You want to buy a smartphone but confused among the myriad options available in the market. Furthermore the specifications on papers makes your head spin and till the time you settles on one, another one becomes exclusive on e-commerce websites.
Don’t worry we will help you out to understand this game of RAMs and cores so that you have a better idea of what to look out for and what to avoid.
Smartphones are sweat mixtures of processors and RAMs. These varies from dual cores with 512MB RAM in a low-budget phone to an octa-core with 2 or 3GB RAM for a flagship model. Now the question to ask yourself before buying a smartphone is, what does this combination means and how is it going to influence my buying decision?
The fact is, smartphone usage is all about multitasking, shifting from application to application or from screen to screen with no time-lag. This is where these RAM and processor come into the scene. A faster processor will reduce the calculation time and will provide quick shifting or loading of applications. The things to consider is the frequency at which they are clocked and the number of cores they are packed with. A dual-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz will lose the game in comparison to a quad-core clocked at same frequency. Similarly a smartphone with quad-core will result in frequent hang-ups if compared to one with an Octa-Core processor.
Media-Tek chipsets tends to heat up frequently during multitasking, gaming or video playback. That’s not the case with Snapdragon and Intel’s Atom series processors.
RAM makes it possible to run several applications at once without slowing down the phone by simply reducing the resuming time of applications in background. More the RAM, more the number of application’s instruction it can store to give a smooth multitasking experience. So you can play games, browse web, click pictures in chorus without any freeze screens.
The most affordable smartphone with high-end specs- Xiaomi Mi3 (Rs 13,999) tested in our lab packs a whopping 2GB RAM, offers true multitasking experience with blazing fast speed. However 1GB RAM is sufficient for a good multitasking performance that can easily handle tasks like browsing, games, mails, etc.
Some big names in Processor making industry
Qualcomm, Media Tek, Intel, Broadcom are some of the companies who provide processors for smartphones. All high end flagships of biggies such as Samsung, HTC are shipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, whereas Media Tek and Broadcom are often associated with entry-level or mid-segment smartphones. Apple on the other hand is known for blazing fast performance with its A4, A5, A6 and A7 chips. We have noticed that Media Tek processors tend to heat up with graphical intense gaming or during video playbacks, which was not an issue with Qualcomm’s snapdragon.
The RAM-CORES riddle
Now an important thing to consider is the correct combination of processor and RAM in a smartphone. An octa-core processor coupled with 1GB RAM won’t be able to do any good for you as memory shortage will limit the number of applications you can run. Likewise a phone with 2GB RAM but dual-core processor will result in slower app loads, frequent hang-ups or application crashing.
So, a decent combination of RAM and processor is required which is ultimately based on your usage pattern. Generally a quad-core processor with 1GB RAM can handle multitasking easily and is enough to give you a smartphone experience. But if money is peanuts for you then market is not short of options.
Other Aspects to Consider
Other important parameters to consider include operating system, screen size, design, camera, storage, connectivity and battery backup. To make a right choice, you need to find out what actually you want from a smartphone.
If you keep photography in your highest regard then go for smartphones with a good camera sensors. Check their performance in low-light conditions and the time they take to focus the subject. Lava Iris X1 is one such affordable option that comes with Sony’s BSI sensor and is capable of delivering good day-light shots. Asus Zenfone series, which starts at Rs 5,999 features PixelMaster technology to give amazing shots even in low-light conditions.
However there are some smartphones in market with in-built shooters that can even challenge high-end cameras and knock their socks off. LG G3 (Laser Auto-Focus camera), Samsung Galaxy S5 (16MP), HTC One M8 (4MP Ultra Pixel camera) and iPhone 5S (iSight camera) are such options.
Screen size and design
If watching movies or browsing web on a large screen is your favourite past-time, then a phablet (5-5.5 inch) with at-least a 720P screen can suffice your needs. Sony Xperia Z2, LG G3, Oppo Find 7 and Samsung Galaxy S5 are the masters in display technology if you can stomach the price-point they come at.
Otherwise you can go for Panasonic P81, Zenfone 6, HTC Desire 816, etc as they offers HD panels with a price that is not heavy on pocket. And if you don’t want the hassle of a big screen and mobility with functionality is your requirement then iPhones and other options like Sony Xperia Z compact, HTC One Mini 1,2 will not disapoint you with their credible design, ergonomics and powerful performance.
Operating System, Storage and Battery back-up
As no Operating Systems is impeccable and if all you need is an eco-system of good applications and services then go for iOS or Android as Operating Systems like Windows and BlackBerry 10 are still in developing stage. Look for a smartphone with microSD card option if you carry Gigabytes of information with you. Unlike Apple and HTC (particularly HTC One series) Samsung and LG have smartphones in their portfolio that integrates microSD card support to store your multimedia data up-to 128GB.
Battery back-up is one area where smartphones are still not able to justify themselves as that gigantic screens and trillions of calculations carried out by their processors requires a lot of juice. Some best available options tested in our labs are iPhone 5S, LG G Pro 2, G3 and Blackberry Z3, that can last a day with a fair usage on a single charge.
So, before buying a new smartphone, keep all things in mind for a good return of your money.