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A Glossary of Smartphone Jargon | go! | Globe

What the Tech?! A Glossary of Smartphone Jargon

There’s a new smartphone every year—but do you really know what you’re buying?

New smartphone models and upgrades are unveiled by tech companies every year, and consumers all flock to shop for the latest one. Whether you’re a smartphone loyalist or a casual fan of a particular tech company, it’s vital to know the ABC’s of your mobile device. After all, how else would you know what you’re getting into?

Ahead, we’ve made it easy for you to find out with this list of tech jargon and what each term means.

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A smartphone operating system developed by Google. It is used by mobile brands Samsung, Sony, HTC, Motorola, and Google mobile devices.


Short for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode, this is a type of display device technology sharper and more battery efficient than LCD.



A short-range wireless connection in electronic devices to communicate and connect with each other. It allows people to send photos, files, etc. wirelessly to nearby users.



Companies that provide communication services to users. Globe is an example of a phone service carrier that offers postpaid or prepaid plans for your smartphone.

Cloud storage

A virtual cabinet for storing your mobile device’s files. This doesn’t rely on the built-in storage of your smartphone.



Refers to phones with two SIM card slots and therefore allows you to have two active SIM cards simultaneously.



The ability of your mobile device to get a full charge in less than 30 minutes. For this to work, both your smartphone and charger must support fast-charging technology.

Fingerprint scanner

An extra layer of security in unlocking smartphones. Users need to tap a recognized fingerprint onto the scanner to be granted access to the phone.



Short for Global Positioning System, it’s a location service that allows cell towers and satellites to pinpoint where you are in the world.



Short for High Dynamic Range. It’s a camera setting that takes a series of photos in different exposures and stitches them together to form the best possible image.

Headphone jack

The 3.5mm audio jack used to connect wired earphones to your mobile device. Some smartphone models have phased this out in favor of wireless or bluetooth earphones.



An exclusive smartphone operating system developed by Apple. It powers all of Apple’s devices.



Short for Liquid Crystal Display. This is a type of device display technology powering a wide range of smartphones today.


Also known as Li-ion, this is a type of non-removable battery in some smartphones. It is said to performance and memory of the mobile device better than other variants.



Short for multimedia service. This messaging system distributes graphics, sounds, and videos.

Mobile hotspot

A feature that allows other devices to share the mobile internet data of your mobile device.



Short for Near Field Communication. This allows smartphones to make a payment when they are near or in contact with POS machines.



Short for Organic Emitting Diode, this is another common type of device display technology designed to be energy-efficient and sharp.

Optical image stabilization

A form of camera technology that keeps your phone steady when you take photos or videos.



A call/text and data plan paid for monthly to your chosen carrier. Rates are usually fixed unless you go over your contract.


The opposite of a postpaid plan, prepaid means you’re not tied to a contract, and you pay for minutes and data whenever you need it.


QR Code

A Quick Response code is a 2D barcode that stores information about a product, brand, event, and more. Smartphones are equipped to read QR codes via a third-party app or directly through the camera.



A feature that allows you to use your cellphone connectivity outside your phone carrier’s service areas. This is why your local number can still work outside your home country. It usually incurs extra fees.


SIM card

SIM is short for Subscriber Identity Module. It’s the small chip your carrier issues which contains your mobile number and other account details. The SIM is what allows you to connect to data.


Short for Short Message Service and more popularly known as a text message. It’s the communication channel that allows text messages to be sent across different networks.


USB-C cable

A type of USB cable that allows smartphone users to sync data between their phone and another device or charge their phones.



A type of service provided by your carrier. It allows you to leave messages to the people you call if they are unable to pick up their phones and vice versa.

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There you have it, folks. Hopefully, this quick-fix glossary helped shed some light on some of the tech jargon you’ve heard. There’s no need to come into the smartphone game blind now that you understand the specs and features of your palm-sized partner-in-crime.

Art Alex Lara

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