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Tech Terms That You Must Know Before Purchasing New Smartphone

August 21, 2015

Smartphones is become an integral part of our lives for connecting with fThinking_purchasing_Smartphoneriends and family, enjoying music and movies, social activities, taking photos and videos or doing your personal and official work.

With smartphones fast becoming popular and affordable, you hear everybody speaking the tech specification and comparing features of smartphone before purchasing new one. There are a lot of things to consider when buying a smartphone-processor, RAM, OS, screen size, camera etc. If you are planning to purchase a smartphone, you definitely research much more before buying a smartphone.

But most smartphone users are not aware about different technical terms and their advantage. So here is a complete beginner's guide to smartphone tech terms.

1) NETWORK Technology:

A cellular network or mobile network is a communications network. In mobile phones you will find following Network Technology –

i) CDMA:

CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access. CDMA technology is the basic type of technology widely used in U.S. CDMA cause minimal interference to one another and multiple users can talk at the same time and multiple cells can share the same frequency. This causes an added signal noise forcing all users to use more power, which in exchange decreases cell range and battery life. CDMA phones are often locked to a single carrier and unable to be transferred.

ii) GSM:

GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is a digital mobile telephony system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM phones are able to be unlocked and moved between carriers. 2G (or 2-G) is short for second-generation wireless telephone technology. Second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard, having a theoretical transfer speed of max. 50 kbit/s.

iii) LTE:

LTE mean Long-Term Evolution. LTE is a 4G wireless broadband technology developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). It is commonly marketed as 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It has peak download rates up to 299.6 Mbit/s and upload rates up to 75.4 Mbit/s depending on the user equipment category

iv) EDGE:

Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) (also known as Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS), or Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution) is a digital mobile phone technology that allows improved data transmission rates as a backward-compatible extension of GSM. EDGE provides nearly three times faster speeds than the outdated GPRS system. EDGE delivers multimedia other broadband applications such as streaming television, audio and video to mobile phones at speed range from 20Kbps to 384Kbps.

v) HSPA:

HSPA+, or Evolved High-Speed Packet Access enhances the widely used WCDMA (UMTS) based 3G networks with higher speeds for the end user that are comparable to the newer LTE networks. HSPA+ provides an evolution of High Speed Packet Access and provides data rates up to 168 Megabits per second (Mbit/s) to the mobile device (downlink) and 22 Mbit/s from the mobile device (uplink).

While selecting network technology, your choice should depends on which carriers are available to you in your area and which providers will have better coverage in your areas.

2) Screen Type:

There are lot of display types used in mobile phones, and there are several different options have arises in display type.


TFT-LCD (Thin-film transistor liquid crystal display) is one of the best Liquid Cristal Display technologies in terms of image quality and response time. However, it also consumes more power and is more expensive.

ii) IPS-LCD:

IPS (In-plane switching) is a screen technology used for liquid crystal displays (LCDs). It offers better viewing angles and accurate colors than TFT-LCDs, but it requires a more power.

3) Touchscreen:

i) Resistive Touchscreen LCD:

A resistive touchscreen panel comprises several layers, the most important of which are two thin, transparent electrically-resistive layers separated by a thin space. When a fingertip or stylus tip, presses down onto the outer surface, the two layers touch to become connected at that point. This information is taken as an action by mobile phone.

ii) Capacitive Touchsceen LCD:

CAPACITIVE touchscreens work by sensing the electrical properties of the human body, Capacitive touchscreen panel consists of glass insulator, coated with a transparent conductor such as indium tin oxide. Human body has also an electrical conductor, and when it touch the surface of the screen, it results in a distortion of the screen's electrostatic field, which turns in phones instructions.

Capacitive touchsceens are much better and responsive to human touch when compared to resistive touchscreens.

iii) OLED:

OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. OLED consists of small dots of organic polymer which emit light when charged with electricity. OLED is a newer display technology that creates displays that takes less power than LCD. OLED screen are more thinner, lighter, brighter, better viewing angles and good response time for video and animation compared to LCD.


AMOLED stands for Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode. It is next-generation display technology for mobile phones and televisions. It has richer colors, deeper blacks, and sharper images, consumes less power and much thinner and lighter than LCD and widest viewing angle.

v) Super AMOLED:

Super AMOLED are designed to improve on the performance of traditional AMOLED displays. Super AMOLED displays offer significantly better performance than AMOLED displays when viewed in direct sunlight. They are also supposed to offer brighter images while consuming less power than their AMOLED.

4) Gorilla Glass:

Gorilla Glass is the registered trademark of a specialized toughened glass developed and manufactured by Corning. Gorilla Glass is a special alkali-aluminosilicate glass shield and it is damage resistance that helps protect mobile displays from scratches, drops, and accidents.

5) Resolution:

The display resolution of a digital television, computer monitor or mobile device is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed.

