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Phone Shopping Basics: Smartphone Specs Explained



Phone Shopping Basics

While SIM network connection is among the factors that you take into account as you choose for the right smartphone, there’s still a lot of smartphone specs that you need to understand in order to avail a good purchase. For example, the specs of a Kyocera Hydro ELITE would be different from an Alcatel PIXI 4. This is why you should carefully consider a model before purchasing it’s much as technology has become overwhelming, no worries! This article is here to help you understand the complex terms as used in common smartphone specs.

Starting with the most commonly unfamiliar term in smartphone specs, and the most vital one, processor. For one, it’s simply the brain of a smartphone. However, as it is displayed with other technical jargons, it becomes more complex.

  • In flyers, it may either be listed as CPU (central processing unit) or SoC (system on a chip)
  • It houses both the CPU and the GPU (graphical processing unit)
  • Its processing speed is rated commonly at gigahertz (GHz), and rarely at megahertz (MHz). Ideally, the higher the number is, the faster the processor, which comes in handy for gaming purposes.
  • It is composed of a number of processing units (also cores), which can vary as a single-core or multicore chip. Hence, why you hear of dual-core, quad-core, and octa-core at mobile shops. Definitely, the more cores in a chip, the more tasks a smartphone can perform without being laggish.
  • If you ever encounter 64-bit processors on mobile, it just means that the processor is an upgrade from the conventional 32-bit processors. Comparatively, this kind of processor enables better performance, easy access to higher amounts of memory, run complex apps, and perform multitasking effectively.


Memory, when it comes to smartphone specs, is mainly about RAM and internal storage.

  • RAM (random access memory) pertains to the ability of the device to multitask and run your apps smoothly. Ideally, the higher the amount of RAM, the better. But that’s if you need them like gamers and other heavy users do, otherwise, you may settle for a minimum of 1 or 2GB for casual usage.
  • Internal storage, on the other hand, refers to the amount of memory that your phone can initially accommodate, i.e. music, videos, photos, and apps. Generally, smartphones today are shipped with 8, 16, 32, 64, or 128GB of internal storage. With these varying sizes, one should know how these are easily eaten up by the apps that are originally stored by the manufacturing company or the carrier. Hence, while 8GB isn’t ideal anymore, you can still opt for 16GB that comes in with an affordable price.

Of course, microSD card slots also exist in order for you to expand storage given the current love of people for storing photos which also take up much memory from your internal storage. Furthermore, it also allows you to install more of your preferred apps without compromising your smartphone’s internal storage.


Connectivity covers not only Wi-Fi, but also Bluetooth, NFC, and USB. All of which contributes to a better connection in order to perform tasks online.

  • Wi-Fi is the common way to connect to the Internet. Today, the most supported Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ac, and some which also includes dual-band Wi-Fi connection, allowing your device to connect to 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. Typically, 5GHz is a convenient choice given that it has fewer devices covered thereby allowing a high-speed and stable internet connection.
  • Bluetooth is the most standard way to connect to wireless headphones, keyboards, speakers, and other accessories. Basically, it comes in different variants where, as of writing, the most widely supported is 4.0, which is also known as Bluetooth Smart or BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy. The higher the version of the Bluetooth, the better connection can be expected.
  • NFC (near-field communication) is a great product of technology on smartphones. It allows a transfer of data without using cables, which includes photos, contacts, and point-of-sale payments such as Android Pay and Apple Pay. However, the transfer is also limited to a NFC-enabled device.
  • USB allows convenience in the form of charging and transfer of data through the use of cables. Today, the most upgraded type is USB Type-C which is reversible and can perform transfers faster, that is when connected to USB 3.0/3.1 device. However, micro USB or USB 2.0 is still widely used in smartphones as it is still predominant in various regions and is still capable of providing better, faster connections between devices.


Key Takeaway
These basic specs, as explained, each has important roles in making a smartphone work and perform according to your needs. Equipped with this knowledge, it will be easier for you to look for a good phone without avoiding the papers and relying solely on the sales person’s advice.

More so, you will be able to choose a phone that will fit your needs and lifestyle accurately.

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