In the current world of high-end smartphones and the boom of technology at a massive level, the consumer expectation as well as the choices available in terms of specifications is plentiful. The most common question that arises in the mind of a new smartphone purchaser is: Which phone should I buy that fully utilizes my budget by providing me the specifications that I desire? It is a daunting task, no doubt, considering the plethora of options available in the market currently, but if you manage to figure out the exact specifications that are crucial to your cell phone usability, you will be able to buy a phone that will last you a period without causing you frustration over its functionality. There are some superb choices available in the market, especially the ones that are related to flagship phones that are released by manufacturers each year. A latest example which you can relate to is Samsung Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6s Plus which has taken the market by storm. But the question remains, which smartphone will be able to cater best to your needs, considering the features it offers and the requirements that you wish to have in your device. It might not be a flagship phone, but maybe it offers the same specifications, such as Motorola X which costs less but is a high specification smartphone. The critical aspect is being armed with the knowledge about the specification niche and how it will impact your usability. Let us now delve into the details of the best cell phone features out there in the market and how this information can lead you to buying a smartphone that suits your need and does not compromise on the specification end.


Operating system

The first choice that you need to make in terms of specification is choosing which operating system you are comfortable with. Majority of users stick with the two leaders in smartphone operating system, iOS and Android. Apples iOS is stable, well-integrated and very well-known in the niche of smartphones. Apple users are often at ease with the user interface and stick with upgrading their Apple devices rather than making the switch across to Android. The App store has a myriad of options available for downloading various apps that suit your needs, but you might have to use your credit card to purchase these apps before you can use them. The interface, as mentioned previously, is quite intuitive and simple but you are locked into iTunes for your content. This means that for media related content, iTunes is your only platform and it does not provide complete freedom to content. iOS upgrades are usually rolled out at the same time so you dont have to worry about your iPad running a different version of iOS as compared to your iPhone. If you are already an Apple user, the transition is very smooth and it does not affect your comfort level when purchasing a iPhone.


Compare this with Android. You will be able to experience more freedom and flexibility in terms of customization. Android definitely has an edge in providing its users a platform where they can install custom ROMs and flash them altogether for a version of OS that they are most comfortable with. The Play Store has an enormous library of apps available, many of them free to install on your device. However, this comes at the potential risk of infecting your phone with Adware or Spamware, if the app installed is not from a trusted source and has malicious content. New versions of Android are also rolled out on an as needed basis, but Google devices usually get these updates. The latest release by Android is the operating system coined with the name Marshmallow which has only been rolled out only on Nexus. The predecessor for Marshmallow is Lollipop which has been rolled out on all the major flagships. The advantage of having Lollipop on your Android smartphone is the fact that since it has been released for some time now, the initial bugs and glitches have either been removed or rectified.

Processor

The core of your smartphone performance, and metaphorically the heartbeat of any device, the processor plays a vital role in judging the computational capability of a smartphone. Any application that you run, be that the latest game that you just installed or simply browsing through multiple tabs of chrome, the processor type plays a huge role in the performance of that app. If you experience stuttering, freezing apps or slow response, be advised that your processor is not up to the mark when compared to your requirements. The available resources for the smartphone on hand are deficient with the needs that you have for it. Therefore it is very important to make the right choice when it comes to selecting the right processor.

Clock speed (measured in Gigahertz) is traditionally used to gauge how powerful a processor is. However, the performance benchmarking has changed slightly due to enhanced chip design and architecture and a reliable predictor for computation capability is the number of computing cores that particular core has. Simply stated, a processor is more powerful if it has more cores. Processors nowadays are designed in a manner to maximize performance while consuming less battery power. Otherwise, the smartphone wouldnt last you more than a couple of hours if this necessary optimization wasnt taken into account. Lets take a look at the two main processor options that you can make a choice from:

Qualcomm Snapdragon

The most well-known and established processor in the Android world is the Qualcomm Snapdragon, the undisputed champion in performance. The latest release is Snapdragon 810 which is equipped in the upcoming high-end smartphones. This indicates that this particular processor performs exceptionally well while dealing with resource consuming apps as well as running multiple apps at the same time. It has also passed benchmark and stress tests with excellent scores making it the chip to beat. Qualcomm is currently working on Snapdragon 820 which is expected to be rolled out in flagship smartphones in 2016.

