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How to Choose a Smartphone Guide

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Battery Life

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Battery Life

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Battery Life

So far, we have talked about the various factors that you have to consider when choosing a Smartphone in the following series of articles:

The last important matter that you have to focus on when buying a Smartphone is Battery Life. The battery is an important piece of hardware because it powers up your device. Without it, you will not be able to utilize its features and enjoy its functionality. So, when choosing a Smartphone, you have to make sure that it has a good battery life.

Batteries Used by Smartphones

Currently, all Smartphones make use of batteries based on Lithium-ion, abbreviated as “Li-Ion” in their technical specifications. You might also notice that the present generation of iPhones make use of Lithium-ion Polymer batteries, abbreviated as “Li-Po” in the technical specifications.

Basically, Li-Ion batteries are cheaper to manufacture as compared to Li-Po. Also, these are capable of storing more energy, have lower self-discharge and do not require priming when first used.

On the other hand, Li-Po batteries are more advanced than mere Li-Ion-based batteries. These come in sleeker encasing than Li-Ion. These feature lesser weight as well, that’s why these are suitable for thin Smartphones. In addition, these have slower aging and more durable compared to the other. However, these are more costly to make and have lesser energy storage capacity than Li-Ion.

Technical Specification

Here are examples of Smartphone technical specifications that mention the type of battery used:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 – Li-Ion 2600 mAh battery
  • iPhone 5 – Non-removable Li-Po 1440 mAh battery

The values stated in “mAh” stands for the electric charge that the battery has. So, looking at the two examples provided above, you can see that the Galaxy S4 has more electrical charge than the iPhone 5.

Note that it is sometimes indicated whether a battery is removable or not, such as the case of the iPhone 5 technical spec shown above. Also, most of the time, the technical specifications also mention the number of hours that a fully-charged battery can power up the device while idle or in use.

Factors that Decide Battery Life

Be reminded though that the battery technical specification is not the only thing that determines battery life. Here are the elements that can drain your battery faster:

  • Powerful processors
  • Type of screen display (LCD uses more power than LED)
  • High resolution of the display
  • Apps that are being used or running in the background
  • GSM, HSDPA, Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Operating system (Android consumes more power than iOS)

It should be noted that there are many apps that you can use to reduce the consumption of your battery. Moreover, newer GPU’s by Nvidia are now more energy-efficient.

Wrapping Up

This is the last of the How to Choose a Smartphone Guide series. We hope that the articles presented here helped you understand the major technical and marketing jargons related to Smartphones.

For Questions or Suggestions

If you have more questions or ideas that you wish to share to us about the topics discussed here, feel free to email us at [email protected].

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Display

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Display

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Display

After talking about processors and storage options, we will now discuss Smartphone display. The display is another important aspect of a Smartphone since this serves as its input as well as an output device.

Among the things that we will talk about in this part is the display size, resolution, PPI and several display technologies available today.

Related Articles

This is a part of the following series of articles:

which will provide you ways to understand the jargons associated with the technical specifications of Smartphones. It is highly advised that you read all of these in order for you to be able to come up with your ideal Smartphone.

Display Size

One of the important things that you should consider when choosing a Smartphone is its display size because it affects how you will be able to view the visual elements of the device. Display size is measured diagonally and the unit of measurement used for it is inches.

Generally, the display size of Smartphones is between 3.5 inches up to 5.3 inches. It should be noted though that a Smartphone that has a measurement of more than 5 inches up to 6.9 inches is technically a “phablet”, which connotes a device that is a hybrid of a smartphone and a tablet. However, most companies still use the term “Smartphone” to refer to such devices.

Display Resolution

The next factor that you should look into is the display resolution because it determines the actual working space available in the screen of your Smartphone. Basically, it is the maximum number of distinct pixels that each dimension of the screen can display. Thus, a display resolution is indicated in “pixels” (abbreviated as “px”). So, for example, if it says “1280 x 800 px”, that means the unit of pixels in its width is 1280 while the height has 800 pixels.

PPI

The acronym ppi means “pixel per inch”, which is also known as the pixel density. The quality of the display of the device is dependent on how high is its ppi.

The ppi is derived using the formula “ppi = {[(display width in pixel)^2 + (display height in pixel)^2] ^ ½} / Display Size in inches”. But there’s no need to memorize or perform this calculation because many Smartphone manufacturers include this in the technical specifications of a Smartphone.

Types of Display Technologies

Currently, there are four types of display technologies available for Smartphones. These are:

1. LCD

LCD stands for liquid-crystal display. This is the most basic among the different types of display technologies available for smartphones today. It utilizes the light modulating properties of liquid crystals to produce images.

