I'm looking for a word which encapsulates the above concept. An example: when someone knows how to use their phone, but doesn't understand how to take it apart, put it together, etc.

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    Perhaps they have an operational understanding. – WS2 Oct 15 '15 at 17:11
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    on the internet they might be called a (l)user – Jim Oct 15 '15 at 17:11
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    A basic user ? – Graffito Oct 15 '15 at 18:39
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    An end user might know how something works, but they don't have to. – Dave Magner Oct 15 '15 at 21:00
  • functional understanding – Greg Lee Oct 15 '15 at 21:33

We may use the simplistic term :

•WORKING KNOWLEDGE — the adjective can be made WORKABLE if need be.

But I would love to use - BASICS - in all these situations.

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There is a relevant term, but it refers to the object being used, not to the user. In your example, the person is using their phone as a black box. As Wikipedia says,

a black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs [...], without any knowledge of its internal workings.

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I'm unable to dismantle and/or repair much of the technology I use - mechanical and electrical. In these instances I would describe myself as a consumer.

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I would call it superficial understanding, which suggests that there is a lot that is not understood (the inner workings of the device).

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