Adding a tempting new device to the current pool of affordable 7" tablets, ZTE and Sprint introduced the 3G-connected Optik in February, bringing to market a great 7" display, Android 3.2 Honeycomb, and an ample 1.2GHz dual-core snapdragon processor, all for $99 on a new contract. In a nutshell, the Optik is a decent 7" tablet for those on a budget. While it isn't the best tablet around, it's powerful enough for most tasks, feels great in the hand, and isn't too bad to look at.
The more capable and powerful S4 "Pro" variant of the original dual-core MSM8960 chipset (which can be found in the HTC One X, for example) will feature an Adreno 320 GPU as opposed to Adreno 225 in the regular S4 MSM8960. Before this announcement, Adreno 320 was scheduled to accompany only the quad-core Krait CPUs, like the APQ8064 and the MSM8974 which won't be coming out until late 2012/early 2013.
Shortly after the announcement from HTC CEO Peter Chou at Mobile World Congress that AT&T would be a launch partner for the new One X, the US's number two carrier let fly a press release confirming the statement. What's there to take from it? Not much.
The primary differentiating features of AT&T's version will be a dual-core Snapdragon S4 (as opposed to quad-core Tegra 3) processor, as well as LTE connectivity.
Just two days ago, we saw how blazingly fast Qualcomm's new Krait-based Snapdragon S4 CPU is in dual-core MSM8960 guise. Today, they've announced that the S4 line of CPUs - including the MSM8960 and its quad-core brother APQ8064 (seriously, who came up with this naming system?) - will pack the next-gen 802.11ac Wi-Fi spec.
Support for the new spec comes courtesy of Qualcomm's Atheros WCN3680 chip, which packs a 1x1 802.11ac chip with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM on-board.
The de facto hardware experts over at AnandTech have spent some time with the newest CPU from Qualcomm: the MSM8960, sporting the new 28nm Krait architecture in dual-core, 1.5GHz form. They've put it through their suite of benchmarks including Linpack, SunSpider, BrowserMark, Vellamo, and Basemark OS. In a nutshell: the MSM8960 absolutely destroys every other phone/CPU on the market right now in every. single. benchmark.
An example of what to expect.
Adreno Graphics, a division within Qualcomm, has just released Snapdragon GameCommand, a new game management and discovery app. Originally, GameCommand was supposed to be released on January 10th at CES, but it looks like someone pulled the trigger early.
Budget phone. The very sound of those two words, together, makes me slightly ill. In fact, it makes me almost immediately seethe with a sort of "nerd-rage." I hate the way budget phones are peddled onto the tech-illiterate by commission-motivated hucksters at "Big Four" carrier phone stores. I hate seeing people get locked into 2-year contracts because they got a "great deal" on a smartphone. "It was free!" they'll say, and that the nice sales representative (his name was Jimmy) kept them from buying "something they didn't need," because they walked in with a firm spending limit and they weren't going to budge!
Finally it's T-Mobile's turn to take a swing at the Samsung Galaxy S II, almost six months after the rest of the world. No adjective soup for this variant; its official name is, plainly, the "T-Mobile Galaxy S II." Formerly known as the "Hercules," this is the misfit in the GSII family. In its heart pumps a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, instead of the normal Samsung Exynos. So it's not just a carbon copy of all those other GSIIs.
The FedEx man brought me a lovely little gift yesterday: The T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II. This is the last stateside arrival of the Galaxy S II family. The review will take a bit to get out the door, so until then I figured I'd whet your appetite with some initial impressions.
First of all, this thing is big. Really big. I have to say though, I love the design of it.
We already know about NVIDIA's Kal-El project which will bring quad-core chips to phones and tablets beginning later this year, and now Qualcomm has stepped up its game as well, announcing plans for its own quad-core badassery.
I'm just going to get right to it: we could start seeing 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processors powering devices sometime in early 2012. Not only that, but these new powerhouse chips will also be sporting Adreno Graphics, 3D, full 1080p, and LTE connectivity as a standard.