What is in a smartphone processor? How does it benefit you?
If you have searched for a brand new smartphone, you would have come across terms like ‘octa-core’ or ‘dual-core’ processor. But, have you ever stopped to think about the meaning behind the words? If you are a technophile, you would already be familiar with these terms, but if you are causal purveyor, its easy to dismiss all those terms as marketing jargon. We have had many customers think along these lines, and it is a big mistake to do so. Why? We are going to explain everything you need to know about the smartphone processor, and what it means for your experience.
What is a smartphone processor?
Let’s start with the basics. A smartphone processor is one of the most important (and expensive) parts of the phone. The processor’s responsibility is to run all the apps, including the background functions that keep the smartphone ticking, as well as supporting modules for hardware and software features, like the camera, security, Wi-Fi, graphics and network connectivity. In essence, everything you do, from browsing the web to playing games, is dependent on the processor’s capability. The faster the processor, the faster you can get things done and the easier it becomes to multitask. So, when buying a new mobile phone, you are better off looking for one with an excellent smartphone processor.
The smartphone processor is also known as System-on-a-Chip (SoC). A large chip made up of several smaller subunits. The most important subunit in the SoC is the central processing unit (CPU), followed by the graphics processing unit (GPU), along with other components like video encoders, camera operation and audio playback.
The CPU is responsible for several vital functions, like activating touchscreen functions. Meanwhile, the GPU is responsible for running specific graphical functions and is vital for anything that entails a visual component, like loading web pages or playing games. When searching for a smartphone, it is always best to find one with a dedicated GPU. Smartphones with a dedicated GPU use less battery power and offer better graphical benefits, like anti-aliasing and geometric realism.
How to find the best smartphone processor?
While a smartphone processor is not the sole reason to get a brand new smartphone, it is a great indicator of what it can do.
When searching for a smartphone with a formidable processor, you need to give due diligence to two key factors: the number of cores and clock speed. The number of cores will vary with each smartphone, this is where you hear terms like ‘dual-core’ and ‘octa-core’ to differentiate between processors. Dual-core means that the processor has two CPU chips, within the SoC. Octa-core, meanwhile, indicates 8 CPU chips within the SoC. The smartphone allows you to divide tasks to different cores based on the amount of power needed to run it, leading to much faster load speeds and multitasking capability.
You also have to consider clock speed. Measured by Gigahertz (GHz), the clock speed refers to how fast the processor can execute tasks. So naturally, the higher the clock speed, the faster the rate, at which, tasks are completed. It is important to note that smartphones with multi-core processors are going to have different clock speeds.
If you think dealing with the numbers of specific processors is overwhelming, then you can look into the brand of the smartphone processor. Qualcomm and MediaTek are the two prominent manufacturers of processors. You will find Qualcomm on the bigger, more established brands like Apple and Samsung, while the MediaTek processors are found in the newer brands, like Oppo, Vivo and Intex.
Bringing it all together
A smartphone processor determines the tasks that can be done and the speed at which it can be done. Hence, the processor is one of the most important parts you can look at. The processor is a chipset divided into different subsets, like CPU and GPU. Not all processors are made with the same specifications as clock speeds and the number of cores can change. The quality of the processor affects the speed at which tasks, like web browsing and gaming, can be done.
Hopefully, you walk away with a better understanding of the smartphone processor, what it is, what it does and how important it is in your smartphone experience.
If you have any questions, drop it in the comments section below and we will do our best to answer them.