IGNORANCE IS NO DEFENCE OR EXCUSE;
And so I stood, with mixed feelings in my apartment, looking out into the night. I was unsure whether to be sad, disappointed at myself for being fooled or angry at the company that fooled me. Despite the many thoughts running through my head, one thing was certain. I was going to buy a new phone. Now how did I get to this point?
Well let’s start from the beginning, I had always thought like most people that “phone na phone”, that is all phones are equal. Their ultimate function is communication so if that need was met, all the rest were gimmicks and peripherals. They did not matter as my phone was as good as anyone’s phone out there. I held on to that belief and was willing to defend it anywhere. All I knew were RAM, ROM and battery capacity in milli amp hours. This went on till something happened to change my life.
I needed a new phone so I proudly walked into a Shoprite mall and I bought a 2GB RAM and a 16GB ROM phone for forty-five thousand Naira in 2018. I was very proud of it. Then one day, a tech savvy friend introduced me to the popular PUBG mobile. To my shock, my precious phone could not play it. As if that was not bad enough, there were many other things it couldn’t do. So my friend patiently explained how very important a processor was to the functioning of my phone as well as it’s operating system. That night, I opened Google and read about smartphone processors and I realized that I gladly bought a cheap and poorly performing processor for an outrageous price.
I stood up walked to the window and I told myself never again. I educated myself and listened to those who had the knowledge and slowly but surely, I got better. If I can get better so can you. In some circles, when I am invited to talk about phones, I wonder if it was me of old or if it’s a different person sometimes.
So here we are, are you as inquisitive about smartphones? we are too. Welcome to Inquisitive Universe.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE SMARTPHONE;
About 20 years ago, here in Nigeria, many people didn’t have phones. Those who did had landline telephones. That changed with the coming of GSM in 2003 and then slowly but surely, the use of smartphones became more common place. Still it wasn’t till 2007 when Steve Job and Apple reinvented the phone and came up with the iPhone that the smartphone era actually kicked off. Before long though, Google responded with their own offering called the Android and the stage was set for one of the biggest tech rivalries of all time (iOS vs Android).
Basically, every smartphone has a two parts: hardware and software
The hardware are the parts you can feel and hold, the software are the parts you cannot hold, i.e. the programmes that run within the phone.
The most important part of a phone is the processor. The processor runs everything on the phone e.g. calls, apps, games (graphics and smoothness), taking a photo, the photo quality, the battery life, the price and how long the phone will stay relevant. The proper name of a phone’s processor is called an SoC (System on a Chip). The following companies such as Qualcomm (Snapdragon), Samsung (Exynos), Mediatek, Huawei (Kirin) all make SoCs.
Another important area of the phone are the cameras. Cameras are rated in megapixels. The Samsung S20 Ultra has 108 mega pixels and is one of the best smartphone cameras in the world. Do not let mega pixel ratings fool you though because some companies lie about them. It is always important to know who manufactures the camera sensor that your phone is using. The two best camera sensor manufacturers are currently Sony and Samsung.
The display/touchscreen is also really important. It is the part of the smartphone that you interact with. Most companies either use an LCD or OLED display. Samsung uses a type of OLED called Amoled. The amount of details that a screen can display is very important too. This is called PPI (or pixels per inch). Screens that have high PPI tend to display pictures and video in very rich and beautiful colours while those screens with low PPI looks faded or washed when trying to watch movies on them.
Battery is one of my favourites. I use my phone a lot so battery is important to me. The size of a battery is rated in milli amperes per hour. There are two types of battery: Lithium ion (Li-on) or Lithium polymer (Li-Po). The standard size of a battery is 4000mAh. Some batteries can be as small as 1500mAh while others are as large as 6000mAh.
Ports are those pieces of tech of your phone that helps you to connect other devices. The major two in use now are micro-USB and USB type C. The best one to use is a USB type C. Also Screen protection is important too. Most phones use Gorilla glass as protection. The best Gorilla glass around is Gorilla Glass 5.
In the coming days and weeks, we will explain these parts of the phone and go through them one by one in detail. Sit tight and go with us on the journey of simplifying smartphone technology.