

Some feature phones do support third-party software programs, but most do not. Many corporate companies prefer for their employees to steer clear of feature phones because most do not have corporate synching capabilities. Even though a feature phone usually does not have extravagant synching capabilities, in 2010, there were more feature phone users than smart phone users due to the more affordable prices. In addition to affordable prices, many people prefer a feature phone because it tends to be easier to use than a smart phone and doesn't require any extra data plans from the cell phone service provider.

One of the most beloved benefits of using feature phones are they allow the user to easily integrate with other technologies. Feature phone users are able to check their email, download music, pictures and movies, as well as browse the Internet and more all from the convenience of their phone. While most do not have incredibly fast download speeds like smart phones, feature phones can still accomplish many of the same tasks.

There are many different options available on feature phones that can be utilized by business owners to help run their business in more efficient manners. The calendar feature allows for by the hour scheduling as well as broader range planning and reminders of events. In addition, client information can also be easily stored on the phone, including names, addresses, and a variety of phone numbers and email addresses.

Feature phones are also used as a way to fight crime. Any time a person uses a feature phone, the user is traceable because the phone includes a Global Tracking System. This tracking system helps law enforcement officials to easily locate individuals. There has also been many times that feature phone records have been used in the court of law to prosecute criminal offenders.

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