Grit Geek’s Android Field-Guide (Smartphone Edition 2017)

Grit Geek’s Android Field-Guide (Smartphone Edition 2017)




What Makes a Smartphone? – Part 1

  • The Android System
  • Brands

What Makes a Smartphone? – Part 2

  • Processors and Graphics
  • Displays
  • RAM
  • Batteries
  • Cameras and Video
  • Microphones
  • Storage
  • Software
  • Body
  • Speakers and Audio

Buying Guide

  • Identify your needs
  • Budgeting





We the Geeks at Grit Geek have spent thousands of hours on thousands of devices from manufacturers around the world to make this guide for you, today. We will be covering almost every possible aspect of a smartphone today, from the processor, the graphics, all the way to even all the types of cameras sensors. We hope you enjoy reading and sharing this downloadable guide as much as we’ve spent writing it.


What Makes a Smartphone? – Part 1

Smartphones are essentially the successor of the mobile phone, that used to just perform simple tasks like making phone calls and texts. Smartphones do a whole lot more than that, up to an extent where it’s basically a pocket-sized computer that does everything for you. Now they’re able to capture photos, play games, emails, editing and creating documents all on-the-go. With all these features being incredibly handy on a portable scale, it’s important to learn and understand what keeps your devices running well and efficient for your every day lives. This is where we’re going to cover on what makes a Smartphone function and what they’re made of.


The Android System – At a glance

Android has been the staple operating system present on nearly all smartphones today, and for good reason. It’s on all the biggest smartphone brand names we know of today.
What is Android?
Android is an operating system developed for touchscreen mobile devices and tablets. It is Linux-based and open-sourced, meaning anyone with the right skills can develop their own Android operating system with their own customisations and features.
Who developed Android?
Android was initially developed by Android inc, back in 2005. It was bought over by Google, which then released it as an open-source, Linux-based operating system back in 2007, while leading the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). The OHA is a joint alliance of smartphone manufacturers, app developers, mobile network companies and chip makers such as Google, HTC, Intel, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Samsung Electronics (to name some of them). Their goal is to develop and make Android a unified platform on smartphones and other smart devices.

Bit Facts
The Google PlayStore currently has well over 1 million apps available to their users, along with a statistic of over 50 billion downloads across all their devices and systems.


Android Version Timeline

Cupcake (1.5) – April 2009

Donut (1.6) – September 2009

Eclair (2.0 – 2.1) – October 2009

Froyo (2.2 – 2.2.3) – May 2010

Gingerbread ( 2.3 – 2.3.7) – December 2010

Honeycomb ( 3.0 – 3.2.6) – February 2011

Ice-Cream Sandwich (4.0 – 4.0.4) – October 2011

Jelly Bean ( 4.1 – 4.3.1) – July 2012

KitKat (4.4 – 4.4.4) – October 2013

Lollipop (5.0 – 5.1.1) – November 2014

Marshmallow (6.0 – 6.0.1) – October 2015

Nougat (7.0 – 7.1.1) – August 2016

Oreo (8.0 – 8. x.x) – Upcoming

Android has gone through one upgrade after another, each with new features and looks that users can customize to their unique styles. It’s 8 years of change so far, for all range of smartphones.


There are many smartphone brands that use Android on the smartphones and tablets they sell, each with their own unique features and software. Brands develop their own launchers and skins on top of the base Android to distinguish themselves in the market while some just prefer to use Android just the way it is.

Nokia (upcoming)

These are the brands that had established a solid foothold in the Malaysian Android smartphone market.


What Makes a Smartphone? – Part 2

Processors & Graphics

Processors are the main core component when it comes to a smartphone and also anything that runs on a system, so computers are definitely on the same boat here. Processors work round the clock running calculations and executing codes to make sure everything runs fast and efficiently for you. Think of it as a brain and it delivers messages to the nerves to perform.
Like the computer, you’ll have components like the central processor unit (CPU) and the graphics processing unit (GPU), along with your RAM , internal and external storage, and battery. Some of the components are soldered onto a die that acts as a motherboard, which becomes a single chipset, commonly known to be called as a System-on-a-Chip (SoC). It’s made this way because it’s small and compact, which perfectly describes the form factor of a smartphone. SoC’s usually come with everything soldered on, including camera modules, the WiFi card, and sim-slots.

Processors are made according to certain specs, each not created equally. Some brands may have the same SoC model inside, but it varies according to requirements and power usage in terms of clock rates and other adjustments.

Here are some of the main players who manufacture processors for smartphones.

Name: Qualcomm

Place of origin: San Diego, California

Manufactures:  Mainly processors, semiconductors and other various telecommunications components

Name: Exynos by Samsung Electronics

Place of origin: Suwon, South Korea

Manufactures:  Consumer electronics, electronic home appliances, semiconductors



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