If you hadn't heard, Intel actually unveiled a new smartphone chip at CES. It's just not a particularly exciting one. Lexington, as its known, will be marketed primarily in emerging parts of the world - think Southeast Asia and Africa - in handsets that will probably closely mimic the reference design you see below in the hands-on video.

I'll admit - there's not a whole lot to this thing. It has a tiny 3.7" screen, isn't particularly thin (actually, it's pretty thick), and feels cheap. But this is Intel's play in the budget market, and on the whole, I feel like they could do very well with it. Phones based on this platform will likely be as cheap or maybe even cheaper than some of the most economical hardware manufactured by the likes of Sony, HTC, and Samsung (eg, sub-$100) - with regional OEMs keeping costs down.


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As far as my impressions, the phone is actually pretty quick, though it is running Android 4.0. Intel says an Android 4.1 image isn't far off, but was too buggy to put on display at the show. Other than that - there isn't much to say. New Intel chip, new reference design that OEMs will closely mimic in retail handsets.

Photos and video in this post courtesy of the AT&T Galaxy Camera.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • TynanDeRosa

    A dedicated point and shoot took those pictures? That's... depressing.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      Good point, I didn't really look at the pictures until I saw this comment. Of course, the lighting in some of those events can be terrible and the focus is obviously on the device, so it's not going to capture the backgrounds quite as well...but there are phones from almost a year ago that pump out better shots than this.

      • TynanDeRosa

        It's galaxy camera, so bigger cmos, it should be able to do stunning low light... instead it looks about on par with what my note 2 can do. It should look a hell of a lot better than that.

        • Deaconclgi

          They should have used an 808, it has a larger sensor than the galaxy camera.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=694276815 Tim Marshall

    when did 3.7 become tiny? we've only just moved on from the average being about 3.5 (iphone) and that is the right place to *just* be able to use a software keyboard and also fit the phone in one hand. as for the thickness, maybe it has a 5000mAh battery eh ?

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      For Android, I think the average was 4.3"-4.5" for quite a while. Now it's difficult to find an Android phone in the US under 4.3". The iPhone is miniature to most of us.

      The rest of the details, the plastic body, the thickness, etc., are just aspects of the reference design. Presumably another company will run with the reference to produce something that probably has a slightly more rugged exterior and a large-ish battery (the two most important things in developing markets).

  • Paul

    x86 is a horrible idea for Android. It's only going to further defragment the ecosystem and cause more harm than good. Intel needs to stop. I've worked on Tablets with Intel chips in them and half the apps in the market don't work. Only basic apps work. This means Intel specific apps have to be created and that's just going to be bad, for everyone. I hope this thing is a huge fail. Sorry Intel, you've had your fun in the sun, you've made your money (and then some) but stay away from Android.

    • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

      The term you're looking for is fragment not defragment. x86 is fairly new to android so many apps are not yet compatible. This is already changing as more developers include x86 support. The freedom to pick your platform is a great thing.

    • al

      You're completely wrong. Most apps are compatible as is (no native components). Most theoretically incompatible apps can run on an emulator of some sort. And as soon as there are a certain number of Intel phones, every developer will just compile any apps that use the NDK for x86 as well (that has been supported for months already). The only question is how cost-effective Intel chips are going to be, because sure as hell they're a cut above all this ARM crap. I guess by the end of this year we're going to see some major phones with Intel chips and by the end of next year everyone will be assuming the "death" of ARM.

      • E71

        I hate ARM so much.

        Really happy to see Intel in the game.

  • chris2kari

    It appears rt o be dual sim!
    A sub $100 dual Sim Android 4.1 phone with a big battery?
    Sounds perfect for my trips to South East Asia where voice/sms/email/contacts/calendar/maps is all i really need.
    A 5mp camera with xenon flash is nice if i can get it.
    I'll be getting a few!!