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Abbreviation for binary digit. Used in all digital communications. A bit is a binary unit, represented by either a "0" or a "1".

In many cases where "bit" is a measurement, more bits are better. This is because it refers to how many digits are in a binary (base-2) number. Each extra bit doubles the number of possible values.

For example, 10-bit color (commonly known as HDR) allows for 1,073,741,824 distinct colors, while 8-bit color can describe only 16,777,216 colors. (Color values are expressed in each of the red, green, and blue primary colors, so a "10-bit" color value is actually 30 bits.)

Similarly, 512-bit encryption uses a security key with many, many more possible values — and therefore better security — compared to 256-bit encryption.

Last updated Sep 12, 2019 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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