5 Jargon-Busting Terms for Smartphones

You'll need a new phone. Everybody does it from time to time. But what are all these terms and specifications have to do with it?! Smartphone specifications can be confusing. As technology improves the use, new terminology is used to describe the latest features on your phone. As a typical user, jargon makes it difficult to discern which smartphone features the most advanced specs and, more importantly, the things to look for when purchasing a phone. Let's go straight to the point and clarify smartphone specifications and what they refer to.

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1. Display

Displays for smartphones are sold under some pretty big names. However, the technology used is generally identical. For example, Apple uses Super Retina XDR branding, while Samsung uses Dynamic AMOLED, or Super AMOLED, similar OLED technology for display. Some companies refer to it as AMOLED. Another popular display technology can be described as IPS LCD. It can be commonly found on phones with less expensive specs.

AMOLED is the top of the crop of display technology for smartphones, featuring more brightness, superior contrast ratios, more expansive colors, and superior viewing angles.

LCD vs LED Smartphone Display - Which one is better?, Source: Youtube, Prachit Geeks

AMOLED isn't all that uncommon. There's another term being used, particularly in smartphones with flagship specs: LTPO. The low-temperature polycrystalline silica (LTPO) is a backplane used in OLED panels that allows smartphone manufacturers to use high-resolution refresh rates (90Hz or 120Hz) and higher resolutions in their devices without impacting the life of batteries.

LTPO technology lets the screen modify the refresh rate according to your activities. For example, it can ramp up the speed of the refresh to the maximum when you're playing an intense game to provide an enjoyable gaming experience but lowers the rate for less laborious tasks such as surfing through the social network.

If you are looking for the very best display, opt for a device that has an LTPO OLED or AMOLED display. 

2. Smartphone Processors

CPU (CPU) can be described as the core of every computer. In smartphones, it is the CPU, along with other crucial components such as the display processor, GPU, video processor, and radio modems are integrated into one device, which is referred to in the industry as the System on a Chip (SoC) or chip, which is short for.

To fully comprehend smartphone processors, it is first necessary to be aware of the leading key players in the industry.

Manufacturers of Smartphone Processors

MediaTek is another well-known brand in the market. MediaTek's flagship series of chips includes the Density brand. In addition to Density, MediaTek also has its Helio series. Density line, MediaTek has its mainstream Helio series.

How Smartphones Are Made in Factory, Source: Youtube, Tech World Reviews

Apart from Qualcomm and MediaTek, Samsung, Google and Apple also produce their chips. But these chips are typically only used in smartphones. Samsung uses Exynos chips in most of its Galaxy phones, while Apple's A-series Bionic chips are the official SoCs for the iPhone. Google began using its Tensor chips in their Pixel 6 series.

Which smartphone processor is the best?

In general, it's challenging to choose one processor at the top. It's often a matter of the OS category you're in. If you're a fan of iOS to Android select one of Apple's new iPhones, and you'll receive their top processor. If you're an Android enthusiast, your selection is straightforward; Qualcomm is the best processor of the Qualcomm brand.

What makes a phone chip so powerful is its core number of transistors (the more incredible, the more powerful) and processor technology (the less, the more efficient, e.g., a 4nm chip is superior to 5nm chips) and speed. Speed is typically measured by gigahertz (GHz), which means more numbers generally indicate higher performance.

Smartphone GPU

Graphics processing units (GPU) handle the graphics aspect of things. It is an excellent feature for mobile devices, especially when playing games. Unlike desktops, smartphones' CPUs come pre-paired with a GPU on one die.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips are integrated into Adreno GPUs. Samsung MediaTek's SoCs utilize AMD's Mali GPUs, and Apple's A-series Bionic chips are equipped with the integrated Apple GPU. As with processors, the more excellent the number, the better performance.

CPU vs GPU in Smartphones! Real Difference, Source: Youtube, Utsav Techie 

To determine the GPU of the device you are using, Google your smartphone's specifications. Numerous websites can assist you in figuring that out.

Memory and storage on smartphones

More significant isn't always better as storage and memory are not identical in terms of storage and memory. Random Access Memory (RAM for short) is called memory, and Read-Only Memory (ROM) is described as storage.

RAM is the storage device where your current programs and program files are kept, and ROM holds long-term information. This is why it will have greater gigabytes in ROM than RAM.

There are various kinds of memory on smartphones, such as LPDDR3, LPDDR4, and LPDDR5, that refer to different generations of memory. As the year's pass, more advanced versions of LPDDR are being developed quickly, with low latency, high bandwidth, etc.

How Much Phone Storage Do You Need?, Source: Youtube, Techquickie 

LPDDR is like desktop and laptop RAM; however, it is scaled back to draw less power and fit into smartphones. The LP part refers to low power. In the same way, the more influential the number, the more efficient the type of memory, i.e., LPDDR4 is superior to LPDDR3. Here's a comprehensive guide to RAM for those who generally want to know the ins and outs of memory.

The storage on smartphones is typically available in two flavors: NVMe and UFS. The higher the number, is better for the same type of storage, i.e., UFS 3.1 is superior to UFS 3.0. Apple typically utilizes NVMe storage, whereas Android manufacturers use UFS.

Certain smartphones come with "expandable storage capacity," which means you can add more storage by using a memory card.

Battery and Charging

Certain smartphones come with larger or smaller battery capacities.

The higher capacity of your phone means that you have more power available, but that doesn't always result in longer screen time.

Pixel 6 (Pro) - ULTIMATE Battery & Charging Test!, Source: Youtube, Darius K

Smartphones can be charged with a cable or wirelessly. USB Type C is now the most popular charging port. However, Apple offers its lightning port that is only available for iPhones. A smartphone's fast-charging specifications sheet indicates that the device can charge faster.

Every smartphone's spec sheet typically contains a maximum speed for charging indicated in Watts (W). For example, the OnePlus 10 Pro supports up to 80W (wired) and 50W (wireless) charging speeds. The greater the amount of Watts, the faster the charging speed.


While smartphone specs are hidden in mystery and filled with technical terminology, you can get the basics to aid in your next shopping spree more enjoyable. Remember that a phone's display processor storage, memory, and camera make a phone better than others.

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Hope this article is helpful to you, thanks for reading.

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