What is a Media Phone?

S. Gonzales

The term "media phone" usually refers to a cell phone that has multimedia functionality and also to a specific device that is to be used within the home. The latter is a multimedia broadband device with a screen of a width of 7 inches (17.8 cm) or larger. It is capable of performing many of the functions that a computer and a telephone do.

Most media phones support apps that allow users to interact with one another through games or messaging.
Most media phones support apps that allow users to interact with one another through games or messaging.

This latter type of "media phone" is a relatively new type of communication device. It harnesses the power and functionality of the computer and telephone. As a consequence, it is a device that is capable of providing telephone service along with Internet service. In addition to placing standard calls, users can enjoy the benefit of using the broadband service to check online for news and weather or to watch videos and listen to streaming audio, for example. Media phones tend to be bigger than the average cell phone, though, so they usually are operated using a touch pad or a stylus.

Media phones typically allow users to browse the Internet.
Media phones typically allow users to browse the Internet.

Typically, users can place calls through the device by way of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). A wireless handset can be included with the media phone to help facilitate calls. The device also can be used to browse the web, view photos, organize files, listen to music, send text messages and take pictures. Many of these functions are powered by a widget-based operating system.

Average consumers are attracted to media phones largely because of their added functionality. Owners of media phones can do much more on these types of phones than they would be able to do on phones that can only place calls. The popularity of social networking makes these devices especially attractive to those individuals who wish to remain connected to their peers without having to use a computer. Businesspeople also can find these devices to be advantageous in their daily work routines, because they offer features that potentially can help organize their lives and help them perform their job duties.

The implications of the media phone becoming a standard device are numerous. A media phone's high functionality and complementary nature to the personal computer, television and standard mobile handset make it a candidate for the widely acknowledged "fourth screen" designation. Should the media phone gain in popularity and become just as ubiquitous as the aforementioned devices, its position in the technology industry will be solidified, and the media phone could come to be viewed as a standard device.

Media phones can support the sharing of photos.
Media phones can support the sharing of photos.

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Discussion Comments


I don't know what I would do without my media phone and I don't remember what life was like before. Anyone with a communications based job needs one.

Just the other day, I was late for a meeting and didn't know how to get there. I used the GPS on my media phone to get directions, while simultaneously replying to my boss' email. Life is just much easier with a media phone and I hope that I'll never have to live without one.


@ZipLine-- That is a problem but I think that most phone companies are coming up with better and more affordable plans with internet access because there is demand. And most media phones, if not all, have wi-fi. So if you are in a free wi-fi hub (all restaurants/cafes/bookstores, etc.) you can benefit from their wireless internet for free.


I have a media phone with internet access, camera, music player, etc. I actually don't use the internet access at all because I can't afford the monthly payment plan with internet. I do use the camera and music player. But I'm certainly not benefiting fully from the device because of the lack of internet access.

I do appreciate that technology is improving and our cell phones are becoming multi-functional devices that we can almost do everything with. But it would be nice if we could use these devices to their potential without emptying our bank account. Media phones really need to have plans with free unlimited internet access to be useful.

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