A pixel phone, while not a term often used, refers to a cell phone that includes a digital camera as part of its features. Digital cameras are often described in terms of megapixels, in order to indicate the clarity and size of pictures that can be expected. For instance, if one pixel phone has a 3-megapixel camera and another has an 8-megapixel camera, it is to be expected that the second phone will produce clearer pictures at a higher screen resolution.
Pixels simply refer to the number of "dots" making up a digital image, which is made up of millions of these tiny colored dots. One megapixel image contains one million pixels, so an 8-megapixel camera will produce images that contain 8 million pixels. Historically, cell phones have had much lower megapixel ratings than any other traditional camera, because the photos were not generally intended to be printed, just viewed on the phone. The cameras in cell phones continue to improve, however, and now with the use of the term "pixel phone," high-quality cameras in cell phones are becoming more common.
A pixel phone with a high-quality camera may include other features such as a flash or even basic photo-editing tools, allowing someone to crop, rotate, or reduce red-eye in a recently taken photo. A pixel phone may also include the ability to use removable memory cards. The photos may then be loaded onto a computer for more extensive photo editing, if necessary, or to allow the user to create prints of the photo.
A pixel phone generally also allows users to send pictures to other cell phones using a multimedia messaging feature. It is necessary for the receiving phone to be able to open and recognize multimedia messages, but this can be a great way to share pictures of an event as it happens. Some phones may also allow the user to upload photos to social networking websites; this is becoming a very popular feature.
Cameras in cell phones are becoming so common that it is sometimes difficult to find a phone without one. Quality does vary widely, and price often goes hand-in-hand with the number and quality of extra features included in a cell phone. Cell phones with cameras that function more closely to an actual digital camera tend to be quite expensive. For someone who enjoys constantly snapping pictures or who doesn't want to miss an important moment, however, a higher-quality pixel phone could be a good investment.