Orange Android on Atom Z2460. 14 day standby, 6 hrs of HD video, 8 hrs talk time. This time Intel is for real

This time Intel is getting into a smartphone game for real.

Every time I come to Mobile World Congress, Intel has some hapless phone OEM lined up, showing off a reference design smartphone with some Intel chip inside. And promising the release the device by the end of the year.

It never happens.

Except that this year it will.

Finally Intel seems to have come up with a chipset that can work with very limited power requirements of the smart phone. Intel Atom Z2460, codenamed Medfield.

And they actually have a working phone here at Mobile World Congress. It has been designed by Intel and made by some unnamed (most likely) Chinese OEM for Orange network, to be launched this summer.

We played with the Orange Intel smartphone for a bit, asked around what it can do. And the stuff Intel booth demo staff has told us, sounds very impressive. Especially when they talk about the power consumption. 14 days on stand-by, 6 hours of continuous HD video playback, 8 hours of talk time and similar times for browsing. This device should last you through the day even with pretty heavy use. On moderate use you may get around for two days, without charging. And this is on a power hungry Android.

Here’s our short video hands-on with Intel’s Atom Z2460 powered Orange smartphone:

Of course, for now these are only controlled demos by Intel staff. We’ll have to wait until real world performance results, and comparisons to ARM chipsets. But it seems that Intel has finally cracked the smartphone CPU thing. And now that it did – things are about to get very interesting.

Some Intel’s reps at the booth let it slip that Atom powered Motorola smartphone is already in carrier testing in U.S. and should ship this summer. They’ve also got ZTE – a Chinese OEM with global ambitions, on board.

And they are launching with Indian Lava this summer too. Lava – a local mobile phone brand , just took a reference design Intel made for demo purposes, slapped their logo on it and will have a working Android smartphone in a few months. With no R&D costs to speak of, the pricing of Lava Xolo 900 device should be very interesting. Especially when compared to ARM based competition in the same performance group.

Current Intel Atom Z2460 CPU runs at 1.6 GHz, but as of today it will be boosted to 2 GHz. For the next year – they have Atom Z2580 in the works. It should double Z2460 performance. And will also come with an integrated LTE/3G/2G modem for better power efficiency.

In 2013 Intel also has cheap/volume smartphone market in its sights. It will try to break-in there with 1 GHz Atom Z2000 CPU which integrates with XMM 6265 3G HSPA+ Dual-SIM 2G/3G radio module.

If I haven’t seen and played with current crop of Intel based Android smartphones, I would have dismissed most of these announcements as another round of vaporware. But I have and these phones are real, ready to ship and compete in a few months.

Looks like ARM finally got some serious competition on its hands.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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