Difference Between PDA and Smartphone

In earlier times, owning a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) was quite common for people across the world. It was a helpful, convenient, and easy-to-use gadget that helped you stay organized.

However, constantly evolving technology replaced these devices with brand new smartphones. These were better than PDAs in every aspect. Nowadays, from children to the elderly, almost everyone owns one of these.

PDA vs Smartphone

The main difference between PDA and smartphone is that a PDA does not have as many features as a smartphone does. On the other hand, a smartphone has all the features of a PDA as well as extra applications for its users.

PDA vs Smartphone

PDA, which stands for Personal Digital Assistant, is a small device that can store information. This includes contact numbers, addresses, dates as well as anything writeable that is worthy of taking note of. The device works as a digital diary and was used extensively by businessmen in earlier times.

A smartphone is a gadget that combines the work of a PDA with that of a mobile phone. So, a user can not only store information but also make calls, exchange emails and browse the net. However, the applications of a smartphone are not limited to these.

Comparison Table Between PDA and Smartphone

Parameters of ComparisonPDASmartphone
MeaningPDA works as a small digital assistant that can save information like dates, contact numbers, and schedules.Smartphones are new digital devices that do the work of a PDA as well as a mobile phone using just one firmware.
Features  A PDA has fewer features than a smartphone does.A smartphone has more features than a PDA, such as gaming and syncing options, as well as a built-in camera.
UsesA PDA can be used for note-taking, planning, organizing, and scheduling.A smartphone can be used for a variety of purposes such as making calls, browsing the net, watching videos, etc.
Touch screenA PDA is a small mobile device that commonly has a hardware keyboard and no touch screen.Smartphones have a touch screen that works faster than the latter.
Phone call optionsA PDA cannot be used to make phone calls.A smartphone can be used to make phone calls.
Availability  Nowadays, PDAs are not used as much as they were used before.Smartphones have now replaced PDAs and are used widely by people across the world.

What is PDA?

A PDA or Personal Digital Assistant is a small movable device that was commonly used in earlier times. It has features including a calendar, notepad, and contact list. It can be used to save phone numbers, addresses, and even schedules.

PDAs help people get rid of the manual work that they have to do while writing down numbers and addresses on paper. These devices can store such information easily while taking up less space. Moreover, it takes less time for users to type in and search for information on a PDA.

Since PDAs proved to be of better functionality than traditional pen and paper, these devices replaced the latter in no time. However, they could not be used to make phone calls. They could only save numbers and letters. This was very handy for businessmen as it helped in organizing and scheduling. It could even be used to make documents.

What is Smartphone?

A smartphone is a new-age digital device that combines the uses of a PDA and a mobile phone. Users can not only save the information but also make phone calls using a smartphone. Moreover, it provides a variety of other applications such as syncing, gaming, and browsing.

Smartphones replaced the old PDA system because a PDA can only be used for storing, which is a very basic function for a smartphone. Moreover, smartphones have touch screens which make it way easier and faster to search for information.

A major advantage for users while using smartphones is the cellular network. This allows a person to browse the net at any time or place. Such a feature is absent in old PDAs which only provide limited connectivity.

A smartphone can be used for a very wide variety of purposes. Some include sending and receiving emails, taking pictures using a built-in camera, syncing with other devices, and browsing the net. These devices are not only useful for businessmen but the general public as well.

Main Differences Between PDA and Smartphone

  1. A smartphone has all the features of a PDA while a PDA has fewer features than a smartphone.
  2. A smartphone can be used to make calls while a PDA cannot.
  3. PDAs can be used for storing information and scheduling while smartphones can be used for a variety of other purposes such as browsing and gaming.
  4. Smartphones have touch screens while PDAs do not. PDAs have a built-in hardware keyboard.
  5. Smartphones take up lesser time and space than PDAs.
  6. Nowadays, smartphones are very commonly used across the globe. On the other hand, it is difficult to find a user who still uses a PDA system.


The main difference between a PDA and Smartphone is quite evident. A smartphone has more features and applications than a PDA. It can not only be used to store information but can also be used to make calls, browse the net, and sync with other devices.

On the other hand, the features that a PDA has are very basic to a smartphone. These small devices can be used to write down contact numbers, addresses, and plans. Though it proves to be faster than traditional pen and paper, it is no match for the new age smartphones that have emerged in the market.

It is not surprising that smartphones replaced PDAs in such a quick manner. This happened because of the variety of advantages a user had while using a smartphone over a PDA. A major reason could be connectivity issues. While PDAs cannot be used to make calls, smartphones can be used for the purpose.


  1. https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/47/2/237/5716332
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1072989.1072995
AskAnyDifference HomeClick here
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]