The search contacts screen displays all your contacts, regardless of how these contacts are segmented. If you have more than 100 contacts then the 100 most recently added / updated contacts will be shown, with the options to view the next 100 contacts, and so on.
As you type in the search box, results will automatically display. All fields are searched including custom fields.
The first column displays the contact Record Type. Record Type is a contact field used to determine the type of contact. If the Record Type is PERSON then a person icon will be shown. If the Record Type is ORGANIZATION then an factory icon will be shown.
Searching contacts is useful for locating a specific contact. To search contacts by a given attribute, for example to view all contacts who have a Record Type of 'PERSON' then navigate to All Contacts > Filter Contacts.
pete will find contacts who have the first name
Peter, the last name
Peterson and so on