Every image on a mobile screen is made up of thousands of tiny dots known as Pixels. If there are more number of pixels, then image will become more clear. Screen resolution is usually measured in width × height, with the units in pixels: for example, "1024 × 768" means the width is 1024 pixels and the height is 768 pixels.

Most common display resolutions-

6) Screen Size:

The screen size of mobile cell phones is measured in diagonal of the phones screen, which is the measurement from the bottom left corner to the top right corner.

7) Dual SIM:

i) Dual Standby:

Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) means the phone supports dual SIM but in Standby mode. When none of the SIM are used then both the SIM’s are active, but while using one SIM the other SIM becomes inactive. Mean If you are suing SIM1 and someone calls you on the another SIM2, then they will hear the message “not reachable”.

These Phones consume less battery power, as they use same transceiver for both SIMs.

ii) Dual Active:

Dual SIM active phones, however, come with two transceivers, and are capable of receiving calls on both SIM cards at the same time. It consumes more battery life.

8) Multitouch:

Multi-touch is a method of input on a touchscreen that allows two or more fingers to be used on the screen at one time. It allows you to zoom in or zoom out with two fingers.

9) Chipset:

A chipset is a set of electronic components in an integrated circuit that manages the data flow between the processor, memory and peripherals. Every mobile phones run on chipsets, which are designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions.

Today’s Smartphone manly uses two chipset Mediatek and Qualcomm. MediaTek is a pioneering fabless semiconductor Taiwanese company. MediaTek brings various chipset for Dual-Core, Quad-Core, Octa-Core and 64 bit Octa-Core processor. While Qualcomm designed suite of system-on-chip (SoC) semiconductor products known as Snapdragon. A single Snapdragon SoC may include a multi-core central processing unit (CPU), a graphics processing unit (GPU), a wireless modem, and other software and hardware to support a smartphone's global positioning system (GPS), camera, gesture recognition and video.

10) CPU:

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. The processor is the brain of the smartphone. Now Smartphone are equipped with more advanced CPU that can do many different tasks at the same time. Mobile processor started from single core, and now we have dual core, quad core and octa core processor. More the number of cores, it is easy for the system to do multitasking. Also it makes the device to smoothly run videos and games. That’s why, if you are looking for speed, go with big a multi-core processor.

11) GPU:

The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is attached to a separate mainboard which is then attached to the motherboard. It is used to boost the performance of video and graphics, especially when used for tasks such as 3D gaming. If you are want to play heavy games or use applications require high graphics, you should choose more powerful GPU.

12) GPS:

GPS, or global positioning satellite, is a satellite-based navigation system used to give exact location and time information anywhere on Earth. The system is maintained by the U.S. government and is accessible, free of charge, to anyone with a GPS receiver. With GPS device and app, it becomes easy for you to navigate anywhere. Also you can track your lost Smartphone and check the location of your family members with GPS.

13) A-GPS:

A-GPS stands for Assisted Global Positioning System. It also works on the same principles as a GPS, but it is often able to significantly improve the startup performance of a GPS. It gets the information from the satellites by using network resources e.g. mobile network, also called assistant servers. This result in faster location acquisition, require less processing power and saves battery life.

14) Camera:

The cameras in cell phones becoming better and better. Now it includes many features and it is very important to see specification of your smartphones camera-

i) Megapixels:

A megapixel (MP) is defined as one million pixels. Theoretically, more the the number of megapixels of a camera phone, it captures better quality images. But it is always not true.

ii) Geo-Tagging:

The geo-tagging feature allows you to include geographical metatada to photographs. This often includes the following information: longitude and latitude coordinates, bearing, distance, name of place, and many more.

iii) Face Detection:

Face detection refers to the technology that locates human faces automatically.

15) Sensors:

Modern mobile phones come with a variety of sensors that automate or easy many of our daily tasks.

i) Accelerometer:

An accelerometer in mobile detects its own acceleration and determines the phone's orientation. After that mobiles application react accordingly. E.g. screen rotates portrait to landscape.

ii) Gyroscope:

A gyroscope is a device that uses Earth’s gravity to help determine orientation. It is used in high-end smartphone for 3D gaming and VR (Virtual Reality).

iii) Proximity Sensor:

Proximity Sensor usually turns the screen off when you hold it up to your head while on a phone call so you don't accidentally "push" any buttons.

16) mAh:

mAh stands for milli-Ampere-hours and it is a unit for measuring electric power over time. It is the amount of energy store at one time in battery. More mAh will give power your mobile longer time.

i) Li-Po:

A lithium polymer battery, or lithium-ion polymer battery, is a rechargeable battery of lithium-ion technology.

ii) LI-Ion:

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) Batteries are lightweight due to its high energy density and it is able to operate at a higher voltage.

17) CyanogenMod:

CyanogenMod is a free, open-source operating system for smartphones, based on Android platform, which greatly extends the capabilities of your device.