Most computing devices use this kind of display because it has lesser contrast, brightness, color and it is more power efficient.

2. LCD IPS                                  

This is just a slightly enhanced version of LCD. IPS means In-Plane Switching which provides better viewing angle and more advanced color accuracy than the former. So far, this is the most common type of display used in smartphones. Notable phones that use this kind of technology are the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

3. LED

LED means light-emitting diode. This type of display, as its name implies, uses light-emitting diodes to produce visual images. Compared to LED, it has less power consumption.

4. AMOLED

Overall, this is the best among the types of displays mentioned because of its capability to produce images that have high contrast, brightness and color accuracy. However, due to its high-end performance, it utilizes more power. An example of a phone that uses this is the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Trade-Offs

A bigger display size usually results to a larger overall measurement of a smartphone. This compromises the user’s ability to store it in his pocket conveniently or carry it around easily.

Also, if the display size is big but the display resolution is very low, the images in the phone will not be very crisp or they will appear pixelated. In addition, you will not be able to enjoy HD multimedia content if your display resolution is too low.

On the other hand, if your display size is too small but you have a very high resolution, the images in your screen will appear very detailed but the problem is they will be too small. This will sometimes give you trouble in selecting closely-placed icons when you have huge fingers because there is a big chance that you will be accidently touching another as well.

Display Protection

Another important factor to consider when choosing a display is its protection and touch sensitivity. The most popular material used for display protection nowadays is the Corning Gorilla Glass which is highly resistant to scratches.

Presently, majority of smartphones offer capacitive touch screens with multi-touch. According to manufacturers, this can recognize the action of up to 10 fingers that are simultaneously touching the display of the device. It should be noted that when choosing a phone, it should be capable of detecting at least two different touches.

More Articles on How to Choose a Smartphone

The next that will be discussed is connectivity, which lets the smartphone connect to various carriers or network providers.

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Storage Options

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Storage Options

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Storage Options

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Storage Options is the continuation of the article we published recently called How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Processor and a part of these series:

which will let you understand the things that you should  consider when choosing the right smartphone for you.

Various Storage Options

The storage capacity of a smartphone determines the amount of data that can be stored in the device. It is also a factor that contributes to its speed. This article will give a detailed and quick explanation of the various storage options that you should keep in mind like the internal storage, RAM and the expandable or external storage.

1. Internal Storage

The internal storage is the persistent storage area of the smartphone where files like apps, music, photos, videos, documents, contacts, messages, logs and others are kept. By default, all the data generated by the applications of the device are stored there. For example, all pictures taken using the Camera of your device will be automatically stored there by default.

A high internal storage means that your phone alone will be able to hold huge amounts of data even without the help of any external device such as the expandable storage.

Early generations of smartphones come with 2GB internal storage. However, as innovations were introduced and competition became very tight in the mobile phone industry, the internal storage of smartphones evolved into 16GB, 32GB and even up to 64GB.

2. RAM

RAM means Random Access Memory. This type of memory directly influences the speed of the smartphone. Basically, if the RAM of a smartphone is high, say 1GB or 2GB, you will be able to run high-end applications there like games. Along with the size of the RAM, its speed should also be considered. RAM speed is usually indicated as DDR, DDR2, DDR3, etc.

DDR is an abbreviation for double data rate and the number after it indicates its type. For example, DDR3 means double data rate type three. Then, the higher the type of the DDR, the higher is its speed. However, it should be noted that most smartphone specifications do not make mention of its RAM speed.

3. Expandable Storage

The last storage option that you have to check is the expandable storage. The expandable storage makes use of an external medium to enable the smartphone to hold more data such a MicroSD card. This is a great way to increase the storage limitation of your device if you have a low internal storage memory.

A MicroSD card can support 16GB, 32GB up to 64GB of data and it is usually sold separately. Bear in mind though that not all smartphones offer an expandable storage option. Also, most smartphones do not provide the option for you to use the expandable storage device to house installed apps (except when the device is rooted or jailbroken).

Choosing Your Storage Options

If you are a heavy user of apps or someone who loves installing high-end games in your smartphone, choose the one that has high internal storage and high RAM with an expandable storage that can hold a lot of data.

But if you are just after the basic features of a smartphone or on a tight budget, then you can opt for the one that offers a low but reasonable amount of memory. A 16GB internal storage with 512MB or 1GB RAM, and a 32GB MicroSD card is a configuration ideal for average users.

More Articles

Be sure to check out the next part of this series which will talk about displays. This will provide you a brief but detailed explanation of the elements of a smartphone display as well as the things that you have to consider when choosing the ideal smartphone display based on your needs or preferences.