Difference Wiki

Android vs. Smartphone: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 6, 2024
Android is an operating system used by various devices, including smartphones; a smartphone is a mobile phone with advanced features like Internet connectivity.

Key Differences

Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, primarily for touchscreen mobile devices. A smartphone, on the other hand, is a class of mobile phones that provides advanced functionalities beyond making calls and sending text messages, often supported by operating systems like Android.
The term Android specifically refers to the OS (operating system) that powers many mobile devices. Smartphones are the hardware devices themselves, which can run various operating systems, including but not limited to Android.
Android provides the software platform for many smartphones, but not all smartphones use Android; some use iOS, Windows, or other operating systems. This highlights that while all Android devices are smartphones, not all smartphones are Android devices.
Android's flexibility allows it to be used in various devices ranging from phones to tablets, whereas a smartphone is a specific type of mobile phone with capabilities like internet browsing, apps, and often a touchscreen.
The development of Android is focused on continual updates and features that enhance mobile experiences, while smartphone manufacturers concentrate on hardware advancements like camera quality, battery life, and processing power.

Comparison Chart


Operating System
Type of Mobile Device


Primarily developed by Google
Various manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, etc.)


Used on multiple brands (Samsung, LG, etc.)
Can run different OS (iOS, Android, Windows)

Main Function

Provides interface and functionality
Offers communication and multimedia features

User Experience

Customizable user interface
Dependent on hardware and operating system used

Android and Smartphone Definitions


Android refers to a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human.
The android in the movie was so lifelike it was hard to tell it wasn't human.


A smartphone is a mobile phone that includes advanced functionality beyond making calls and sending text messages, often with internet capability.
I use my smartphone to manage my entire schedule.


In fiction, an android is often a character with human-like qualities but mechanical or artificial in nature.
The novel featured an android struggling with human emotions.


Smartphones typically feature a touchscreen interface, internet access, and an operating system capable of running downloaded apps.
Her smartphone's touchscreen makes browsing the web easy.


Android can also refer to software or apps compatible with the Android operating system.
I downloaded a new Android app for photo editing.


A smartphone is characterized by its ability to run third-party applications.
The app store on my smartphone has thousands of apps for everything from banking to fitness.


Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google.
My new phone runs the latest version of Android.


In modern usage, a smartphone often refers to devices that combine the features of a phone with those of other popular electronic gadgets.
His smartphone replaced his camera, MP3 player, and GPS device.


In technology, android implies a system or device that operates on the Android operating system.
We develop games specifically for Android devices.


Smartphones are notable for their connectivity options like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular data.
I synced my fitness tracker with my smartphone via Bluetooth.


Possessing human features.


A cellphone having a touchscreen or alphabetic keypad and many of the features of a personal computer, including an operating system that allows the user to download specialized apps.


A mobile robot or automaton, especially one that resembles a human.


A mobile phone with more advanced features and greater computing capacity than a featurephone.
Mobile phone


A robot that is designed to look and act like a human being (not necessarily a male one).


Possessing human qualities.


Of the pelvis, having a narrow anterior segment and a heart-shaped brim, typically found in the male.


A machine or automaton in the form of a human being.


Resembling a man.


An automaton that resembles a human being


What is Android?

Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google for touchscreen mobile devices.

What makes a smartphone different from a regular mobile phone?

Smartphones have advanced features like Internet access, app capability, and often touchscreens, unlike basic mobile phones.

Are all smartphones Android devices?

No, not all smartphones are Android devices; some use other operating systems like iOS.

Can smartphones function without an operating system like Android?

No, smartphones require an operating system like Android or iOS to function.

What are the main components of a smartphone?

Main components include a processor, display, battery, camera, and an operating system like Android.

How often is the Android operating system updated?

Google regularly updates Android with new features and security improvements, typically annually.

Can Android run on devices other than smartphones?

Yes, Android can also run on tablets, smartwatches, and certain smart home devices.

Do smartphones always come with pre-installed apps?

Most smartphones, including those running Android, come with pre-installed apps, often specific to the manufacturer or carrier.

What is a smartphone?

A smartphone is a mobile phone with advanced features like Internet connectivity, app functionality, and a touchscreen interface.

Can older smartphones run the latest version of Android?

Not always; the ability to run the latest Android version depends on the smartphone's hardware capabilities.

Are smartphones with Android more affordable than those with other operating systems?

Android smartphones vary in price, offering options from budget to premium, often making them more accessible price-wise than some alternatives.

Can Android smartphones connect to other devices?

Yes, Android smartphones can connect to a variety of devices via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, and more.

Is Android free to use for smartphone manufacturers?

Yes, Android is available under open-source licensing, allowing manufacturers to use and modify it.

Do all Android phones have similar features?

While all Android phones share the same OS, their features can vary significantly depending on the manufacturer and model.

How do app stores work on Android smartphones?

Android smartphones access apps through the Google Play Store, where users can download a variety of apps.

Is Android available in multiple languages?

Yes, Android supports multiple languages, making it accessible to a global user base.

Do all smartphones have a touchscreen?

While most modern smartphones have touchscreens, some models still feature physical keyboards.

How secure are Android smartphones?

Android smartphones offer various security features, but like all devices, they require proper settings and usage to ensure maximum security.

Can Android be customized by smartphone users?

Yes, Android allows significant customization in terms of layout, apps, and settings.

Are smartphones only used for personal purposes?

No, smartphones are widely used for both personal and professional purposes.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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