The Most Important Feature to Consider When Buying a Phone

What comes to mind, when thinking about the most important feature on your phone? Is it the sparkling screen, which makes games and movies a joy to watch? Or the front and back cameras that capture your memories? Perhaps it's the battery life that runs throughout the day and keeps your phone lively so you can enjoy all of the fun. But the truth is that all these must-have features won’t work with that tiny chipset, roughly the size of a fingernail.

This chipset or processor as it is often referred to is very important that without it your phone will not work. It is this chipset that makes your games play smoothly and your apps to open quickly, and your portrait shots look amazing. Otherwise, you won’t be able to store your credit card information or unlock your phone with your face.

If you like your phone, it's important to know everything that chipset does to power your favorite features. These chipsets include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and 765 (which will run Android phones in 2020), Samsung's Exynos 990, Apple's A13 Bionic for iPhone, and Huawei 5G HiSilicon Kirin 990 processor.

What the phone's chipset controls

Your phone chipset contains lots of processors in a single unit. Just like a computer motherboard, but in small. There you will find a space that contains the computing CPU, an AI processor, a GPU for processing graphics and a house for storing data. There is an ISP, which is an image signal processor that manages video and photography and a dedicated voice control unit. You can also see a memory hub and a modem to connect to the Internet, including an area that manages your phone's sensors.

Why it may not be on your phone even when it’s on the chipset

Phone manufacturers often speak about their fast charging, low-light photography and other features as if they invented them. Brands like Google, OnePlus, and LG have been customizing the way features work and look on a finished gadget. That is important, but most of the time, these brands did not lay down the foundation. Chipset did that.

For instance, if your chipset doesn't support a 200-megapixel camera or faster Wi-Fi Internet 6, there is no chance your phone can use any one of it if the company is not making a separated processor itself. And even if the chipset supports these features, you might not still get them on your device.

The reason is that companies like Qualcomm, Intel, MediaTek, and AMD sell their chipset to third-party phone manufacturers, who use them as they like. It is the phone manufacturer who is responsible for turning the feature on and ensuring that all comes together in the finishing product.

What does it mean for competition?

Normally, different chip manufacturers tend to have the same features to their competitors, this includes support for wireless charging, super slow-motion video, and portrait mode photography. There are some exceptions like the secure face unlock on iPhone X: which came two years before the Pixel 4 secure face unlock, which supports mobile payments.

Also, there are brands that make chipset or processors in-house, like Apple's A13 Bionic processor, which powers the iPhone 11 phones. This gives the brand the advantage of building its own features that other phones don't have. Huawei and Samsung also have a separate chipset company that sells parts to phone companies.

Does it matter which chip your phone has?

It doesn't matter if your phone has the most recent chip or last year as long as it has all the features you want for the price you are ready to pay. And you won't need a premium processor on a phone such as the Moto G7 - it will increase the price and tank the battery.

But if you know your phone is using the latest chipset, you can guess that it will be faster than the one with last year's chipset, which means it can have a better battery life with more camera tricks and can connect to the Internet faster. If you are set to purchase a new phone, we can help you find out where to start. But don’t forget to take some time to consider the powerful chipset that makes it all happen.

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