How Smartphones Have Replaced Basic and Feature Phones in Usability ?

Smartphones have replaced basic and feature phones

From basic monophonic phones to smartphones, mobile phones have continued to evolve. Here, we look at how smartphones are steadily erasing the identity of basic feature mobile phones.

The dawn of the new millennium has seen a sea change in the communication world, dominated preferably by mobile phones. While in the earlier days of the 21st century, basic phones enticed the globe followed by feature phones, at present they have found a substantial replacement in the form of smartphones.

Basic mobile phones are slowly fading away from the landscape and we are about to reach a day when they will be completely signed off from the mobile markets. And why not, for smartphones are way ahead in terms of features, functionalities, and usability, and hence have pilfered the rumble from the former.

Overall, there has been a steady evolution of mobile phones with them reaching an advanced stage in form of today’s smartphones, the future awaits unprecedented level of advancements in terms of features and functionalities.

Once a prized possession, smartphones have become a commonplace today. Nobody knows what the future will bring to the table. All we can do is to analyze the development and craft a rough idea of where these developments will lead.

One best way to analyze the shift and understand the market of all these phone types to check out how the smartphone really holds. We drive the analysis here in this blog.


No prizes for guessing that a basic mobile phone (also called a cell phone or hand phone) serves the most basic telephony related purposes, i.e., to make and receive calls. In addition, it also lets you exchange text messages, play simplistic games, enjoy monophonic ringtones, use a calculator or flash light, listen to FM and click photos through its basic camera.

Some more advanced phones, better known as feature phones, may also let you browse the internet. In addition, these phones accompany WAP and GPRS capabilities, have colored screens and are Java enabled. Though they also lag behind in OS and run mostly BREW and JAVA ME based apps.

Talking about smartphones, in layman language, it is a cell phone with a mobile operating system. You can willingly call it a mini computer because that is what it is. You can do internet surfing at a blazing speed, play advanced games beyond Tetris and snake, do audio and video conferencing, exchange SMS, MMS & emails, capture photos through high resolution built-in camera, enjoy music through media players, access Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS facility, download mobile apps of your choice and much more.

The Chronicles

Abiding by history, the first ever mobile was demonstrated on April 3, 1973 by Dr. Martin Cooper, a Motorola employee when he called Dr. Joel S. Engel, his rival from AT&T’s Bell Labs. Cooper is also known as “Father of the cell phone”. Later on Feature phones took over the realms and gained much limelight in early 2000s.

The first ever smartphone came to the fore in 1992 with the efforts of IBM and was christened as ‘Simon’. It made its appearance at COMDEX, as a concept device at the trade show based on the computer industry in the very same year. However, in 1997, it was Ericsson that coined the term smartphone in the market.

Now, in 2000, the market got its first phone with a camera. Sharp, with J-SHO4 brought a mobile phone with camera. Allowing users to give a call, it, now, also enabled them to take photographs. Though restricted to the Japanese market, the mobile phone was a trigger to develop phones with secondary functionalities. It was the beginning of expanding the expectations of future mobile users, who would no longer be pleased just with calling functionalities, but would look for more.

In 2007, Apple came with a mobile phone with touchscreen and in 2008 we got the first Android smartphone. The era of smartphones begins, and smartphone adoption gains momentum. Today, we expect to have 7.7 billion smartphone users by 2027.


If you were or are a basic phone user, you will definitely admire its performance. Think of the erstwhile Nokia 1xxx series models, and you can’t resist saying wow for its reliability, durability and comfort.

Whether it is to view contacts, make calls, or send SMS, you just need to make one or two clicks and you are done. If, unfortunately, you are stuck up somewhere with your basic phone without a charger, for a day or two, even then you can remain connected with the world, thanks to its sizable battery backup. Feature phones are also above par in terms of reliability and have comparably better features than the basic phones.

With a smartphone, you can well discover fresh things that are technically sound and visibly more entrancing but they might often lag behind in performance. Battery backup for an average smartphone lasts for around one day. However, with phones acquiring smart character, smart charging systems have also emerged.

With portable chargers, smartphone users can charge their phones whenever they want and wherever they go, whether office, college or elsewhere. The interface is awesome and overcomes the traditional limitation of searching for charging points. This is especially useful for professionals as they can charge their mobile devices during travelling.

Smartphones, invariably, offer tremendous advantages over basic phones. This is evident in the use of messaging and collaboration platforms. Attending meetings and coordinating with colleagues is all well possible with smartphones, but can be a nightmare if you were to imagine accomplishing these tasks with basic mobile phones.


For people who find it hard to afford an expensive smartphone, a basic cell phone is the best choice. In addition, if they are least attracted by latest apps related to games, business, entertainment, etc., and prefer sticking to the use of mobile phones for telephony only, yet again buying a basic phone is a better option.

For those having somewhere mid-way budget may well buy feature phones that could provide them with more features yet are simpler to use.

Smartphone has to be your choice if you are an avid fan of smart swanky and swashbuckling phones, all studded with stupefying features with which you can spend almost your whole life. In short, better buy a smartphone if you are a tech-savvy person and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks to be in touch with the latest happenings in the world or in your own fields of work or interest. It uses advanced API to run third-party applications.

With more than 3.5 million applications available on Google Play store and over 2 million applications on Apple Store, users can discover productivity apps of their choice easily and streamline some important tasks.

Navigation is another area where smartphones outweigh basic phones. Equipped with Global Positioning System(GPS), smartphones can enable users to locate destinations. You also have numerous navigation applications with which you can discover the most optimal route to reaching the destination.

Last but not the least, why ignore the entertainment feature. Smartphones have become a prominent source of entertainment and have, in a way, overtaken, traditional screens. In most cases, audiences no longer have to travel to watch their favourite shows. With OTT platforms, watch their favourite television series in the comfort of their home. Thanks to smartphones for this revolution.

Hence, whether it is to use the internet round the clock, be a social media enthusiast, check out business engagements throughout the day, view favorite videos or to perform almost any other task, smartphones are a feasible choice to invest money in.

The Bottomline

There are users for every technology, whether primitive or the advanced one. The same holds for the world of mobile phones. While basic phones and their successors, feature phones, are the first choice of millions worldwide who prefer limiting the use of phones to only telephony and want to spend calculated money for the same.

Smartphones, on the other hand, bring with them the breeze of latest bandwagons in the disguise of sophisticated features, applications and in-built hardware capabilities.

Hence, those willing to upgrade or prefer keeping abreast with latest technologies in the pursuit to boost their businesses may well buy smartphones in profusion while the rest of other users find solace with basic or feature phones.

Finoit holds expertise in developing quality apps for smartphones powered by a range of mobile operating systems including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. We provide capable assistance to your mobile development endeavors irrespective of your business verticals, at the most affordable cost.

Feel free to avail our best mobile development services to help your consumers avail your business solutions right through their smartphone.

Finoit Technologies is a renowned mobile application development company providing mobile and web app development services. We have developed over 450 mobile apps, and have assisted many solopreneurs in their journey of startups by functioning as a tech partner and rolling out their product ideas. For questions/queries, you may write to us at [email protected]

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