Features to compare when choosing a smartphone include the processor, operating system, random access memory, read only memory, camera, price, phone dimensions and battery life. Another factor to consider is the availability of emerging technologies in the smartphone; for instance, Long-Term Evolution networks, near field communication and fingerprint sensors.
A strong processor enables a phone to handle complex tasks with ease. Basic texting and calling functions do not require high processing power, while gaming, video decoding and multitasking are processor-intensive activities that need robust processors.
RAM facilitates the processor to carry out processing tasks in a phone. Consequently, the RAM requirement for processor-intensive tasks is higher than for basic phone functions. As of 2015, Android flagships have RAM as high as 4 gigabytes, while iPhones reach 1 gigabyte.
There are four main smartphone operating systems, Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS and Windows. The OS is an important consideration, because adapting to a new OS upon switching smartphones may be difficult. In addition, iOS and Android have a wider variety of applications as compared to the other operating systems.
ROM is the internal memory of the phone. Images, videos, music and modern games consume a lot of space; hence, require large amounts of ROM. Camera features distinguishing smartphones include megapixels, optical image stabilisation technology and focus speed.