Smartphones are here to stay, with millions sold every year and new models and updates every month. What are they and how can you find the best one for your needs?
It is essential to know how to identify the main characteristics of smartphones to make an informed purchase. What are RAM, OLED, GB and so on? If you think ram is just a male sheep then you might want to read on.
What do all the acronyms mean? This handy guide will help you discover what you need to know before buying a smartphone. Things like from which company and what minimum characteristics you’ll need from it.
Let’s start with the fundamentals.
What are smartphones?
Mobile phones with multiple uses, but basically they are a small computer in your pocket. It is generally equipped with a touch screen, a camera or two, and it’s connected to the internet. And it allows you to download various and varied applications (apps).
To put it simply, the 90s classic Nokia 3310 cannot be considered a smartphone, since it only allowed you to make phone calls and send text messages. The basics of a mobile phone.
A smart phone does this and much, much more.
A smart phone is connected to the internet using mobile networks. In the beginning, we had 3G smartphones, then 4G, which was faster and more stable. We are now in the era of 5G.
However, not all smartphones are compatible with 5G yet, so remember to check this point if this is an important factor for you. 5G is super fast internet, often beating home Wi-Fi speeds. However, it is only available in certain cities in the UK and on certain network providers.
There are many brands of smartphone too, with many of the big name electroiuncs manufacturers touting every level of smartphone.
You’ll certainly know Apple, Samsung, Sony and Google. But you’ll also find the big Chinese brands Huawei, Xiaomi, Asus, Realme, OPPO, and OnePlus on the market.
Apple has the biggest market share, with its many iterations of the iPhone. Samsung follows, with various offerings such as the Galaxy line.
The screen (size, panel, definition)
Nowadays, the majority of smartphones measure between 6 and 7 inches. For example, the screen of Apple’s latest smartphone, iPhone 14, has a screen size of 6.1 inches.
This is quite a large screen when you consider that before the advent of the iPhone, screen sizes were tiny.
Let’s move on to screen quality. This choice is essential, especially if you like to watch videos or spend hours using photo editing software. You could even indulge in a video game or two.
Have you ever wondered how your touchscreen works? Thankfully, we no longer have to press the same key four times to write the letter “S”, thanks to the capacitive panels which make touch screens.
These panels are divided into two families: LCD screens and OLED screens (and AMOLED). The former operate using liquid crystals and the latter via light-emitting diodes.
What you need to remember is that OLED and AMOLED screens are the better screens for phones. They display better colour rendering, a black of a higher intensity and they consume less energy because the black color is displayed purely and simply by turning off the diodes.
We must also take into account the resolution of the screen. This is expressed by the terms SD, HD, Full HD (FHD), Quad HD (QHD), Ultra HD (UHD) or even 4K.
For example, the 4K has a definition of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The higher the resolution, the higher the price of the smartphone. The modern advice is to not go below Full HD (FHD) so that the use is pleasant.
In short, choose smartphones with an OLED or AMOLED panel and a resolution of at least FHD.
It’s nice to have a nice AMOLED FHD + screen, but it still has to work properly.
The main points to know regarding the performance of your smartphone are as follows:
RAM or Random Access Memory (which has nothing to do with the Daft Punk album) is essential because it is, in simple terms, the short-term data storage of your smartphone.
Without it, your smartphone would be extremely slow or even unusable. In other words, it allows you to perform daily tasks such as browsing the Internet, loading applications or watching videos. The more apps you have open on your smartphone, the more RAM you use.
Nowadays, most smartphones are equipped with 6, 8 or even 12 GB of RAM, which is more than enough to perform everyday tasks.
Let’s move on to another essential component to the operation of your smartphone: the processor.
It acts purely and simply as the brain of your device. It executes the programs and performs the essential actions.
Apple, Google, and Samsung design their phones’ processors themselves, called A15 Bionic, Google Tensor, and Exynos, respectively.
You’ll also find the Snapdragon chip from Qualcomm or the Helio from MediaTekamong the most widespread in Android phones.
The most efficient chips use the least energy possible. For the basic use of a smartphone, you do not have to worry about the type of processor which will be suitable for daily use.
Finally, the storage capacity of your phone is also worth taking into consideration. Think of it as a whole bunch of little cupboards where you can keep your photos, videos, games or apps.
Remember the time when the iPhone had 8 GB of storage? It meant installing an application and then deleting it to be able to use your phone. Smartphones now usually have at least 64 GB of storage and can go up to 1TB of data storage.
Now you know what you need for your future smartphones and make a purchase that corresponds to your real needs, and not make the decision based merely on if it is a popular brand.
Of course, everyone’s dream is to pay as little as possible for a device with the best features.