UPDATED 24/04/2021 8:10 AM

Handy Hardware

Modern smartphones are marvels of technology, and it is really impressive how much technology is crammed into such a compact device. Find out what it takes to build a functional smartphone.

Any product that a customer holds in their hands is certainly the result of many compromises made to satisfy many conflicting requirements. Let’s look at the compromises that arise when developing a modern smartphone.

The electrical team, meanwhile, has to engineer all the required functionality while using the least amount of energy to run everything.On the other hand, the mechanical team has to find ways to fit all the electrical subsystems into the required space while providing an end-product that is sturdy enough to not bend or fly into pieces when causally dropped.

At the same time, the firmware team is working away at interfacing with the various electrical subsystems on the one hand, and the User Interface on the other hand.

At the heart of the smartphone hardware is the system processor. In modern smartphones, this is mainly based on a System On a Chip, or SoC, that integrates more than just the processor.This SoC is by far the most complex component in the entire smartphone since it encompasses as much as possible in order to save space. This SoC, and what it actually does, differs from one smartphone to another.

A smartphone display is usually sourced as a complete sub-assembly that is then incorporated in the product. That’s mainly because these are complex products that require large investments to design and manufacture. So, only a very limited number of companies such as Samsung, LG Display and a few others make the kind of displays currently used in smartphones.

The type of display found in modern phones is the Active Matrix Organic LED, or AMOLED. Not to be confused with LCD’s with OLED backlights, AMOLED displays offer very high contrast ratios, high dynamic range, fast refresh rates and wide viewing angles, all in a very thin, and even flexible display.


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