Intel demos Android devices on eve of CES 2012

Intel demos Android devices on eve of CES 2012

Ask someone to name a microprocessor back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and you’d likely hear Intel and then maybe AMD.  Jump ahead a decade and now the names that roll off of tongues are Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and Texas Instruments.  Why?  Simply put, we’re more mobile today than ever before and Intel just hasn’t figured into the smartphone game.  Until now.

Last week, tech site Technology Review was fortunate enough to try a new prototype smartphone powered by Intel’s own mobile chip, the Medfield.  Powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread, this reference model may be making its way to Las Vegas next month where it could be announced with a carrier or handset maker.  In fact, it’s possible that someone, somewhere has already had a chance to spend time with it.

 “We expect products based on these to be announced in the first half of 2012,” says Stephen Smith, vice president of Intel’s architecture group.

So how does an Intel-based Android smartphone perform?  Based on the early word from Technology Review, this thing is pretty darn impressive.  Check out a few blurbs we pulled from the article and see if it sounds like the type of handset you’d carry around.

  • The prototype was similar in dimensions to the iPhone 4 but noticeably lighter, (case was more plastic,  less glass and metal).
  • It was running Gingerbread version of Android
  • The phone was powerful and pleasing to use, on a par with the latest iPhone and Android handsets.
  • It could play Blu-Ray-quality video and stream it to a TV if desired
  • Web browsing was smooth and fast. Smith says Intel has built circuits into the Medfield chip specifically to speed up Android apps and Web browsing.

The most impressive feature in the reference model seemed to center around the camera and its ability to fire off a string of high-res photos without stuttering.

One feature that stood out was the camera’s “burst mode,” which captures 10 full-size eight-megapixel images at a rate of 15 per second. Smith says that feature rests on a combination of image-processing circuits built into the Medfield chip and dedicated software tweaks on top, technology that comes in part from Intel’s acquisition of the Dutch image-processing company Silicon Hive earlier this year. This kind of hardware could help apps developed for augmented reality.

Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet

Intel also had a reference tablet to demonstrate, which happened to be running Android 4.X Ice Cream Sandwich.  It is described as having a slightly larger screen than the iPad 2 but with roughly the same weight and thickness.  What’s more, the new OS provided a “noticeably nicer” experience than older tablets that ran Honeycomb.

There’s plenty more to read over at Technology Review, especially the details about how Intel plans to make increasingly smaller chips for mobile.  If you’ve got a few minutes and want to dig in a bit, be sure to head there from here.

About author

Scott Webster
Scott Webster 6602 posts

Scott has been running AndroidGuys since 2007 and loves nothing more than reading up on the latest smartphone rumors. His other mobile efforts can be found on Android Update (CNET) where he covers Google's mobile platform.

You might also like

News and Rumors

LG G3 sells like crazy: 100,000 units sold in Korea after just 5 days

Earlier this week we reported that LG G3 outsold Samsung’s Galaxy S5 in Korea at a 3:1 ratio, selling 25-30,000 units a day. We’re talking initial launch period but these are

News and Rumors

SwiftKey Testing New Keyboard with Personalization Features

Swiftkey has begun testing a new version of their popular keyboard replacement application which is said to feature personalization options.  According to our source, the customization centers around how the

News and Rumors

Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile to offer Samsung Galaxy S 3 in June

Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile announced on Monday that both carriers will soon offer the 4G LTE-ready Samsung Galaxy S 3. Pricing and exact timing will be announced by the


  1. Enoel69
    December 21, 14:52 Reply

    This read makes me interested to see what they will bring to the table as compared to the big boys Qualcomm, Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Samsung Exynos etc

    December 21, 16:00 Reply

    it will be very interesting to see how Intel will do in the mobile market. I think we will see great things from them!

  3. Razshlomo
    December 29, 08:42 Reply

    i would make the devise a bit more roundish,a la htc’s much nicer in the hend.

  4. GiqueGEAR_Todd
    January 03, 23:18 Reply

    What a beautiful piece of hardware !  Bring on some Intel competition.

Leave a Reply