A few days ago, I posted about a student project at a Russian University that aims to run two or more instances of Android at the same time on a single device. It's a technology called virtualization, and we already use it on web servers and developer machines everywhere.
At first glance, the idea sounds interesting, but seems to lack practical uses for the majority of people. Sure, some developers will save a few hours on testing, and industrious users might want to run the latest CyanogenMod nightly ROM alongside their daily driver, but this kind of stuff doesn't really appeal to your neighbors or parents.
Intel, not to be left out of the early CES fun, had a couple of announcements for tech fans today – a low-powered platform formerly known as "Lexington," (lovingly called Atom Z2420) for "emerging" value smartphone markets, and the Atom Z2760, codenamed "Bay Trail" headed for tablets and higher-end smartphones.
Intel says that it's already found partners in Acer, Lava International, and Safaricom for the Z2420 platform, and that the chip will be capable of 1.2GHz speed, 1080p hardware acceleration, and support for two cameras (with burst mode). With the Z2420, Intel is hoping to target what most call the budget smartphone market, which their release indicates will reach 500 million units by 2015 according to "industry sources."
The high-end Bay Trail SoC, meanwhile, is a quad core, 22nm chip that Intel hopes will expand tablet prospects in both the Windows 8 and Android arenas.
If you plan on jumping aboard the Medfield bandwagon and scooping up the new Intel-powered Motorola RAZR i when it hits the streets next month, then the newest update to Chrome for Android is just for you. This small bump adds support for Intel x86 chips - like the ones found in the RAZR i, ZTE Orange San Diego, and ZTE Grand X IN.
This is definitely good news, as lack of Chrome support was one of the last hurdles to jump for x86 phones.
The update is available in the Store now, though it probably won't show if you're not running an Intel device.
There's a good chance that the bulk of you completely missed the RAZR i announcement. Why? Because it was held in London and happened in the middle of the night for those of us in the US. Never fear, though, if you simply must see Moto talk up the RAZR i and all of its 2GHz glory, the full event is now available for streaming on YouTube.
Right after Motorola made the RAZR i official, the very first comment on our post was "Benchmarks ASAP!" because everyone wants to know how Intel's Medfield processor compares to the more common ARM-based chips that we're used to seeing. Engadget spent some time doing exactly that this morning, and the results are, well... less than impressive. Have a look:
The only area where the RAZR i outperforms its Snapdragon S4-touting cousin (the M) is in the SunSpider benchmark, which tests browser performance. Do these scores mean the RAZR i is a bad phone? Heck no. Benchmarks are fun for looking at raw horsepower, but the real test is once you get the device in your hands.
In a tweet earlier this evening, the recently resurrected evleaks Twitter account revealed what may be a variant of ZTE's Intel-powered Grand X IN phone which we saw at IFA 2012 headed for Boost Mobile.
It's definitely worth noting, though, that this ZTE Grand X IN (if that is what we're looking at) is a tad different from the original. Most notably, it appears to be running vanilla Android 4.0 rather than ZTE's own custom overlay.
Speaking to Pocket-Lint at today's unveiling of the RAZR M and RAZR HD, Motorola has reportedly confirmed that the RAZR M will be announced in the UK with an Intel chip, ousting the Qualcomm S4 found in the US Verizon version. Pocket-lint says the device will also get a "name change," but that just may be referring to the dropping of the DROID branding.
What we've seen of Intel phones so far hasn't been too impressive, so let's hope Motorola has managed to tame the Medfield-based Atom processor into something you'd actually want inside your smartphone. There's no word on LTE support, either.
Rumor has it that Motorola will release a phone without a bezel by the end of the year, and we kinda-sorta buy it. The trend has certainly been moving that direction and bezels are becoming increasingly narrow, but we've never had a phone that truly had an edge-to-edge screen with no bezel at all. It simply hasn't been technologically feasible to eliminate it altogether for mass-produced devices.
The advantages would be obvious: first, you could pack a significantly larger screen into the same size package, and second, it would look super sleek.
Ok... Hot report out of Bloomberg, just now, that Motorola will be releasing a phone with no bezel. None. I'm having just as hard of a time believing this as you are.
It's Bloomberg though - they're reliable. They can't be wrong, right? They say the phone "uses the entire front of the device as a display," and "maximizes the screen viewing space by eliminating the black frames or bezels around the display." Several times they use the phrase "edge-to-edge" screen.
The author's twitter page promotes the story with the phrase "sans bezel." He also reported it on video and described the phone as "all screen" and said it will "do away with the little bits of screen that aren't screen." They really are claiming this thing has no bezel.
It looks like Chinese manufacturer ZTE may have beaten Motorola to the Intel-powered phone announcement punch, today unveiling the ZTE Grand X IN. You may remember that Motorola is planning an announcement involving Intel for September 18th.
The Grand X IN looks to be a mid-range device, carrying a 4.3" qHD TFT display (that's 540x960 resolution), an 8MP rear camera with a VGA shooter around front, 1GB RAM, 16GB onboard storage (expandable via microSD), NFC, and of course an Intel Atom Z2460 processor with just one core clocked at 1.6GHz. The processor does, however, support Intel's Hyper Threading Technology, which allows multiple threads to run on a single core.