Last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel got up on stage and said that they’ve signed two hardware partners to use their new Medfield smartphone platform. What made us actually care about this announcement instead of just rolling our eyes, because Intel has been promising to enter the smartphone market every year for the past five years, was that they also showed off a production ready reference platform that companies could use to get a device out the door in little to no time. One of those two hardware partners, Lenovo, went so far as to show off an actual Intel based smartphone at the show, the K800. The other hardware partner, Motorola, said they’d be releasing a device later this year. Thanks to the folks at Pocketnow, we now have an image of said device. Not only will it be Motorola’s first Android Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, it’ll also ship with a new version of Motoblur that actually doesn’t look half bad. We’ll have to play with it before giving it a thumbs up of course, but our first impression is quite positive.
The bigger question is how will this thing perform compared to what’s going to be on the market during Q2 and Q3? You have to remember, by that time we’ll likely have the iPhone 5 running iOS 6, Google will probably show off a newer version of Android that no device except the Galaxy Nexus will run, and Microsoft will be bringing Windows Phone 8 to market. All those are ARM based. Will Intel’s Medfield be able to out perform said devices? Early benchmarks say yes, but a device is so much more than just a series of benchmarks. There’s battery life concerns, heat issues, we have no idea how Intel’s cellular connectivity stacks up, and so many other variables.
All that being said, we’re excited Intel is entering the space, and we look forward to seeing their long promised smartphone solution.