Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tips before buying a smartphone


*UPDATED - July 8 2015*

Hello! I am going to tell you what to consider before buying a smartphone. Let’s look at the factors that affect a smartphone’s looks and performance:
  • CPU or Processor
  • GPU or Graphic Processor (most wouldn’t know how it functions and what it does)
  • RAM and ROM (inbuilt memory)
  • Expandable memory card slots
  • Screen size and technology
  • Sensors
  • Camera (primary and secondary) and flash
  • Battery
  • SAR (Specific Absorption Rate)
So, what will you look for in each of these parameters (or rather hardware)?

CPU and GPU

There are some commonly seen processors paired with graphic processors. Here are most of them:

PROCESSOR
FOUND IN THESE SERIES
GPU
Snapdragon
Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5, Grand II, HTC, Sony Xperia, Microsoft/Nokia Lumia
PowerVR, Adreno
Mediatek
Lenovo, Micromax, Karbonn, Lava Xolo, HTC (mid-range models)
ARM Mali, PowerVR
Krait
Nokia Lumia
Adreno
Exynos
Samsung Galaxy S2, S6
PowerVR
Broadcom
Samsung Galaxy Grand
VideoCore IV
Intel Atom
Xolo X---
PowerVR
NVIDIA Tegra 3
Xolo Play
ULP GeForce


So, what does a GPU do? It mainly processes your photos, videos and graphic content in games. I have said so because there are two components of games: arithmetic calculations and graphics. The CPU handles the arithmetic part.
Go for these GPUs: PowerVR SGX 544MP2/3/4 or Adreno 305/320/330 or ARM Mali 400MP2/3/4 or ULP Geforce. You will see some of these in the market: Adreno 203/205, ARM Mali 400MP, PowerVR SGX 53x/544MP VideoCore IV. They are pretty much useless and … just don’t buy phones with these. In case of processor, rest are okay, but don’t nod for Broadcom at all. Krait or Exynos are good, though.


RAM and ROM and card slots

Don’t nod for less than 1 GB RAM and 8 GB inbuilt ROM in any case. Most mobile OSes eat up around 1.5 GB of that inbuilt space and you can’t do nothing but cry. Some phones don’t allow you to install apps on cards. Check for that too. For the rest of the phones, the card slots come to your rescue. Check for expandable memory “up to 16 GB” OR MORE than that for your photos and videos.

Screen size and technology

You would find TFTs, OLEDs and AMOLEDs everywhere. But not IPS LCD. It is the best and is the reason why games do not look jagged at all on Nokia Lumias and iPhones. Flagships and most Lenovo phones also offer this and stand out in the benchmark tests too. Companies do this to make more profits while making customers compromise on this factor. Always look for 4.7-5.5 inch phones. They give you a lot of space to work and play and chat on. Find big pocket trousers for a 6+ inch phone. And don’t go for less than 200 ppi density in any case.


Sensors

Check for accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers and barometers. Barometers, contrary to your being it a weather update aid, helps in GPS tracking.

Camera and flash

Don’t look for a flash-less phone with less than 8 MP in the rear and 2 MP in the front at all. FLASH IS NEEDED as a torch and for low-light places in many instances. And though video calls are not in frequent use, selfie department is where it comes in. Though you won’t find more than 5 MP in even flagship phones (special selfie phones - EXCEPTION). You can stand in front of a mirror or click a selfie with your rear camera with approximation of phone placement, though.

Battery

Less than 2200 mAh means your phone won’t last a day with even mild usage. Try for 2400+ mAh battery phones.

SAR (Specific Absorption Rate)

For every country, it is different. In India, it is 1.6 W/kg. Check for phones less than that. Remember, your health is more important than a phone. This is why Chinese phones are condemned.


This was a pretty comprehensive yet concise guide for the purpose of the title of this blog. See ya later.