Smartphone Technology Jargon Buster

What's inside your smartphone?

Technology terminology can be quite difficult to understand. When looking for a new smartphone, one can easily feel overwhelmed by the complicated terms, from mAh to quad-core processor…

Don’t worry: we’re going to translate that vocabulary into plain English, so you can read that Galaxy S7 Edge review without having to Google every term. Here’s our smartphone technology jargon-buster!

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The physical internal components of your smartphone, such as the processor, battery or memory chip.


The non-physical programmes, apps and games stored on your phone.

CPU (Central Processing Unit) / Processor

The chipset inside your phone which delivers all the power needed for it to function.

Chip / Chipset / SoC (System on a Chip)

In smartphones, the processor is usually a combination chipset which features the actual processor cores, but also the graphics chipset, RAM, and more. Qualcomm is the most prominent chip maker.

Qualcomm Snapdragon


Defines a processor which has four parts. They can run different programmes at once, or team up to make one thing run faster.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

Used to run programmes and apps. More RAM means you can have more apps open at once without it slowing your phone down. RAM is volatile memory, so nothing is stored in your phone.

MHz (Megahertz) / GHz (Gigahertz)

The unit used to rate how fast a processor is. The higher the number, the more powerful the processor. (1 GHz = 1000 MHz)

mAh (milliamp per hour)

The unit used to rate how good a battery is. The higher the rating, the more charge it can store, and the longer it will last.

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Resolution / PPI (Pixels Per Inch)

This is used to rate how good the quality of the display is. More pixels on the screen mean a higher resolution quality, brighter colours and sharper images.


Two types of screen technology – AMOLED is the newest and most advanced, with the best colour depth. Most Android phones now use AMOLED, while iPhones screens are LCD.

Mbps (Megabits per second)

The unit used to rate how fast an Internet connection is.

OS (Operating System)

The software your phone runs on. Android, iOS and Windows Phone are examples of operating systems.


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Mp (Megapixel)

The measurement unit for camera quality. More Megapixels usually means a better camera, but that's not always the case.

Micro SD

A memory card which can be inserted into a phone’s SD slot to expand its original storage capacity.

GB (gigabyte)

The unit used to measure storage capacity. The more GB, the more apps, photos, music, videos, etc you can store in your phone.


A phone is modular if it is made of different separated blocks (modules). The LG G5 is an example of a modular phone.

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