Smartphone Specifics Guide 5 Jargon-Busting Smartphone Terms

You'll need a new phone. Everybody does it from time to moment. But what are all these terms and specifications refer to?! The specs of smartphones can be a bit complicated. As technology develops, new terminology is created to describe the latest features on your phone. Let's get straight to the point and clarify smartphone specifications and what they refer to.

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1. Display

Displays on smartphones come with quite a few names. However, the technology used is generally similar. For example, Apple uses Super Retina XDR branding, while Samsung uses Dynamic AMOLED, or Super AMOLED, which refers to the identical OLED screen technology. Others call it AMOLED. Another popular display technology can be described as IPS LCD. This can be used on smartphones at lower prices.

AMOLED is the crème de la top smartphone display technology. It has excellent brightness, higher contrast ratios, more colors, and superior viewing angles.

LCD, OLED, IPS, AMOLED - Displays Explained, Source: Youtube, Cashify 

In the same vein as AMOLED, an additional term is used primarily in flagship phones: LTPO. The low-temperature polycrystalline silica (LTPO) is a backplane used in OLED panels that allow smartphone makers to integrate high-resolution refresh rate (90Hz or 120Hz) and more excellent resolution into their devices without sacrificing the life of batteries.

LTPO technology lets the screen modify the refresh rate dependent on your activities. For instance, it will ramp up the refresh rate to its maximum when playing an intense game to provide an effortless gaming experience. However, it reduces the speed when you're doing less demanding things such as browsing social networks.

Opt for a model with an LTPO OLED or AMOLED display if you're looking for the top show. Other features to look for are the resolution (FHD QHD, FHD, or 4K) and the aspect ratio (the ratio between length and width), pixel density, or PPI. More significant is more effective.

2. Processors for Smartphones

CPU (CPU) functions as the core of any computer. In smartphones, the CPU and other essential components such as the display processor, GPU, video processor, and radio modems are incorporated into a single device, referred to by the System on a Chip (SoC) chip, for short.

To comprehend the processing capabilities of smartphones, it is first necessary to be aware of the primary critical players in the industry.

The Smartphone processor Manufacturers

They're accountable for Snapdragon chips. Most Android smartphones, including the top mid-range and flagship models, have Snapdragon chips.

MediaTek is another well-known brand in the field. MediaTek's flagship series of chips include the Density brand. Apart from this series, the Density line, MediaTek has its mainstream Helio series.

In addition to 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 the majority of its Galaxy phones, while Apple's A-series Bionic chips are the standard SoCs for the iPhone. Google has begun using in-house Tensor chips in its Pixel 6 series.

How do Smartphone CPUs Work? || Inside the System on a Chip, Source: Youtube, Branch Education 

Which Processor for Smartphones is the Best?

It's generally not easy to choose one processor as the most effective. It's often a matter of the OS group you are in. If you're a fan of iOS to Android, choose one of Apple's most recent iPhones, and you'll receive their top processor. If you're an Android enthusiast, your option is easy; Qualcomm is the best processor from Qualcomm.

What makes a phone chip powerful is its fundamental count (the more the number, the better) and its processing capabilities (the less, the more efficient, e.g., a 4nm chip will perform better than 5nm) and speed. Speed is typically measured as gigahertz (GHz), which means more numbers generally indicate higher performance.

3. Smartphone GPU

A graphics processor (GPU) is responsible for the graphics component of the equation. It is an excellent feature on smartphones, particularly during games. Unlike desktops, smartphones' CPUs are typically paired with GPUs on one die.

Qualcomm's Adreno series, Apple's GPU line, AMD's Mali GPU series, and the Imagination PowerVR line. PowerVR GPUs target the low-end market and aren't as popular.

Smartphone vs. Graphics Card - GPU Performance and Power with GPU BaseMark, Source: Youtube, Fully Buffered

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

To find out the GPU your phone is running, Google your smartphone's specifications. Numerous sites can help to figure that out.

4. Memory and storage on smartphones

More significant isn't always better in terms of storage and memory, as many different types of storage or memory are the same. Random Access Memory (RAM for short) is called memory, and Read-Only Memory (ROM) is known as storage.

RAM is the memory in which the programs you are currently using store files for programs. RAM is stored in your program files, while ROM holds long-term information. This is why there will be more gigabytes in ROM than RAM.

There are various types of memory for smartphones, such as LPDDR3, LPDDR4, and LPDDR5, which refer to multiple types of memory. As the years pass, more advanced models of LPDDR are created that are quick, with less latency, higher bandwidth, etc.

How to Check Memory Usage in Android, Source: Youtube, Kevin Muldoon

LPDDR is like desktop and laptop RAM; however, it is scaled back to draw less power and fit into smartphones. The LP is a reference to power consumption that is low. In the same way, the more influential the number, the more powerful the memory type, 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.

Storage on smartphones usually comes in two varieties, NVMe and UFS. Higher quality is more beneficial for the same flavor, 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," meaning you can expand more storage by using an external memory card.

5. Battery and Charging

The majority of smartphones utilize lithium-ion batteries. Battery capacity is expressed in milliamperes or mAh. Smartphone batteries are available in various capacities, usually ranging between 2500mAh to 5500mAh. Certain phones have larger or smaller battery capacities.

More capacity means you'll have more power to work with, but that doesn't always result in longer screen time.

How Fast Charging Works in the Smartphone ?, Source: Youtube, ALL ABOUT ELECTRONICS 

Smartphones can be charged with a cable or wirelessly. USB Type C is now the most popular charging port; however, Apple owns its lightning port specifically for iPhones. The support for fast charging on the smartphones specification sheet suggests that the device can charge faster.

The spec sheet for every smartphone 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 more Watts, the more rapid charging speeds.


While the specs of smartphones are hidden in mystery and rife with tech terms, you can still learn the basics to help make your next shopping experience more enjoyable. Remember that what makes a phone better than others is its display processor memory, storage, and camera.

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