The geniuses, and I don’t use that word lightly, at AnandTech have somehow managed to score the Lava Xolo X900, otherwise known as the first smartphone to use an Intel chip instead of an ARM chip. At close to 9,000 words, it’s safe to call their review of the X900 an incredible exhaustive one. I’m in the process of reading it right now, but like all impatient people I jumped to the conclusion first to get an idea of what to expect. Here are the quotes that immediately stand out:
“The Atom Z2460 in the X900 is a competent dual-core Cortex A9 competitor with competitive battery life and power draw, and no doubt the Z2580 (its dual core, SGX544MP2 high end counterpart clearly targeted at Windows 8 platforms) will be equally as competitive against quad core A9s.”
“While the X900 doesn’t lead in battery life, it’s competitive with the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus.”
“Atom isn’t always industry leading in our tests, but the X900 is rarely more than a couple places away from the top (with the exception of GPU performance of course, but that’s a matter of licensing a different IP block in future versions). For a reference design that an Intel partner can just buy, barely customize, and ship – that’s not bad at all.”
“The software compatibility story, like the concern over power consumption, is also a non-issue. The vast majority of apps we tried just worked, without any indication that we were running something intended for a different instruction set.”
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m shocked that Brian Klug of all people had this many good things to say about X900. He admits that what Intel has done is considered a great first step, but they need to do more to get to the top. That being said, it’s not going to take much for them to polish the rough edges.
Don’t think that Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, and Texas Instruments are standing still though. The ARM players are already planning their next move, and we’ll see what they have to offer during the first half of 2013.