While some sources define a smartphone as a mobile device with an operating system that allows people to install and run applications, something more useful to Web designers would cover the device’s context of use:
- primary input method
- average screen size
- Web browsing capabilities
Sounds like a mouthful but Luke Wroblewski defines Smartphone on his site this way:
- Is palm/pocket sized: it needs to be portable so it can be used everywhere and anytime
- Primarily operated through a touch-based user interface: hardware buttons and a physical keyboard can be present but are optional.
- Has an average screen size of 3 to 6 inches: anything smaller makes touch-based interactions hard; anything much bigger makes it hard to transport everywhere easily.
- Is used with a data plan (not just voice!)