A

AGPS - Assisted GPS
Server assistance is used for increasing speeds when using GPS to obtain a lock on a position, especially for weak signals. But this always requires a data connection and network data costs may apply.
GPS - Global Positioning System
This is a navigation system developed and maintained by the United States Department of Defense and uses 24 and 32 Medium Earth Orbiting Satellites to transmit accurate microwave signals. GPS receivers determine their location, time and velocity in all weather conditions anywhere on or near earth. The US government created the system, maintains it and allows access to anyone with a GPS receiver. The highly specialized GPS satellites are accurately located and carry stable atomic clocks that are synchronized with each other and to ground clocks, correcting any shift from the true time. GPS receivers also carry clocks but these are less stable and are not synchronized. Continuous transmission of satellite time and location enables GPS receivers to monitor multiple satellites and determine their precise location and deviation from true time. At a minimum, a receiver must lock with at least four satellites to obtain its location. Civilians using GPS in navigators and handheld devices obtain a geographic output of longitude and latitude with an accuracy of about 10-100 meters. Usually, software developers use this information to create apps for navigation.
A2DP - Advanced Audio Distribution Profile
A one-way Profile for streaming of stereo audio wirelessly to headsets or speakers through Bluetooth.
AAC - Advanced Audio Coding
A digital audio storing file format that is used for storing audio such as music in PC, internet and other (portable) devices. It stores better sound quality and smaller files at similar bit rates than MP3 formats. It is the default audio format for YouTube, iPhone, iTunes and PlayStation 3 among others. The newer versions are AAC+ and AAC++.
Accelerometer
This is a device that measures ‘proper acceleration,’ not related to coordinate acceleration. Its most common use is related to measurement of tilt and motion in cellphones when one rotates the device from portrait to landscape producing a new screen orientation. Other innovative uses include identifying gestures commands and enriching game play controls in devices.
AMOLED - Active-matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode
It is a display technology used in smartphones, smartwatches, TVs and laptops. OLED pertains to a thin-film display technology with specific organic compounds that comprise the electroluminescent material. Active matrix deals with the quality and composition of pixels.
Android OS - Operating System
This is a Linux-based operating system and software platform for smartphones created by Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Since 2007, when the first version Android Alpha was released, there have been major changes in the OS through the years, with the current one being Android 6.0 Marshmallow, released in October 2015. The different versions over the years with major or minor revisions and ‘confectionery-based’ codes include: Alpha v1.0, Nov 2007 | Cupcake v1.5, Apr 2009 | Donut v1.6, Sept 2009 | Eclair v2.0–2.1, Oct 2009 | Froyo v2.2–2.2.3, May 2010 | Gingerbread v2.3–2.3.7, Dec 2010 | Honeycomb v3.0–3.2.6, Feb 2011 | Ice Cream Sandwich v4.0–4.0.4, Oct 2011 | Jelly Bean v4.1–4.3.1, Jul 2012 | KitKat v4.4–4.4.4, Oct 2013 | Lollipop v5.0–5.1.1, Nov 2014 | Marshmallow v6.0–6.0.1, Oct 2015.
ANT
This is an ultra-low power wireless protocol that allows for sharing of data in devices with short distances between them. ANT+ allows for specific device profile of particular use to be created. Based on ANT, it defines data formats, channels parameters and network keys. The most common use is in the development of monitors for heart rate, blood pressure, activity cycles and bicycle speed among others.
Audio Jack
Found in most devices, this is a standard audio connector for plugging in another standard pair of headsets in devices like cellphones, music players, computers and many other electronic devices with audio output. It may also support a microphone, but for most cellphones, the supplied headset or its line itself has a microphone installed somewhere plus a remote button to for hands-off use of the device. Common audio jacks are 3.5mm.
Autofocus
While snapping photos, this feature enables cameras to focus on objects being captured to enhance photo quality compared, especially with contrast measurements to fixed focus cameras. However, because of passive autofocusing, phone cameras may use an LED flash to improve focus capability under low light conditions.
