With terms like Full-HD displays, 13 megapixel cameras, and Octa-core chips being dragged down to entry-level phones, more and more consumers are bound to inquire beyond what ‘spec-sheets’ usually list.

It’s a renowned fact that spec-sheets are incomplete and deceptive, but you still need to go through one before buying a phone. What you can read is merely a reflection of how deep your understanding of smartphone hardware is. So, if you are new to smartphone stuff, here are six things crucial to smartphone experience which you might not spot on a spec-sheet.

Also Read: Specification wars have ultimately rendered spec-sheets meaningless

[Missing] Sensors

Sensors used on a smartphone don’t really qualify as marketing material and thus, you will seldom find them under spotlight.  We don’t get to hear things like missing Magnetometer on Moto G4 Plus or the missing Gyroscope on the Le 1s till it’s too late.


Without a magnetometer you won’t know your orientation on a Map and without a Gyroscope VR gear won’t work on your phone. That qualifies as a big impact, don’t you think? To know more about your sensors, you can check the following guide.

Read: Get A Sense Of Sensors That Are Packed Inside Your Smartphone

Quality And Quantity Of Storage

While the total internal storage is often highlighted, the sub-text pertaining to it isn’t. You need to dig for facts like how much of the listed storage is actually available at user end (a part is consumed by pre-installed apps and OS), and whether or not Apps can be transferred to SD card or if a particular Marshmallow running handset supports adoptable storage or not.

quality and quantity of storage

Besides the quantity of storage, its quality can have a grave impact on user performance. Manufacturers specify if the phone supports fast UFS 2.0 storage, but other than that, the quality of storage and eMMC standard adhered to is often withheld.

Read: Decoding Smartphone Storage: All About Internal and External Memory

Display Calibration

Only thing you get to know about a display from the specs table is the display type and its sharpness or resolution ( and associated PPI number). As far as displays go, that’s bare minimum detail. There is so much more to be known.


Does the display have those cold blue tones? Or the colors lean towards the warmer side? Are colors punchy? Or color tones are more natural? What about the viewing angles?

You won’t know if it’s in line with your taste unless you know what exactly you are looking for or until you examine the display yourself.

Also Read: Beginners Guide for Choosing The Perfect Smartphone Display

Look and Feel

OnePlus 3

How a smartphone actually looks and feels in hands is a very important aspects spec-junkies tend to undermine. You must know that every subtle curve makes a difference and popular labels like ‘Metal finish’ and ‘2.5D glass’ or press renders hardly explain much. What you would love and appreciate is a very personal thing.

Camera Performance

This is one area which is impossible to estimate on paper. No matter how much you are familiar with the particular sensor being used, or no matter how wide the aperture of the lens used is – the camera quality is a variable depending on a number of hardware and software factors and trade-offs.


Things like large pixel size, fast focus technology, stabilization technique being used have a theoretical impact, but it’s unwise to put much faith in them. You can not estimate camera performance, even remotely, using the camera specs, Period.

Call Quality

LeEco Le 2 antenna band

Of late we have been seeing horrible call quality on many handsets that we review. Of course, Telecom Service Provides share the blame for that, but as far as budget android phones go, it feels like manufacturers aren’t paying due attention to this elementary, yet quintessential smartphone feature. You need to rely on reviews to know for sure. This simple glitch could be a deal breaker for all classes of users.


Basically, spec-sheets are just numbers and it’s unwise to trust them blindly in any regards. But yes, it is possible to draw some rough expectations. For instance, If you are well used to a particular chipset, you might have a rough idea about what to expect in terms of performance or battery backup or maybe you simply wouldn’t want to buy a Snapdragon 810 phone to avoid heating and throttling issues.

In the post above we have highlighted areas which people not very well versed in smartphone tech usually overlook. Have something more to add to the story? Hit the comment section below.


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