Glossary of Mobile Phone Terms – Helping You to Understand some of the Jargon
Struggling to keep up with some of the mobile phone jargon? Here’s a glossary of frequently used terms with simple explanations to help get you up to speed.
The 3G, or ‘third generation’, network enables mobile users to make and receive phone calls and access the web on any internet-ready mobile device depending on their location.
The 4G, or ‘fourth generation’ network, like the 3G network enables users to access the internet and make and receive phone calls from their mobile device depending on their location. It is generally faster than the 3G network.
Ever noticed how smartphone videos can be a bit fuzzy? Not with 4K. This shoots videos with around 3840 x 2160 pixels, meaning you can enjoy your home movies in crisp detail.
This is a common number used to describe screen resolution. The ‘p’ stands for progressive-scan, while the ‘720’ refers to the number of horizontal lines on the display. 720p is usually known as HD or ‘HD Ready’ resolution. Other common resolutions are 1080p (‘Full HD’), 2160p (‘Ultra HD’) and 4K.
Developed by Google, Android is the operating system of choice for all Samsung, Sony, HTC, Motorola and Google mobile devices.
Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that uses radio waves to enable different electronic devices to communicate with each other.
A smartphone dual-lens camera usually allows users to apply different effects to their photos, such as increased depth of field, as well as various angles and effects.
GPS stands for ‘Global Positioning System’. This satellite-based global navigation system is the technology behind Google Maps, Google street view and other location-based apps you use on your mobile device.
If you’ve seen this setting on your camera and wondered what it is, HDR stands for ‘high dynamic range’. HDR takes a series of photos, each shot with a different exposure, then combines the best parts of each image. This should result in a better quality photo, so there’s less of a difference between what you’re seeing and what your phone can capture.
International roaming is a feature that allows you to use the mobile networks in other countries. Check your mobile plan for details about which countries you can roam in and how much it will cost you to do so.
A mobile operating system manufactured by Apple Corporation, iOS is the engine that runs Apple’s handheld devices, including the iPhone and iPad.
Mbps stands for ‘megabits per second’ and is a term used to measure the speed of your mobile network connection. The higher the Mbps, the faster your connection speeds will be.
A MicroSD card is a tiny memory card that can boost the memory capacity of some mobile handsets.
A pixel is a tiny dot of illumination that makes up the images on a display screen. A megapixel is the equivalent of one million pixels and relates to the resolution on your digital camera. In general, the more megapixels your phone’s camera has, the better quality your photos will be.
It’s the small chip from your mobile phone provider that contains data such as your mobile number and account details, and enables you to connect to the network.
A SIM-only plan is a mobile plan that includes a SIM card only. SIM-only deals do not come with a phone and can be contract, pre-paid or month-to-month.
Siri is a voice-activated ‘intelligent assistant’ that’s available on certain Apple devices.
Last updated: 13/09/2021
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