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.
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.