AVRCP - Audio/Video Remote Control Profile
This is a Bluetooth Profile the allows for remote control of media playback on other devices, normally used together with A2DP.

B

Band
This is a specific range of frequencies, such as commonly used in network communication or computing.
Bandwidth
This is a synonym for data transfer rates in carrier networks and computer communication platforms. A certain amount of data can be carried from one point to another in the network within a particular time, such as bits per second (bps). Today’s networks have capability of transmitting up to billions of bites per second (gigabits per second – Gbps). This literally means that bandwidth affects the performance of a network’s throughput. However, some smartphone apps require a certain quality of bandwidth. For instance, messaging apps may need 1000 bps, VoIP (voice over internet protocol) may need 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) and transmitting video may require bandwidth in the ranges from 1 megabits per second (Mbps) to 7 Mbps depending on the quality of video.
Bar
Cellphone blocks usually consist of a single piece body block with no moving parts apart from touch buttons. Touch bar phones are the current smartphone body forms today which include a large front display surrounded or enclosed by plastic, glass or metal covers which make up a frame (bezel) that encloses the internal components of the phone.
Bit
This refers to a binary digit format in information theory. It is a basic unit of information in computing and digital communications having only one of two values, needed to be physically implemented with a two-state device. These values are most commonly represented as either a 0 or 1. Eight bits are required to form one byte.
Bluetooth
This is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data across short distances (majorly using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs). It can in synchronizing several devices. Class 1 devices can to other devices across 30 meters, those in Class 2 include smartphones which can connect up to 10 meters. Bluetooth connections are usually referred to as ‘Profiles,’ for example the Headset (HSP) and Handsfree Profiles (HFP). Other examples are the A2DP which streams stereo audio and AVRCP for remote control of media playback.
Bits per second (bps)
This is a rate of data transmission speeds, which is the amount of bits transferred per second. Speeds are measured in kbps (1000 bits per second, 1000 bits = 1 kilobit). Note that bytes per second is differently written as kBps with a capital B.
Broadband
A broadband connection is one made with a relatively high speed of data transfer of more than 56 kilobits per second (Kbps).
Browser
This is a software for accessing access the internet. Handheld devices these days come equipped with browsers capable for viewing normal websites, including those intended for a desktop browsers. Budget devices may be limited to mobile-view adapted websites. Advanced devices have browsers with full Flash-content support for playing embedded videos.
Byte
This is a string of 8 bits. it has been shown that one byte equals one character of text especially for Latin alphabets. For other alphabets, such as Cyrillic or Chinese, two or more bytes are used for one character.

C

Calculator
Most handheld devices have for long been integrating a standard calculator for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Cellphones may also integrate scientific functions capability, currency conversions and mortgage calculations.
Calendar
Calendars are popularly used as PIM (Personal Information Managers) across a wide range of platforms. They allow you store information about events, meetings, set reminders. An alert notification is normally integrated to inform the user. Many devices allow synchronizing to your online calendar, such as Google calendar.
Call alerts
Both fixed and mobile cellphones alert users of an incoming call or message in a number of ways. The two most popular ones are vibration and ringtones. Through technology advancement, cellphones have the capability to play more than one musical note using polyphonic ringtones as opposed to monophonic tones. Further advancements allowed phones to use advanced audio formats (AAC), MP3 and now more recently short video clips for call alerts. Users are able to always customize their ringtones to the liking.
Calling plan
A calling plan includes a package offered by wireless service carriers to customers Services usually charged per month. It can include but is not limited to: include activation, monthly charges, per minute/per second voice call charges, local and international roaming terms, voicemail and internet data.
Camera
Today, most smartphones are equipped with a digital camera that is able to shoot still photos and video. Several features of the camera onboard distinguish the cameras on the different phones which will obviously attract a hefty price tags for the device. These features include: resolution (megapixels), lens focus type (fixed or automatic focus) and the presence of a flash for capturing images in the dark. The flash could be either LED (single or double tone) or xenon. The more the pixels a camera has, the better especially for printing out images. But as you know this is not always the case for good quality measurement. Autofocus cameras lock into a scene object to attain focus automatically and are basically better than fixed focus cameras, especially when shooting close objects, but is not always the case. A majority of smartphones now have advanced autofocus cameras that use different technologies to take sharp photos. On the other hand, fixed focus cameras are becoming less popular. A few phones offer optical zoom capability but those are rare. Most of them use digital zoom, which reduces the quality of the photo. Those cameras that can shoot videos are usually limited by the maximum resolution and framerate (frames per second) of the recorded video they can capably capture.
