It is possible to know the amount of megapixels, RAM and storage, processor speed, among other specifications, by the data sheet of the cell phone. This information, however, tends not to be so simple to be understood, which may confuse the consumer who is not aware of the matter. Here is a guide to better understand the technical data sheets of smartphones.
The technical specifications of the screen are divided into a series of requirements. Perhaps the most decisive are the size – the measurement in inches of the screen, as well as on television – and the resolution , which shows the total number of pixels that the display adds both horizontally and vertically. The resolution is nothing more than a notion of the number of pixels transmitted on the display. The more pixels the screen has, the greater the richness of details of the images to be displayed.
The combination of these two specifications results in pixel density, measured in «pixels per inch» (PPI). This value defines the level of sharpness of the screen, since the higher the number, the greater the concentration of pixels per square inch.
Finally, panel technology is another key element to define the quality of images. Currently, the LCD, OLED and Super AMOLED standards are the most used by the industry. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. In general, an LCD screen is associated with more precise colors. Super AMOLED and OLED technologies are historically known for the most intense contrasts, as well as bright colors.
The RAM for mobile phones have similar functionality to computers. The component is responsible for saving data in use by the system while the device is in operation. Temporarily, this memory is not saved forever and is deleted every time you turn off your smartphone, for example. In practice, this number translates into megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB) and acts directly on performance during multitasking, when opening apps , among other cases. In addition, as RAM also has practical effects on device performance, the higher, the better.
Processors are central components in a cell phone and define the performance that the device delivers. More complex, there are innumerable factors that measure processor performance, such as frequency, number of cores and architecture . The most important concept for measuring processing speed is the so-called frequency – also referred to as «speed.» Measured in gigahertz (GHz), this unit counts the number of cycles the CPU performs in a second. The more cycles, the faster the processor will be.
Processors, however, can have more than one core, which gives rise to dual-core, quad-core chips, among others, which are made up of several individual processors that work together. An octa-core, for example, has eight cores and tends to be faster than models with only two or four cores. It is important to consider that, in the case of cell phones, it is common for multicore processors to have cores that reach different speeds. The Snapdragon 855 is a typical example: the model has eight cores, but one of them operates at 2.84 GHz, three reach 2.42 GHz and another four, slower, operate at 1.8 GHz, to save energy.
Another technical characteristic is the measurement in nanometers (nm). Here, contrary to what you are used to, the lower the numbering, the more efficient the processor. Recently, Apple and Huawei announced cell phones with 7 nm chips.
One of the main specifications related to the camera is the maximum resolution of the sensor. Measured in megapixels, it indicates the number of pixels formed by the photos generated by the component. This aspect, however, does not directly mean good quality if the number is high. The focal opening also has some importance. This measure defines the amount of light that will be captured in the photo. A phone with a lens in f / 1.7, for example, tends to take clear photos even in dimly lit environments compared to a lens in f / 2.2. This value also affects the depth of field, that is, the visibility of the object or area in focus.
These, however, are not the only important concepts. In addition to other specifications that affect the result of the photos, mobile phone manufacturers also rely on software solutions to increase the experience and quality of images.
Storage is the specification responsible for the number of files, such as photos, music, videos, among others, that can be saved on the mobile. Space is measured in megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB). Despite following the same logic of RAM – the more space, the better -, there is no way to specify an ideal measure, as this varies from user to user. The important thing, however, is to consider mobile phones with storage from 32 GB, so as not to have much limitation on a day-to-day basis.
Users can also expand storage using microSD memory cards, available on most Android mobile phones. The solution, however, cannot be used on any iPhone, since Apple smartphones are incompatible with technology since the first generation.
Cellular batteries can be measured in milliamps-hour (mAh). This unit of measure is related to the capacity of the component . Here, the older, the better: a 4,000 mAh battery, for example, tends to last longer than a 3,000 mAh battery. The autonomy, however, depends on the power consumption of the processor, display, among other components. That is, it is useless to have a high capacity battery if the efficiency is not the strong cell phone.
There are a number of additional resources that have become industry standards, such as biometrics, that increase the safety of devices. Currently, there are fingerprint readers, iris scanners and facial recognition systems. It is also good to keep an eye on the tickets. Android phones can be found with two ports, both microUSB and USB-C, while iPhones are sold with Lightning. Another important variation is the presence or not of the headphone output, which in some models has been replaced by an adapter.
Currently, Android and iOS dominate the mobile phone market. Although the two platforms have their differences, keep in mind that the IOS is only available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This gives it a very important advantage over Android: who buys Apple phones, for example, benefits from more agile updates, for example. In the Android world, this varies a lot. Although some are more agile in releasing updates, others may take a long time, and even abandon support in a short time. There are also initiatives such as the Android One, which promises timely updates to the mobiles that participate in the program.
Another difference is in the customizations. On Android, each manufacturer can implement an interface in itself, such as LG, Samsung and Xiaomi, for example.
The appearance of the screen is one of the aspects that define the format of the phone . On smartphones, 18: 9 format screens have become very popular and guarantee a proportionally taller and narrower screen. However, it is also possible to find phones with 16: 9 format, although with less incidence. Another novelty that has gained a lot of space in the industry is the notch. Popularized by the iPhone X, it is a top pouch to hold the front camera and other sensors in order to get the most out of the front of the phone and discard the edges. The solution, however, divides opinions. The type of material used to build the device also deserves attention.
Currently, cell phones are sold, mostly with the construction of metal or glass. While one promises more resistance, the other can offer a more elegant finish, for example.