Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Motorola RAZR i, Intel's Attempt to Replace ARM in the Mobile World

The day many have been waiting for is finally here. Motorola and Intel announced the first Android smartphone running an Intel CPU. Intel is trying to dethrone ARM which has dominated the mobile device market. This Intel Atom chip runs at 2GHz which makes it one of the higher frequency CPUs in a mobile device to date. However, the question is, does that higher clock speed translate into faster performance. According to Engadget's benchmarks, not really. The processor stayed just below or on par with the RAZR M which has a Snapdragon S4 ARM chip clocked at 1.5GHz, in most benchmarks. While this is certainly up there among the best performance you can get on a mobile device, it is still not a bump that I would have liked to see out of a new processor coming to market. Let's hope Intel has something more in store like amazing battery life otherwise this may never take off except in hybrid Android/Windows devices.

The phone itself is a device much like the others form the RAZR line. You get an edge-to-edge 4.3" AMOLED screen with a 2,000mAh battery, all wrapped in a water resistant Kevlar back.

The phone will only be available in Europe for the local equivalent of about $599. I am glad to see Intel finally put a device forward to hopefully make other companies innovate just a little faster, but we'll just have to wait and see how it truly performs when some folks get them in hand to test. There is also no word on if or when this device will come to the United States. If I had to guess I would say not as I believe it only has HSPA+, putting it behind the pack of LTE phones launching in the US.

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