Quad-core Android smartphones from LG, Huawei and HTC were all the rage at Mobile World Congress the last two days. Power management on these handsets is going to be a challenge, said IHS iSuppli.
mobile technology themes came out of Mobile World Congress this week, one that
will stick in every mobile watcher's mind is that the show was a coming-out
party for quad-core smartphones.
LG, HTC and
Huawei all showed off quad-core Android handsets at the event in Barcelona, Spain.
Quad-core phones will provide faster performance and superior graphics
capabilities, compared with today's phones with dual-core CPUs, said Daniel
Gleeson, a research analyst for IHS iSuppli. They will also suck down power at
a prodigious clip.
First out of
the gate at MWC was the LG Optimus 4X HD
, which is powered by a 1.5GHz
Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. This quad-core phone runs Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG)
Android operating system and boasts a high-definition 4.7-inch screen with a
resolution of 1,280 by 720. LG said the device will start shipping in the
second quarter of 2012.
will make the smartphone a more compelling consumer experiencein LG's words
delivering 'PC-like performance,'" Gleeson said in a research note.
"It also will increase the disruption that high-end smartphones will cause
to adjacent products, such as handheld games consoles. But unlike Sony, Apple
and Microsoft, LG lacks a strong games content portfolio that would help LG to
differentiate its premium smartphones."
Huawei meanwhile unveiled
the latest in its
popular Ascend Android line, the quad-core 1.2GHz/1.5GHz processor-powered
Ascend D, which pairs Huawei's power-management system with a 2,150mAh battery,
to save energy.
power is a primary concern to users of quad-core handsets, particularly close
industry watchers who saw dual-core phones churn through power rapidly on 4G
Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks such as those from Verizon Wireless.
To address the
power-supply challenge, Huawei also introduced the Ascend D quad XL, which
comes with a 2,500mAh battery for up to two to three days of normal usage. The
device sports the same specs as the Ascend D quad, though the Ascend D quad XL
is only 10.9mm thin. The devices should be available in September.
Not to be
outdone, HTC introduced
its One X smartphone a
"multimedia livewire," or entertainment super phone. Launching in
April, the handset will feature Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core chip in Europe in
addition to the Beats Audio sound system and Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).
wouldn't be MWC without talk of the next Samsung Galaxy S lineup, the S III.
Though not available for show and tell at MWC, Boy Genius Report
said the device would sport
Samsung's 1.5GHz quad-core Exynos processor and possess a 4.8-inch full
high-definition 1,080p resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio display.
ultra-big, crisp displays, Gleeson also noted that HD video or high-end gaming
graphics performance is realistic only as an option for downloaded content.
The reason, of
course, is that streaming HD video requires the carrier to provide content at a
constant rate that challenges today's 3G networks and results in a battery
drain if used in 4G LTE networks.