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CES: Intel Atom Medfield prototype smartphone hands on review

A look at the reference design that features an x86-based chip
Tue Jan 10 2012, 18:57

CHIPMAKER Intel unveiled a prototype smartphone at CES, and although it wasn't as eye-catching as some of the other devices on display, it is a positive step as it has yet to find its feet in the mobile market.

The Intel design looks like a cross between an Iphone 4S and a Samsung Galaxy S II. Weighing about 130g, the device feels lighter and has a block design. Although it is far from ugly, it doesn't look as sleek as the Huawei Ascend PS 1 unveiled earlier at the show.

Intel's prototype smartphone with Medfield Atom processor

The Intel prototype device boasts a 4.03in display at 1024x600 resolution, but the key factor is that the Android handset is running on a 32nm X86-based Intel Atom Medfield Z2460 1.6GHz single-core processor.

Performance of the handset is smooth thanks to Intel's graphics media accelerator for video and all Android apps we tried ran on the device. It will be interesting to see just how fast real world performance will be compared to dual-core devices.

We had a quick play with Modern Combat 2 and the device rendered detailed backgrounds with minimal lag.

On the back is an 8MP camera with HD 1080p capabilities, and a 1.3MP camera is located on the front for video calling. The device also includes microUSB and HDMI ports. Additional features include a dedicated camera button, volume rockers and most interestingly, a microSIM slot.

Intel prototype smartphone with Medfield Atom processor side on

Intel is not expected to bring this to market on its own - the design is just a "reference point" for smartphone makers. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is expected to make a manufacturing partnership announcement during his keynote, which starts at 4:30 (PST) / 12:30am (GMT). µ


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