Home  ›  Glossary  ›



Central Processing Unit

The processor is the "brain" of a device. It's what handles the instructions of software apps.

All phones have a CPU of some kind. It's typically integrated into one larger chip (called an SoC) that handles many other key functions.

See: SoC

A better and/or faster processor allows apps to run faster. Raw processor speed is measured in MHz or GHz. (1 GHz = 1,000 MHz.) However some processors are more powerful than others, so even if two different processors both run at 1 GHz, if one is more powerful, it may run software apps much faster.

Other factors often affect the perceived speed of a phone. For example, the wireless radio and network determine how quickly data downloads. Also, phones may have a separate graphics processor (GPU) that determines the speed of visual elements, especially with games and other areas with complex animations.

See: GPU

Last updated May 18, 2022 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.

Still confused? Spot a mistake? Give us your feedback on this definition.

back to Glossary Index

Subscribe to Phone Scoop News with RSS Follow @phonescoop on Threads Follow @phonescoop on Mastodon Phone Scoop on Facebook Follow on Instagram



All content Copyright 2001-2024 Phone Factor, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Content on this site may not be copied or republished without formal permission.