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At the moment, mobile platforms are vastly dominated by the ARM architecture, licensed to pretty much every major chip/phone maker out there. That isn't stopping Intel from pushing forward with its x86 mobile chips. The latest taker for the Atom line is Chinese manufacturer ZTE, with the oh-so-appropriately-named ZTE GEEK. The 5-inch smartphone was announced at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing.

zte geek

The GEEK is built around the Atom Z2580 chip, a 2.0Ghz dual-core processor that uses Intel's 32 nanometer fabrication process. (It's even got the familiar "Intel Inside" badge on the back.) It's only the second commercial phone announced that uses the CloverTrail+ series of chips, behind the Lenovo K900. In comparison to the Lenovo device, the GEEK isn't quite as high-end; its 720p screen, 8GB of storage space, 1GB of RAM and 8 megapixel rear camera place it firmly in the mid range. Other specs include a 2300mAh battery, 1MP front-facing camera, and Jelly Bean, though ZTE isn't saying whether that means 4.1 or 4.2.

Benchmarks and other relative information for the Atom Z25xx series are thin on the ground, but ZTE claims that the chip is "twice as fast [as previous Atom processors] for computing and three times as fast for graphics", as well as more power efficient. Given the first generation of Intel mobile chips, even that might not be enough to compete with the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, Samsung, and NVIDIA. That said, Intel is clearly committed to the mobile market, so we'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

ZTE did not offer price or availability information for the GEEK. With the company's market position, it's unlikely that the phone will be made available outside of Asia.

ZTE Debuts the Latest Intel Inside ZTE GEEK at IDF 2013

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Michael Pahl

    Still being 32nm I'm curious how much more power efficient it is. When comparing to "previous" Atom processors is it including original CT?

  • ickkii

    I wouldn't gamble my money on an x86 phone, the benefits of using x86 are dwindling every day as more of the architectures software is ported to ARM. I have two docks for my transformer prime that put me to about 24 hours of battery life, and from the battery benchmarks done on surface pro (x86), no buyers remorse here.

    • ssj4Gogeta

      and from the battery benchmarks done on surface pro (x86), no buyers remorse here

      You should also remember that Surface Pro is a full laptop without a keyboard. The processor inside it is more power-hungry, but also many times more powerful than Transformer Prime's.

      Of course, all that is moot if you just want to play casual games, browse the web, do some word processing on your computer, and the fact is for a majority of people, there are plenty of ARM-based products on the market that deliver adequate performance and great battery life.

    • Freak4Dell

      The Surface Pro uses a Core i5, just like you see in any half-decent laptop or desktop. The mobile Intel chips are pretty good on battery. The RAZR i gets better battery life than the RAZR M does, and the M gets pretty awesome battery life.

  • Matthew Fry

    A real GEEK would want: Removable battery (despite the fact he'll replace the device before the battery fails), microsd slot(despite the fact he streams everything), 1080p (despite the fact that the screen is too small to matter), and 2GB of RAM (despite not really needing it). Know your audience ZTE.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      And an ARM CPU, since it's the standard CPU used on Android and most Android apps only support the architecture.

      • Freak4Dell

        Except that's not true. Most apps will run just find on the Intel CPU.

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  • TY

    Just FYI, this phone uses the same chip (Atom Z2580) as the Lenvo K900. Annnd most importantly, the K900 is benchmarked to be even faster than all Snapdragon 600 devices currently available (i.e. HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4), just google K900 benchmark. So expect this phone to be a beast.

  • dude

    I welcome it, it'll just be more choices to the consumer. Intel has done pretty good with their recent integrated GPU on the desktop side, so lets see what they can do here.

    At least this phone have a permanent Menu button, none of the geniuses at Google could figure that one out.

  • got runs?

    The real 'geek' would go with a sammy s4.

    • http://twitter.com/vikramadityarai Vikramaditya

      I'd say the Nexus 4

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

    What OS is on this? Is it Android ported to x86?

  • madden roe

    wow an intel chip… the device looks neat and being manufactured by zte means the device ll be reasonably priced…

  • Oobiewan

    So what's geeky about this phone? The fact that it has an intel chip? I don't really see