Nothing is really simple and straight forward about what to look for in a camera. Depends on what you want a camera for really. The size of the sensor means something for detail in large print use and also can give better light gathering results in low light but it is only one factor. My Canon Sureshot with the 50x optical zoom, for instance, is an excellent all around camera for a range of photo work but it isn't a pocket camera and the sensor is only just over a half inch in size, and it operates with seemly low count 12.1MP processor. The more MP the better is the general mantra...but in this case the lessor size is better throughout the range of the super zoom lens. It works fine by design and more MP would not help produce a better image.
There are a lot of things in the computer engineering age that the new wonder camera may or may not do.... GPS... Tilting mirror...digital view finder.....raw ... 4K..... panorama... all sorts of image tweaking, like making the image all black and white except for all things that are some particular color. There are lots and lots of "features". Some may mean something to you and some you would never use at all...even out of curiosity.
I think what makes one camera better than another, with the same features, is the engineering and programming that goes into it and how close to intuitive it works. Some work wonderfully and some are a wonder that they work since it's often nearly impossible to understand the directions that leave out more than what is covered with all the "features" tripping over each other with some having to be turned off or on for others to work properly.
I think simple is generally better....even in the digital age. I've noticed with my film photography hobby that the last film cameras produced at the end of the 20th Century had more and more special features and programmed this and that which left no convenience forgotten . Minolta even produced it's last SLR for the photo taking public with every last innovation they had incorporated into all of their cameras over the years, and at a relatively cheap price for the day. You can pick up that model, Minolta Maxxum 70, for less than a go pick it up yourself Godfathers pizza now days. But if you want a Minolta SRT200... a heavy metal mechanical camera with nothing innovative about it beyond a working light meter.. it will cost you the price of two or three Godfathers pizzas.