Mobile phone buyers: should we really be asking about the processor?

A lot of technical terms. A lot of confusion.

With today’s ever increasing technological prowess of companies around the world, lots and lots of companies are diving into mobile phone business with the aim of becoming the next top brand such as Samsung, Apple, and formerly Nokia. With all the ads being bombarded to us every now and then telling that this is currently their best phone, did you ever stop for a second and tried to understand each and everything they are telling us? Did you even understand what the spec sheet is telling you?

What I noticed: even the sales person is confused

When my friends are buying a phone, there are two technical jargons that the salesperson tells us – the processor and the camera. One reason for such response might be because people like to have fast phones and have the best selfies. Besides, who like phones who are constantly lagging after opening the Gallery and the Music player?

I ask myself, is it really the processor that we should be asking? Or is the salesperson even correct in telling us that it has a quad-core processor? Should the salesperson just tell us the system-on-a-chip (SOC) version instead?

What I think

Personally, when I buy a phone, I search and look for the SOC version and focus on it and not on the processor. Why? Because asking for the processor is very misleading. Common answer to such question is the number of cores of the processor – “quad-core, octa-core, deca-core, infinity-core“.  Now, I think this is the wrong answer to the question because the buyer is asking for the processor version and not about the processor cores. Unfortunately, this is the world that we live in (well, almost).

Should we be asking for the SoC model instead?

Definitely. Specially in today’s world where different SOC’s can have same number of processor cores. Not only this will help you learn the right way of comparing smart phone specs, it will also introduce you to a lot of technical things about SOC’s in general (processors and GPUs included). Besides, processors are a part of SOCs.

So the next time you shop for a phone, please ask for the SOC model instead and not focus too much on the processors.

SOCs? Processors? There seems to be a lot of technical jargon here. Don’t worry. I will be launching a writing series that will prep you up to these terms. This series will be named – Mobile System-on-a-Chip (SOC): Simplified and we will be talking everything about SOC. Their components, types, architectures, etc.

So stay tuned and follow my site for updates!



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