A multimedia phone is a cell phone that has at least some capacity to access the Internet, take photographs, and transmit data in addition to making simple voice calls. In common parlance, the phrase “multimedia phone” is often interchanged with “smartphone.” From a technological perspective, however, there is usually some difference between a multimedia phone and a smartphone. Most of this owes to network speed, download and upload capabilities, and bandwidth usage. In many respects a multimedia phone is something of a middle-of-the-road phone: it can do more than a straight features phone, but not as much as a smartphone.
Cell phone service providers typically sell phones and attendant service plans in three categories. A straight features phone or camera phone is usually the most basic model available. This kind of phone can place and answer calls, send and receive text or SMS messages, and snap basic photos in most cases. A multimedia phone is usually the next step up. Phones in the multimedia category are usually able to surf the Internet and access a variety of multimedia content, often including the ability to store and play music.
A phone that is marketed as a “video phone” or “Internet phone” is in all likelihood a multimedia phone. Multimedia phones usually have an array of different media-oriented capabilities. Still, they are designed to be a phone above all else.
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