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Know Your Android: Smartphone Components Explained

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There are so many smartphone models available today. The visible differences between them are minor and often revolve around tiny design changes, battery life, and display quality. 

What goes on underneath the external elements makes a real difference, though. You might want to know more about smartphone components because you are looking to buy a new one, or maybe you’re just curious. Either way, this article will provide all the information you need about your Android’s main components.  


The display is simultaneously an exterior and interior element and the principal method for interacting with your smartphone. Manufacturers use two main types of display tech, LCD and LED.


LCD-based displays use diodes to generate light while LED screens create colors by themselves. In practical terms, LED panels extend battery life because they don’t waste any power when the screen is off.


Current-generation phone batteries most often use lithium-ion technology. This material is a less dangerous and more powerful step up from previous nickel-based cells. 

Batteries can be removable or sealed. In the former case, you can purchase a replacement by yourself if your current one is misbehaving. The sealed type requires a technician to switch it.  

System on a Chip

The system on a chip, or SoC, is the essential smartphone component. It consists of the phone’s CPU, GPU, modems, processors, and everything else that turns silicon bits into a functional, responsive system.


Most smartphones use ARM CPU architecture, which is more power-efficient than Intel’s technology inside our PCs. The CPU processes and executes the instructions you input.

The GPU is a graphics engine that produces 3D environments on your 2D display. It collaborates with the CPU to render images as a response to your requests. 


Modems are communication components that let your device send and receive calls and text messages. These chips are becoming more powerful each day, increasing transfer speed.


Smartphones have two memory components, RAM and internal system storage. RAM keeps data that your CPU uses. The more you have, the quicker and less laboriously your Android functions. 

Internal storage ranges between 32GB and 256GB, although currently, it tends to be at the higher end of the spectrum. It accommodates all pre-installed apps and services that your device comes with, as well as everything you download and install. 


Current phones are touch-enabled smart devices, so they need sensors. 

As Octopart explains, sensors detect input from physical environments and convert them into electrical signals. Your Android will usually have these five types:

  • Accelerometers. Apps use these to detect device orientation and movement for features such as changing the song by shaking your phone.
  • Gyroscopes. This one works with the accelerometer, detecting phone rotation. You’ll take advantage of it when playing games that include tilting, for instance. 
  • Digital compass. This sensor helps the device find the north for maps and location.
  • Ambient light. Smartphones use ambient lights to automatically set the screen brightness based on the light around you. 
  • Proximity sensor. For example, when you’re on a call, this sensor locks the screen to prevent touch commands. 

The Bottom Line

Understanding intricate processes underneath your phone’s surface can be essential. This knowledge ensures you make more informed purchases and understand any malfunctions that occur. This makes you a more efficient smartphone user.

About the author

Henry Chukwu

Android is my specialty, what I don't know about Android devices isn't worth knowing ?

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