Capacitive touchscreen
Capacitive touch sensors are employed in smart phones as buttons or touchscreens. These sensors work by harnessing electrical properties of the human body instead of pressure. They broadly don’t work with a stylus pen and cannot allow for handwriting recognition. A few new smartphones these days are able to recognize high levels of pressure as input. However, capacitive touchscreens feel more sensitive than their resistive counterparts. Capacitive touch screens are also considered more durable than resistive touch screens.
Car kit
Car kits may include a holder for the phone, connections to an external speaker and microphone, a battery charger, an external antenna for better reception and a junction box with data port for optional modem or fax connections.
Carrier
Carriers are the companies that operate wireless networks. They are also referred to as mobile network operator (MNO) or wireless service provider, wireless carrier, cellular company, or mobile network carrier. Their network comprises of base stations (cell towers) from where a radio-based network spectrum is broadcasted, and other linking infrastructure. Users access the network, are billed by the making voice/video calls and data transfer, in many cases under calling plans.
CDMA - Code-Division Multiple Access
This is a digital technology for transmitting data. It provides a channel access method for connectivity into radio communication frequencies. As a general access technology, it is utilized through various standards. CDMA has no limit on capacity, although the base station will only connect users upon determining that the call quality would fall below a set limit. The term is often used to refer to one specific family of technologies, IS-95 (often referred to cdmaOne) and together with CDMA2000, which is its 3G Evolution. Networks using this technology operate in the 800 and 1900 MHz frequency bands and are commonly used in the Americas and Asia.
Chipset
Chipsets are a common feature in all electronic gadgets designed to perform a single or multiple dedicated functions. Just like computers systems, cellphones come with embedded chipsets out of the box. Chipsets are usually designed to work with a specific family of microprocessors. Because it controls communications between the processor and external devices, the chipset plays a crucial role in determining system performance. In phones, they are integrated as part of the complete device including hardware and mechanical parts. High-end smartphones are equipped with more advanced chipsets that can perform several different tasks depending on their programming. This means their CPU (Central Processing Unit) performance is critical for great user experience. Clock rate or speed of the main CPU in the center of the chipset is used to compare performance of different devices but only within the same family and generation of microprocessors. Going hand-in-hand with CPU is the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) necessary for mobile gaming enhancement. Typically, high performance chipsets have higher up in the family-line processors, higher rating of CPU and the better GPUs.
Clamshell
The clamshell or sometimes referred to as a flip is a mobile phone form factor feature  which is in two or more sections that fold via a hinge. If the hinge is on a long edge the device is more likely to be called clamshell than flip phone such as in phones most closely associated some Motorola and Nokia. The interface components are kept inside the clamshell, which offers more surface area than when the device is closed. Interface components such as keys and display are protected when the clamshell is closed, and it is shorter or narrower, making the device easier to carry around. The hinge may be prone to damage or failure.
CMOS - Complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor
This is one of two major types of image sensor technologies used in digital cameras. In digital cameras, image sensors serves as a digital substitute for film in ordinary cameras. It captures light and converts the light into electric charge which is processed into electric signals. CMOS sensors are usually smaller, cheaper and more energy efficient and currently deliver the same image quality as charge-coupled device (CCD) electronic sensors.
Color depth
Color depth refers to the number of different colors a display can produce. Typically, the higher the number, the broader the range of distinct colors. The human eye can perceive up to 10 million colors.
