PHONE vs COMPUTER : are phones basically computers now?

phone vs computer

Almost everything a person needs right now is in the palm of their hands, their smartphone, that is. Technology has advanced from big and bulky computers to small laptops that weigh about 2 pounds. Similarly, mobile phones were built to make phone calls and have now become very close to a computer.

A debate still exists, phone vs computer. Is a phone a computer? Do you need a laptop if you have a good smartphone? Well, both have their pros and cons, and so does everything else in life. In this blog post, we will discuss the very thing. Here are some critical points about phones vs. computers.

Let’s take a look at the main differences between phones vs. computers.

phone vs computer

Power usage

Desktop Computers have high performance but are less efficient. They use a lot of electricity. The Thermal Design Power of computers can be up to 800 watts. High performance produces a lot of heat and requires fans and cooling systems. Mobile phones, on the other hand, use power very efficiently. They run on batteries and are getting more powerful with every release, but desktop computers have an edge in this department, being plugged into a constant power source.

The Cost of Computer vs. Smartphone

Prices for a desktop are very volatile. Generally, prices depend on the capabilities, storage, and features of a desktop. In most cases, you will also have to buy the other peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and speakers. You have more possibilities here as you can install the pieces of software that you need and nothing else. 

You can build your PC to lower the cost but not a smartphone.

Fairly tech-savvy people choose to build their computers from scratch, but the same does not ring true for mobile phones. On the other hand, mobile phones are cheaper than desktops and have a price range for every budget. Flagship mobile phones might cost more than a thousand dollars, but other phones are also available for less than 100 US dollars. 

Screen and Size difference

A desktop is large in size and stationary. Due to many peripherals, such as monitors and keyboards, they take a bit of real estate. The same goes for a laptop when used as a desktop. Furthermore, a single desktop can connect to multiple monitors at the same time, allowing you to multitask. 

On the other hand, mobile phones are compact, can be kept in a pocket and do not take up space in your home. They generally range from five to seven inches and are smaller than desktops.


Mobile phones’ accessibility, portability, and price are the main reasons most people primarily use their phones. In the early days, computers were not as portable as they are now. They used to fill up a whole room (exaggeration). Now they are compact and portable but not as portable as a mobile phone. However, you can easily carry a laptop in hand or, more often, in a backpack. On the other hand, mobile phones are very compact, accessible to practically anyone on the planet, and you can store them right in your pockets.

Storage Capacity

Smartphones come with built-in storage of 16GB to 128GB. Some of them allow you to use an SD card for extra storage, but some do not.

Desktop and laptop computers use hard drives. The storage on these drives has now exceeded terabytes (TB) in capacity. Even the cheapest laptops now come with a hard drive with 250 MB of storage. You can also attach an external hard drive to computers for extra storage. So in terms of storage, computers win by a large margin unless you opt for cloud storage, then it’s a no contest.

Software applications

Although phones are evolving quickly, the capability of mobile phones to run heavy software like those mentioned above is still far behind that of a desktop. Desktops can run much more powerful software than a smartphone. Software such as Ansys Fluent, Adobe Premiere, and many resource-intensive games can run on desktops. Mobile phones have gaming options, but they come as an app from its AppStore.

Internet Connectivity:

Most desktop computers come with a built-in ethernet capability on the motherboard. Modern laptops use WiFi to connect, or you can use a USB C to ethernet adapter for a wired experience. While an Ethernet or WiFi router provides internet connectivity for laptops and desktops, they cannot connect directly to the internet without such a device. For instance, mobile phones can connect to mobile data networks directly and still connect to WiFi networks. Mobile data, however, is more expensive than the internet connection provided by broadband services installed in your home. 

Also Read:   Does technology make us more alone?

Operating Systems

Mobile Operating systems are specific to mobile devices. Apple devices use IOS, but your Apple device will determine the IOS version it will support. The same goes for android mobile devices. You can not run new applications on an older mobile OS, or the latest mobile OS can not run on an older device. You do not have complete access to the physical hardware you own, which is more accurate for Apple devices than Android (Disclaimer: I’m an Android user, but I understand why others prefer iPhone). 

Computer Operating systems are fully featured and allow you to take full advantage of your RAM, disk space, and CPU. They utilize all the features of modern chipsets that mobile phones do not.


The graphic cards for Phones and Computers are purpose-built respective to the device. The NVidia mobile graphics have done a fantastic job of turning mobile phones into a great gaming platform, but don’t expect them to perform at the desktop level unless you are pumping 600 watts of power into them. The only thing computer graphic cards are built around is performance. They are larger in size, produce more heat, and perform like the champs that they are.

COMPARING Phone Processors vs. DESKTOP Processors


Mobile processors, whether used on a laptop or tablet, or any other IoT device, are generally more inclined towards efficiency. They are low-powered processors, which means the speed is typically slower, with a TDP(Thermal Design Power) of 15W. The battery life will trump performance. On the other hand, Desktop processors are the performance kings and will have higher TDP on the cost of battery life. In that case, the mobile processors excel.

So a mobile i7 is no match for a desktop i7 processor, i.e., the mobile i7 processor runs 2 cores at 2.6/3.5 GHz while a desktop i7 processor runs 4 cores at 3.4/4.0 GHz.

So a laptop with a desktop processor means better performance at the cost of battery life.


Processors are scored by geekbench 5 along with a base of 1000, which is the score of an intel core i3-8100. The higher the score the processor is.

Phone Processor Benchmarks

Following processors rank as the top three mobile processors.

  • A15 Bionic with a geekbench score of 1750/4724
  • Snapdragon 8 plus Gen1 with a geekbench score of 1324/4231
  • Dimensity 9000 with a geekbench score of 1281/4316

Computer Processor Benchmarks

Ranked among the top are these three desktop processors.

  • Intel Core i9-12900K with a score of 1988
  • Intel Core i9-12900KF with a score of 1947
  • Intel Core i7-12700K with a score of 1904


Here are some major differences between a desktop and a mobile device. For example, when building a Desktop CPU, no battery run time has to be taken into account as it is always connected to power, while heat consumption is not a factor as there is enough room for fans and airflow. In return, the desktop processor will always have a higher speed, bugger cache and better TDP than the mobile phone CPU. AMD desktop CPUs are generally different from Intel CPUs. They may also be called APUs (accelerated processing unit, which is the main processor and has a co-processor that might even be more powerful than the main processor) 

Heat production or cooling is a significant factor when designing a smartphone. There is insufficient space to install fans and airflow channels into mobile phones. A lot of performance means a lot of heat, and a mobile phone CPU can not handle that much heat. On the other hand, CPU efficiency is kept in mind while building a mobile device rather than performance. The mobile phone does not have constant power, and its battery is integrated, so run time must be considered.

Generally, desktop CPUs are installed on desktops only, but as these CPUs are getting more and more efficient, they are now also being installed into laptops. On the other hand, mobile phone CPUs are installed in mini-PCs, tablets, and notebooks. Some mini-PCs also use desktop CPUs.

In Conclusion

Phone vs Computer, you need both. Mobile phones are basically computers, but the two are unique in their aspect. This blog post gives a high-level comparison without going deep into it. Both have perks like computers can run large applications. You will have a much better user experience on desktops than on mobile phones. You can run much more prominent and newer games on a desktop, but mobile phones are compact, easily portable, provide a wide range of apps and fun games, and allow you to call, video call, or text someone and have access to the internet on the go. 

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