Unravelling the cell phone jargon!
By Anoop Verma
If you lost your cell phone, you would probably feel completely cut off from everything. A cell phone allows us to be in touch, anywhere, anytime. Many of us also use it for emails, surfing the Web, photography and games, music and videos. But in order to know what device is best suited for your needs, you have to shift through a sea of jargon. So we are here to walk you through what you need to know.
AMOLED: “Active-matrix Light Emitting Diode” is an advanced display technology mostly found in high-end mobile phones. A variation of this technology, Super AMOLED, allows for even brighter displays.
Capacitive Touchscreen: Most high-end phones, including the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S2, have Capacitive Touchscreen. The Capacitive Touchscreen does not rely on pressure. It uses electrodes to sense the conductive properties of objects, such as your finger. So even a light touch will activate an app.
Resistive Touchscreen: A resistive touchscreen works by sensing pressure, so you might have to press a bit harder in order to get the device going. Over a period of time a device with Resistive Touchscreen is more likely to malfunction, hence most high-end devices don’t use this technology.
EDGE: “Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution” also goes by the name of EGPRS or Enhanced GPRS. This digital mobile phone technology is one step above GPRS and it can provide faster browsing and data transfer speeds. Most handsets working on 2G networks in India have EDGE facility.
GPRS: “General Packet Radio Service” is technology for 2G and 3G networks that enables data transfers through cellular networks. The data rates that it provides are pretty basic, ranging between 35 kbps to 115 kbps.
GPS: If you plan to use the Maps feature (Google Maps, etc.) to find directions, you have to go for a device enabled with “Global Positioning System,” which is a space-based global navigation satellite system.
Hot Swappable Slot: It is always better to go for a cell phone that has a “Hot Swappable Slot,” as in this case you can access the memory card without having to remove the battery from the rear panel. Having to remove the battery is time consuming and it also switches off your phone.
HSDPA: Often associated with 3G, “High-Speed Downlink Packet Access” provides higher data transfer speeds and capacity. The existing deployments support downlink speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.0 Megabit/s. For proper user experience, a 3G cell phone should support at least 7.2 Mbps HSDPA.
HSUPA: A compliment and a successor to HSDPA, “High-Speed Uplink Packet Access” offers very fast data rates, with up-link speeds up to 5.76 Mbit/s. Together, HSDPA and HSUPA are sometimes referred to as HSPA. Your phone should have at least 2 Mbps HSUPA to give you a proper 3G experience.
IMEI: It is necessary that the mobile phone should have “International Mobile Equipment Identity,” which is a unique number that identifies the device on the network. Usually, the number is printed inside the battery compartment.
Megapixel: Cameras capture images in pixels and one megapixel is equal to one million pixels. However, it is not necessary that a higher megapixel camera in your smartphone will give better results. The quality of the camera’s lens and the noise reduction features are also important.
MicroSD card slot: There is limited amount of space inside any smartphone, so if you want to store lot of multimedia files, it is better to go for a device that offers the facility of an expandable microSD card slot or any of its variants.
MP3: This is a digital audio format for compressing sound files for easy transfer and storage. Majority of tracks downloaded over the Web are in MP3 format.
Push Mail: This is an email system that is always on. It is great if you use your smartphone to keep in touch through email, as you can have a real-time download of all incoming emails to your mailbox.
UMTS: “Universal Mobile Telecommunications System” is meant for 3G networks based on the GSM standard. In theory, UMTS can support maximum data transfer rates of 45 Mbit/s when HSPA+ is implemented in the network.