Feature Phone

What Does Feature Phone Mean?

A feature phone is a type of mobile phone that has more features than a standard cellphone but is not equivalent to a smartphone. Feature phones can make and receive calls, send text messages and provide some of the advanced features found on a smartphone. Feature phones were primarily designed for consumers who want a multifunctional mobile phone but aren’t willing to pay the higher prices associated with true smartphones.


Feature phones are also known as dumbphones, a retronym to contrast them with smartphones.

Techopedia Explains Feature Phone

Typically, a feature phone has the basic characteristics of a mobile phone and has capabilities such as a portable media player, digital camera, personal organizer and Internet access. In 2011, feature phones accounted for 70 percent of the mobile phones sold worldwide.

Although there is no predefined difference between a feature phone and a smartphone, a feature phone doesn’t usually support add-on applications. It may also have limited processing and storage capacity and lack advanced multimedia and Internet connectivity options.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.