Corning Gorilla Glass
Corning Gorilla Glass is the registered trademark for a toughened glass, manufactured by U.S. glassmaker Corning, Inc. currently it is in its fifth generation and is designed to be thin, light and damage resistant. It has become a highly popular cover glass for portable electronic devices, especially the high-end mobile phones. The rise of touchscreen phones popularity since then has turned the manufacturing of Gorilla Glass into a lucrative business niche for Corning. Gorilla Glass gains its surface strength, ability to withstand flaws and crack-resistance by being immersed in a hot potassium salt ion-exchange bath. Originally, this invention had been shelved for a number of years in Corning’s warehouse, until Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO back then, commissioned Corning to develop a new scratch proof display cover glass for the first iPhone. In 2010 the glass was used in approximately 20% of mobile handsets worldwide, translating into about 200 million units. In October 2012, Corning introduced a second generation of the material, called “Gorilla Glass 2.” The second generation brought with it even thinner construction, higher transparency to light and allowing for even better touch sensitivity. Gorilla Glass 3 was announced at CES 2013, claiming to be three times more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass 2, with enhanced ability to resist deep scratches that typically weaken glass. The Samsung Galaxy S4 was the first phone to feature it. The new generation is marketed as having Native Damage Resistance™. It reportedly provides enhanced scratch resistance, reduced scratch visibility, and better retained strength once a scratch occurs.
Clock rate
One of the most common and key characteristics CPUs is the clock rate. It deals with performance of a typical processor unit. And is the fundamental rate in cycles per second (measured in hertz, kilohertz, megahertz or gigahertz) for the frequency of the clock in any synchronous circuit. A single clock cycle varies between a logical zero (0) and a logical one (1) state. The clock rate of a processor is only useful for providing comparisons between computer chips in the same processor family and generation. Sometimes, clock rates may be misleading because the amount of work different computer chips do in one cycle varies per CPU. It is not appropriate to use clock rates to compare different computers or different processor families. This is where application of benchmarks sets in for such different comparisons. Otherwise using the clock rate of the main CPU to compare the performance of competing devices may not be a key performance indicator. Clock rates can be used for comparisons between computer chips within the same processor family or generation.
CPU - Central Processing Unit
This is also known as processor. It is an embedded electronic circuit that used to execute apps and programs in phones or computers or other programmable devices. Nowadays, processors are almost ubiquitous in machines, enabled mainly through standardization and reduction in sizes. Microprocessors appear in everything from automobiles to mobile phones. Smartphones come equipped with embedded chipsets out of the box that can do many different or multiple tasks depending on their architecture and programming. The performance of CPUs is the core determinant of a chipset’s output in daily user experiences. Replacing a crystal with another crystal that oscillates with twice the frequency is known to generally make CPUs operate with twice their original performance. Notably, twice the amount of waste heat is also generated. Today’s innovations are centered towards improving the current CPU architectures to make them tick faster, running at higher clock rates but using less energy per clock. Some innovations are trying to improve efficiency by running the CPU at the same rate while making them carryout an increased number of instructions.
Crosstalk
Crosstalk is an incident that can occur when a signal is being transmitted on one circuit or channel that results in an unlikely or undesired effect on another circuit. Crosstalk measurements determine the amount of signal leaking from one channel to another. For smartphones, stereo crosstalk can be used as a review parameter for audio quality.
STN - Standard twisted nematic
STN is a type of monochrome passive-matrix liquid crystal display (LCD) with a twisted structure of molecules. STN is black and white while CSTN is the color version. Both displays are used on lower end devices. Typically an STN display has poor image quality and response times than a TFT LCD, but is cheaper and energy efficient.
CTIA - The Wireless Association
CTIA (originally known as Cellular Telephone Industries Association) is an international industry trade group representing all wireless communication sectors including cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio.
Custom ringtones
Cellphones come preloaded with a variety of ringtones, a number of phones additionally permit the user to change to another ringtone. This is possible by composing the notes in a composer, or by downloading the ringtone through an SMS/MMS or from the web. A simple approach to transfer custom ringtones to your cell phone is by means of a USB data link, Bluetooth or a memory card reader. When you need to use custom ringtones, you need to check for device compatibility in advance.
