Smartphone specs no longer make sense

Smartphone specs no longer make sense

Smartphone specs no longer make sense

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They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately that may be how electronic products such as smartphones are often compared. It’s these comparisons that lead people to believe that more megapixels in a camera equals better image quality, or that more cores in a processor mean better performance. The truth is that not all hardware improvements can be seen in the actual use of the devices.


It would be fair to say that the biggest milestone for smartphones was the launch of the iPhone in 2007. That’s not to say that smartphones didn’t exist or weren’t relevant before Apple’s cash cow. , but the transformation of the smartphone market is quite obvious. after this event.

And since 2007, Android phone makers have been in a constant race to outdo the iPhone and other Android phones, shoving specs down consumers’ throats, thus “proving” (on paper) that they have the best product.

Hardware and software often play a catch-up game with each other. Sometimes hardware is released in the hope that people will create software to get the most out of it. Sometimes it’s the other way around, with heavy software requiring more powerful hardware. In the Android world, more often than not, it’s the first one. That’s why, although octa-core CPUs and 64-bit processors arrived years ago, there’s little visible evidence that they’ve improved any consumer’s life.

Apple doesn’t partake in chest shots as much; it still does not officially mention the CPU clock speed or the amount of RAM built into any of its iOS devices. Since iOS runs exclusively on devices made by Apple, and the hardware and software are built by the same company, it’s unfair to compare their specs to Android phones, as an iPhone’s dual-core processors are capable of beat Android phones with more cores and higher clock. speeds, and the 1960 mAh battery on an iPhone 7 can last as long as other 5-inch Android phones with much larger batteries.

You could say that comparing the specs of two Android phones is fairer. That’s because manufacturers use the same standard parts, whether it’s Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, the latest LP-DDR4 RAM, or Sony’s IMX-series camera sensors. But even that is flawed, as the real differences emerge from the work that manufacturers have done to optimize these components, as evidenced by different image outputs on two phones that use the same image sensor, or different benchmark scores. for two phones with the same chipset.

This is why the comparison of specifications becomes more and more questionable. For example, a low-end Snapdragon 400 series chip paired with a modest 2GB of RAM manages to run a bloat-free version of Android without issue. Flagship Android phones that boast top-tier multi-core processors and pack the amount of RAM found in computers, stutter after a year, thanks to unoptimized software. Reading the specs today serves as a rough guide at best, but isn’t the only indicator of what the device is capable of.

It’s something the manufacturers themselves seem to be realizing, as they shift the focus from features to benefits. So instead of chattering about aperture or type of image stabilization, the actual output of the camera is displayed (popularized by Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ ad campaign).

We’ve reached a point where the screens are as crisp as possible, the internals are fast enough to respond to the fastest fingers, and the cameras come with more than enough image resolution. Tomorrow, if a manufacturer has put a 4K display or 8GB of RAM or a 50-megapixel camera in its next smartphone, instead of feverishly fantasizing about specs, take a look at what it will really mean for you, as a user.


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