Digital compass, global positioning system (GPS) radio

5Many phones now have two cameras: front-facing for video calling, and rear-facing for photography/filming. Some webchat apps also allow switching to the rear-facing camera mid-call, so you can show your partner what you are viewing. Expect upwards of 3 megapixel resolution. Beware that number of megapixels provides little indication of quality of photos or video clips.
Other sensors: most smartphones now include many other sensors to assist their operation. Thse include a digital compass, global positioning system (GPS) radio, both to aid navigation. A light sensor helps adjust screen brightness to match environment.
An accelerometer/motion sensor and gyroscope have many uses, include auto-adjustment of screen orientation to suit how the phone is held, as well as assist in games and other apps. A proximity sensor is often fitted so that the screen is dimmed and deactivated when the phone is held to the ear to make phone calls.
Platform: early smartphones relied on Windows Mobile operating system, but the platform proved unreliable and difficult to operate. Microsoft stopped development of Windows Mobile at version 6.5 in 2009. Microsoft is now developing Windows Phone 7.
Aside from Windows Phone, in its infancy and with reduced developer or user following compared to other platforms, there are three smartphone operating systems on the worldwide market.
RIM’a BlackBerry OS was developed for business users, and was the first platform to facilitate email on a mobile phone. Even now it has a strong following in large business enterprises, who prize it for its security and ability to be locked-down by a system administrator.

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