CyanogenMod
CyanogenMod is a pre-configured reseller firmware circulation for a number of Android gadgets. Under the Android Open Source Project, CyanogenMod is intended to expand device performance and unwavering quality over Android-based ROMs by merchants and carriers, like Google, T-Mobile and HTC. It also offers an assortment of features not sometimes found in Android.

D

D-Pad - Direction pad
This is a round or square-shaped pad that gives navigation keys for the four directions: up, down, left and right. It is also called “arrow keys” on a PC. An improved adaptation of the D-pad called a 8-way D-pad takes into account diagonal scrolling. Some D-pads have a central key called “select” or “ok” for selecting highlighted items.
DC-HSDPA - Direct carrier high speed downlink packet access
DC-HSDPA is an innovation created to improve the performance of HSDPA. HSDPA+ networks can bolster up to 28 Mbit/s and 42 Mbit/s with a single 5 MHz carrier. Doubling the transmission capacity or bandwidth to 10MHz can, for instance, double data transfer rates.
Digital zoom
The zoom feature is used in cameras to make objects appear nearer. Cameras on smartphones phones commonly have a zoom in digital format. By cropping the image, the zoom feature crops the picture so that the image appears bigger on the device’s display but the final image is smaller than the highest camera resolution. Stretching can also be done to extend the image to the desired resolution using an algorithm.
Display type
Cell phones use either color or monochrome displays. Monochrome screens can be alphanumeric or realistic. Alphanumeric screens can show symbols with a consistent size, while graphic displays can indicate fonts of various sizes and animations. CSTN (Color Super Twisted Nematic, TFT (Thin Film Transistor), TFD (Thin Film Diode) or OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) are the common versions in mobile phones. Another categorization used for touchscreens is whether they are capacitive or resistive. Capacitive touchscreens work by detecting electrical properties of the human body, while resistive types work by detecting direct pressure applied by the user. Resistive screens can be activated by both human skin and by stylus pens, a feature which allows for recognition of handwriting input.
DLNA - Digital Living Network Alliance
The acronym DLNA coins both the organization and technology used for sharing music, photos and video over an existing and known network. For instance, DLNA can be used to stream video from your smartphone to a compatibly TV-set using a Wi-Fi network.
DNSe - Digital Natural Sound engine
DNSe is a digital signal enhancement technology common in TVs, DVD players and now mobile phones as well. It was developed by Samsung back in 2003. DNSe technology claims that it helps sound engines produce high quality natural sound yields by reproducing ‘genuine’ stereo sound as intended by the user. Samsung says that this technology actively overcomes the limitations of earphones and less-than-ideal speakers to offer realistic stereo and deep bass sounds. The company has also perfected listening presets that make up for the local restrictions of portable media players. The framework utilizes essential processing techniques focused on different imperfections produced by portable players. Some enhancement features like Concert Hall reproduces life-like reflected and reverberated sounds to simulate the experience of a live performance. The 3D speaker isolates and consolidates sound to make realistic feeling of both space and distance via small speakers. Clarity enhancement tries to electronically reestablish most forms of distorted or bended music. Bass Extension applies an electronic logic to accurately play high fidelity sounds at an ultra-low frequency through headphones or small speakers. The last feature is Street mode, which adjusts volume selectively so that small notes are capable of being heard even in the noisy environment without the needing to raise the general volume level. The DNSe sound enhancement technology puts all these features together with various equalizer settings to make different presets to suit the most widely used listening situations. Custom presets can also be created. Samsung’s DNSe is rather different from proprietary DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine) technology, also developed by the same company. DNIe is common in Samsung Plasma and HD TVs. It has been said that DNIe delivers better and clearer detail compared to traditional TVs by utilizing four proprietary processes to enrich image quality. These include Motion Optimizer, Contrast Enhancer, Detail Enhancer, and Color Optimizer.
Downlink
This is a one-way connection from any network server to the user device. For instance, from a cellular network to a cell phone. Mobile phones typically use a two-way connection which comprises of a downlink from the server and an uplink back to the server. The down link is asymmetrically faster than the uplink during data transfers.