According to Ofcom's sixth International Communications Market report, the number of people in Britain owning smartphones from brands like Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung grew from just 24% in February 2010 to 46% in August this year.
Takeup in the UK was higher than among all the other European nations surveyed, including France (35%), Germany (32%), Italy (40%) and Spain (45%).
The number of people using their mobiles to go online was also higher in the UK, with nearly half (46%) of internet users in Britain accessing mobile internet in October 2011, higher than all the other countries surveyed.
UK consumers were also more likely to play games on their smartphones, at 34% compared with 16% in France.
A quarter (25%) of UK mobile users accessed news content on their phones, higher than any other European nation, which Ofcom said was partly due to "UK newspaper websites having mobile specific websites".
However, British consumers were less likely to use the internet to make phone calls, as only 19% of UK broadband subscribers used internet telephony services such as the Microsoft-owned Skype to make calls, compared with 28% in Italy and 26% in France.
Ofcom found that the "UK's love of TV continues", as overall TV viewing increased by 7.6% in 2010 compared with 2009. The average person is now watching just over four hours of TV per day (242 minutes), which was 31 minutes more than the survey-wide average of 211 minutes per person.
The regulator said just over a quarter (27%) of UK internet users now watch TV online via services such as BBC iPlayer every week, up 3% from 2010 and higher than any other country surveyed.
The UK also saw the largest growth in digital video recorder (DVR) takeup, with 36% of homes now owning a DVR service such as Sky+ or Freeview+, a four percentage point increase on 2009. Britain is now only second in DVR usage to the US, where 41% of households use the service.
However, just 4% of UK households actually subscribed to the superfast services in June 2011, compared with 40% in Japan and 10% in the US - although that was higher than in other European nations, including Germany (3%), Italy (1.5%) and Spain (2.2%).
The UK government has committed hundreds of millions of pounds to help Britain have the best superfast broadband by 2015, but many areas, particularly rural communities, still struggle to access even the lowest connections speeds.
Ofcom believes that superfast mobile broadband networks using 'long term evolution' (LTE) technology could provide the key, with some countries such as Sweden already enjoying headline speeds of up to 100Mbps.
The regulator will auction the largest amount of spectrum in Britain's history in the second half of next year to enable mobile operators to launch new 4G LTE services in 2013.
Ofcom's sixth international communications market report assessed the takeup and availability of broadband, landline, mobiles, TV and radio services in 17 countries.
Despite the continued economic downturn, the report found that global communications revenues grew by 3.4% year-on-year in 2010, which was largely driven by "strong growth in the BRIC countries (Brazil, India, Russia and China)".
Total retail telecoms revenues generated £594bn in 2010, 1.9% higher than in 2009, while total radio revenues reached £25bn, up by 5% year-on-year, and overall TV revenues increased by 7.7% year-on-year, from £222bn to £239bn.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: "Our research shows that the UK communications market is performing well with prices, the range of services and innovation standing up well against international benchmarks.
"There are also issues which we will monitor carefully, such as the future roll-out 4G mobile services. We are pressing ahead with plans to release this valuable spectrum at the end of next year which will enable new mobile services for consumers."