Understanding Phone Specification for Newbies

Got confused when seeing phone’s specification list ? lemme try to help you. I hope this geeky terms won’t get you anywhere near confusion.

System on Chip (SoC)

What is it ? it is a combination of  Central Processing Unit (CPU), Graphic Processing Unit (GPU), and other processing stuff. First, let’s talk Android SoC


Almost all Android smartphone companies right now marketed their phone’s CPU with its clock speed and the amount of the CPU cores. 

Clock speed is measured by Gigahertz (GHz) example, 1.2 GHz, 2 Ghz, 2,5 GHz, etc. More Clock Speed = Faster phone, higher energy consumption, and higher heat output and vice versa

CPU cores is measured by numbers, example : 2-core CPU (or usually called “Dual Core CPU”),  4-core CPU (or usually called “Quad Core CPU”), etc. More CPU cores = Better multitasking, higher energy consumption, higher heat output and vice versa.


Most Android smartphones these days used a Adreno branded GPU. For Adreno GPU, the GPU is measured by numbers, example : Adreno 205 GPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Adreno 410 GPU, etc.

The first digit of the row is the generation number. So Adreno 410 is newer than Adreno 330. Thus it will bring some new features. Maybe better battery saving technology or better heat output.

The last 2 digits is the performance number. So Adreno 330 will outperforms Adreno 410.

For iPhones SoC, every iPhone refreshes will refreshes the SoC too, so newer generation iPhones will perform better than the previous generation.

Random Access Memories (RAM)

What on earth is that ? In real world, this is like a working desk. We will work faster with bigger working desk aren’t we ?

RAM is measured by Gigabytes (GB) example : 1 GB, 2 GB, 3 GB, etc. In short : More RAM results better multitasking, and vice versa.

Screen / Display

There are 4 term that explains a phone’s screen. They are size, resolution, density, and display type.


I think i don’t need to explain this, bigger size = bigger screen. Usually it’s measured by inches


What is it ? This is the amount of dots can displayed in the screen. Each dot displays one color. Millions of dots can form a picture in your screen.

It’s measured by pixel. 1 dot = 1 pixel.


Example : 1920 x 1080 pixels, it means the screen can displays 1920 pixel long and 1080 pixel wide.


Density is measured by Resolution per Size. Usually it’s measured by Pixel Per Inch (PPI). Higher density = Sharper display.

If the density is higher than 300 PPI, you can’t see individual dots/pixels anymore with naked eyes.

If you ever heard of Apple’s “Retina Display” Apple’s just trying to say that its display is a high density display.

Display types

In general there’s 2 display types : LCD and LED. Let’s talk LCD first

In major there’s 2 types of LCD right now. TFT and IPS. TFT is used in Low-End phones because it’s cheap to produce, but it has a poor viewing angle. IPS is used in High-End phones because it has amazing color and great viewing angle.

In general LCD is brighter than LED and consumes more power than LED.

LED in the other hand, consumes less power because it turns the pixel off when it displays black, thus LED has an excellent contrast. But LED can’t shine as bright as LCD, so LED has a poor outdoor viewing capability compared to LCD. Variations of LED are OLED and AMOLED.


Usually battery capacity is measured by mili ampere hour (mAh) example : 2600 mAh battery, 3000 mAh battery, 3200 mAh battery

There’s 2 type of battery : Lithium-ion and Lithium-Polymer

  • Lithium-ion : Greater energy density, cheaper to produce, rectangular shape
  • Lithium-polymer : Worse energy density, more expensive to produce, no limit in shape, improved safety


Majority of people judging the camera ability by its camera resolution, which is the maximum amount of individual dots/pixels can be taken to form a pictures.

Camera resolution is measured by Megapixels. for example : 20.7 MP, 16 MP, etc. Bigger resolution = sharper image.

But higher resolution doesn’t mean better pictures ! Each company has a unique way to process the image the camera takes. A 16 MP camera may outperforms a 20.7 MP camera ! Watch reviews on internet to watch the image quality of each phone’s camera

Sooo that’s it, i hope this article helps you deciding your future phone.