Building on the extensive studies of the benefits of smartphone applications in English education, this research examined three types of smartphone apps, KakaoTalk, Naver Band, and Socrative, in e-learning environments. We compared the effectiveness of each smartphone app on both cognitive and affective development in the vocabulary learning of cyber university students. Fifty students enrolled in an e-learning class were divided into three groups, one for each app, and were given seven sets of vocabulary quizzes via their respective apps for three weeks. The findings of this study suggest that the group that used Band showed the highest improvement in their vocabulary performance, followed by Socrative and KakaoTalk. All three groups showed positive satisfaction, interest, and attitude towards blended learning (e-learning+smart learning) using the apps. With regards to affective domains, i.e., students’ satisfaction, the highest result was found in the Socrative group, followed by KakaoTalk and Band. Another affective domain, students’ interest, showed a different result. KakaoTalk showed the highest result, followed by Socrative and Band. These outcomes reflect the distinctive features of these three different mediums. Based on these research findings, this smart learning designed to overcome the limitations of “one-way” e-learning has significant pedagogical implications for future cyber higher education.