Have you ever been confused about what to call your Android phone? Back in the day, phones were phones and the nomenclature was quite straightforward. Through the progression of car phones and then cell phones, everything was usually still clear; today it is no longer so simple. Users of Apple iPhones generally call their devices iPhones, so what can Android users call their handsets? We talked to some Android users to find out how they refer to their mobile devices.

An Operating System or a Device?

While Android is technically only the operating system (OS) that runs on smartphones from companies such as Motorola, Samsung, and LG, Android is still considered an acceptable name for such devices. In fact, Android is one of the most commonly used terms, along with the abbreviated Droid. A drawback to using the term Droid is that it is also the proprietary name of a series of Motorola handsets that run the Android OS. Using that name might be ambiguous both for those who have Motorola Droids and for those with other Android devices, but Motorola’s Droid represents a sufficiently small portion of the market that most people generally associate Droid with Androids, more so than with Motorola.

“I like to call it a Droid,” said Rob S. of Brooklyn, “because it’s short and easy to say, but it distinguishes my phone from just any old cell phone or iPhone. Droids are cooler than they used to be.” As Android devices comprise a large and growing portion of market share, it has become increasingly hip to use an Android device. 

Some users refer to their devices by the manufacturer’s name or the model, depending on which is better suited, but this is less common. Handsets in Samsung’s Galaxy series are frequently called Galaxies, while other models from Samsung, such as the Intercept, might simply be referred to as a Samsung. People were less likely to refer to their smartphones this way if they owned devices from other manufacturers such as HTC, LG, or Nexus.

Blurring the Lines between Landlines and Mobile

Many people still simply call their devices phones. “I call my Android a phone, because it’s the only thing I use to call people,” said Dennis Z. of Washington, D.C. “My mother calls it a cell phone because she also has a landline.” Generational differences were clearly present in our discussions, with older users significantly more likely to call their devices cellphones rather than Droids or Androids.

If you are still unsure of what to call your Android phone, don’t worry. The results of our poll seem to indicate more than anything else that the exact names are unimportant; people will understand what you mean.

If you are an Android user, what device do you use and what do you call it?

Image courtesy of Flickr


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