Apple A9

Boasting 64-bit mobile processing as well as improved power efficiency, this latest silicon chip has been designed and integrated in the latest models for iPhone (6S and 6S Plus). Apple has claimed that their newest architecture is seventy percent faster than its predecessor, the A8. Stringent benchmark testing has revealed that there has been a massive improvement in the overall efficiency, as well as power consumption, for this innovative architecture without compromising on the computational capability. Apple has lived up to the hype and expectation of providing a smartphone that is not prone to freezing or slowing and user experience is seamless without any glitches when it comes to A9.


Battery

Another user requirement that comes up often with the advent of smartphones is the battery time that the device has to offer. Realistically, this is a very critical aspect when it comes to cell phone features since all the snazzy features that a cell phone has to offer are of no use if the battery dies on you. This is especially a problem with high resource consuming smartphones since they drain the battery at a higher rate as compared to the previous generation of smartphones. Manufacturers have realized this fact and now the latest releases offer battery options ranging from 1700 mAh up to 4000 mAh. Huawei Ascend Mate 7 is a prime example, offering a battery capacity of 4000 mAh. This means that the smartphone will be able to last more than a day, even under heavy usage. Another option that has been quite a hit amongst smartphone enthusiasts is One Plus Two, which has a battery capacity of 3300 mAh. Powered by an efficient microprocessor, the phone manages around 48 hours on standby which is enormous considering the power requirements flagship smartphones tend to have.


Screen Size

With flagships released every year packed with newer innovative features and aspects, a general trend has been noticed. Screen sizes for smartphones are getting bigger and this is one undeniable fact that every manufacturer has had to embrace. A 5-inch screen, measured diagonally, considered to be huge a few years back, is normal in the newer generation of smartphones. The shift towards larger screen is so obvious that even Apple has ditched their initial concept of small screens by introducing a 5.5-inch screen iPhone 6 Plus. The phablet attracts a larger consumer base with more customers preferring bigger screens. The largest screen available on the market is that of Huawei P8 Max, which has an enormous diagonal width of 6.8 inches. Shifting towards the norm, a 6-inch screen has been introduced in Google Nexus 6, as well as Nokia Lumia 1320. Screen sizes in these models are more preferable since they easily fit in the palm and are easy to operate. The Samsung S6 family, considered to be premium by the manufacturer, range around 5.1 inches which is another snug fit for the average user. If you prefer a slightly lesser dimensioned screen, the Moto G by Motorola comes in at around 5 inches. The benefit of having a 5-inch sized screen on your phone is that it is operable with one hand and the thumb can access all the portions of the screen, from top to bottom.


A shrinking part of the smartphone niche is the small sized screen which is dwindling out slowly. The gargantuan smartphone is preferred more over a small sized screen. However, if portability is your major concern and tops the list of your requirements in a smartphone, there are scarce options available to you. You would have to compromise on the performance aspect and settle for a smartphone that will be portable but offers fewer features. The Motorola Moto E 4G LTE is one option that can be taken. Also, the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 is another option. Both have screen sizes of 4.5 inches.


Camera

There are a lot of variables when it comes to a phones camera quality. On paper, it might sound appealing that a higher number of megapixels will provide you better results and resolution. However, the fact is that a 13 megapixel camera can snap crisper pictures than a 20 megapixel camera. The lens quality also plays a vital role in snapping clear pictures since it aids the sensor by being more sensitive to illumination. This means that in low light conditions, the camera will still be able to provide a better performance. HTC and Microsoft are renowned to have a superior image processor that results in higher quality images and the ability to autofocus swiftly. This also reduces the shutter lag while taking a snap and the user can take rapid photos without having to take the shot repeatedly.

Optical image stabilization is another feature that is increasingly being introduced in cameras of flagship smartphones. Recent examples include the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and iPhone 6S Plus which have these features for clearer and blurry free photos.

With the rise of the selfie trend, manufacturers have also started focusing on the secondary, front-facing cameras to facilitate this growing fad. With the exponential increase in social network sharing and platforms such as Instagram, this feature also draws in business for the manufacturer by providing the consumer with a smartphone that can be utilized in their social circle as well. The resolution for secondary cameras increases with each new model that comes out. An example of this is the Sony Xperia C4 which takes crisp selfies. Motorola has even gone to the extent of introducing a model known as Moto X Pure Edition or simply X Style which boasts a secondary flash for the front-facing camera.