Intel recently revealed that India will see it developing smartphones based on its chips in partnership with local handset manufacturers. These handsets would be priced Rs 7,000 onwards. Elaborating upon its plans, Intel's South Asia Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, Debjani Ghosh, stated that the touchscreen-based smartphones would run Android and are likely to hit the market by mid-2013. Ghosh, however, refused to divulge more information regarding its partners in this endeavour.
She added, “The first handset with Lava that we launched was a premium one. We learnt that it was important to have a portfolio and offer choice to the user. We will not have entry-level handsets but our smartphone range will be priced upwards of Rs 7,000.”
Intel smartphones in the making
The Lava XOLO X900 was one of the first smartphones based on Intel’s Medfield chip. The X900 was launched in India back in April and the highlight of this phone was the new Medfield CPU from Intel, the Z2460. Based on the 32 nm fabrication process, the Z2460 SoC features a single core CPU running at 1.6 GHz, along with the usual Intel features such as HyperThreading and Burst Performance Technology (or TurboBoost). The graphics are taken care of by a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, which is clocked at 400 MHz. There’s also support for 1080p video playback and recording. Intel is banking heavily on its new Smart Idle Technology for delivering better battery life than its competitors. This feature allows the CPU core and the rest of the processor to idle while the OS is still functioning.
Here are some of the highlights of the XOLO X900:
- 4.03-inch TFT LCD display with a resolution of 1024 x 600
- 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth, NFC
- 8 MP camera with AF, LED flash, and 1080p HD video recording
- 1.3 MP front camera
- 16 GB Internal memory
We reviewed the Lava XOLO X900 sometime ago, and found it to be quite worth its Rs 22,000 price tag. The Intel Atom processor makes this handset so brilliantly fast, it was enough reason for us to recommend the device to anyone who was looking for a high-end smartphone. However, the poor battery life and possible heating issues will prove to be a deterrent in this case. Lava has nevertheless done a decent job in terms of design and functionality, but a few issues, like the lack of a removable battery, no memory expansion option, no FM radio and no ICS out-of-the-box might not go down well with some. Click here for the detailed review of the Lava XOLO x900.
Back in June, Lenovo launched another phone based on Intel’s Medfield platform, the K800.
Here are some of the highlights of the Lenovo K800:
- 4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution
- 3G, EDGE/GPRS and Wi-Fi
- GPS with A-GPS
- Bluetooth with A2DP and USB 2.0 (Micro)
- 8 MP camera with LED flash; front facing camera
- MicroSD card support for up to 32GB more memory
Chen Xudong, Senior Vice President of Lenovo Group, said during the launch of the phone, “As Lenovo’s first smartphone with Intel inside, the launch of LePhone K800 has milestone significance.” He continues, “LePhone K800 represents an innovative achievement for Lenovo in the PC+ era, as well, a significant progress for Lenovo in smartphone market segment. Lenovo and Intel will continue to intensify their cooperation, integrating respective advantages in technology and resources to introduce more and better products and to explore the new frontier of the mobile Internet together.”