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| July 13, 2020

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39 Essential Smartphone Terms You Need To Know

39 Essential Smartphone Terms You Need To Know
Andrei Calina

smartphone terms

We live in a world filled with technology and every few days, a new concept or innovation is announced. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes, it’s pretty hard to keep up with everything, especially when it comes to new terms. But fear no more, we’re here to help!

Here you can find a glossary with all the terms you will be dealing with on, no matter if you’re placing an order for an unlock code or simply reading our latest articles, on the blog!


  • Accelerometer – An instrument, found inside smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, used for measuring the acceleration.
  • AMOLED – Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, a display technology used in smartwatches, smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs.
  • Android – A mobile operating system (OS) currently developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
  • APNThe name of a gateway between a GSM, GPRS, 3G or 4G mobile network and another computer network, frequently the public Internet.
  • Autofocus – An optical system using a sensor, a control system and a motor or tunable optical element to focus on an automatically or manually selected point or area.


  • Blacklisted – The status your phone gets if it’s lost or stolen and you report the IMEI to your carrier. They will broadcast that number throughout their network and make it impossible for the phone to connect to make a call.
  • Bricked phone“Bricking” essentially means a device has turned into a brick. It may be an electronic device worth hundreds of dollars, but it’s now as useful as a brick (or perhaps a paperweight). A bricked device won’t power on and function normally. A bricked device cannot be fixed through normal means
  • BroadbandIn telecommunications, broadband is a wide bandwidth data transmission with an ability to simultaneously transport multiple signals and traffic types. The medium can be coaxial cable, optical fiber, radio or twisted pair.


  • CDMACode division multiple access (CDMA) is a channel access method used by various radio communication technologies.
  • Custom ROMA custom ROM replaces your device’s Android operating system — normally stored in read-only memory — with a new version of the Android operating system.
  • CyanogenModCyanogenMod, usually abbreviated to CM, is an open-source operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, based on the Android mobile platform.


  • Dual SIM – A mobile phone that holds two SIM cards.


  • FirmwareFirmware refers to the applications and operating system that control how a cellphone or smartphone operates. It is called firmware rather than software to highlight that it is very closely tied to the particular hardware components of a device.
  • Flash – The process of adding a custom ROM on your phone.


  • Gorilla Glass A brand of specialized toughened glass developed and manufactured by Corning, now in its fifth generation, designed to be thin, light and damage-resistant.
  • GSMGSM (Global System for Mobile Communications, originally Groupe Spécial Mobile), is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe the protocols for second-generation (2G) digital cellular networks used by mobile phones, first deployed in Finland in July 1991.


  • Hard reset – A reset that wipes all the data from your phone.


  • IMEIThe International Mobile Station Equipment Identity or IMEI is a number, usually unique to identify 3GPP and iDEN mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones. It is usually found printed inside the battery compartment of the phone, but can also be displayed on-screen on most phones by entering *#06# on the dialpad, or alongside other system information in the settings menu on smartphone operating systems.


  • Li-IonA lithium-ion battery (sometimes Li-ion battery or LIB) is a member of a family of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.
  • Li-PolymerA lithium polymer battery, or more correctly lithium-ion polymer battery (abbreviated variously as LiPo, LIP, Li-poly and others), is a rechargeable battery of lithium-ion technology in a pouch format. Unlike cylindrical and prismatic cells, LiPos come in a soft package or pouch, which makes them lighter but also less rigid.
  • Locked phone – A phone that can be used on a single carrier, so you can’t switch to another before unlocking it first.


  • MMS – A  standard way to send messages that include multimedia content to and from mobile phones over a cellular network.


  • NFCNear field communication (NFC) is a set of communication protocols that enable two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device such as a smartphone, to establish communication by bringing them within 4 cm (2 in) of each other.
  • Neverlocked phone – A phone that wasn’t locked on a carrier.


  • OLEDAn organic light-emitting diode (OLED) is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current.
  • OS – Operating system, an intermediary between users and computer hardware. It provides users an environment in which a user can execute programs conveniently and efficiently. In technical terms, It is a software which manages hardware.
  • OTAOver-the-air programming (OTA) refers to various methods of distributing new software , configuration settings, and even updating encryption keys to devices like cellphones, set-top boxes or secure voice communication equipment (encrypted 2-way radios).


  • PINIn mobile devices, the PIN acts like a password preventing other people from gaining unauthorized access to your device. This is a numeric code which must be entered each time the device is started (unless the PIN security feature is turned off).
  • PRDAn identification number on a Blackberry smartphone. It stands for Product Requirements Documents. The number is a sort/batch number and is reference to where, when and for which wireless carrier the handset was manufactured for.
  • PUKA PUK or ‘Personal Unlocking Key’ is a security feature on most mobile devices that protects your SIM card data. A PUK code is required when a SIM Card PIN code has been entered incorrectly.


  • Region Locked phone – A phone that can be used with SIM cards from a specific region.
  • RoamingRoaming ensures that a traveling wireless device (typically a cell phone) is kept connected to a network without breaking the connection.
  • ROMThe permanent storage of System files, known as firmware which is essential in running the OS. Normally modification of ROM is not allowed by the manufacturer. They lock the bootloader to deny any unauthorized modification.
  • Root The process of allowing users of smartphones, tablets and other devices running the Android mobile operating system to attain privileged control (known as root access) over various Android subsystems.


  • SIMA subscriber identity module or subscriber identification module (SIM) is an integrated circuit chip that is intended to securely store the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number and its related key, which are used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices (such as mobile phones and computers).
  • SIM lockA SIM lock, simlock, network lock or subsidy lock is a technical restriction built into GSM mobile phones by mobile phone manufacturers for use by services providers to restrict the use of these phones to specific countries and/or networks.
  • SMSA text messaging service component of phone, Web, or mobile communication systems. It uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages.
  • Soft reset – A simple reset, consisting in powering off then on again your phone.


  • UI the look and feel of the on-screen menu system. How it works, its color scheme, how it responds to button presses, all of these things are part of the user interface.