The HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE will both launch in the coming weeks and are both destined to be among the summer’s hottest new phones. However, as I see more and more reviews of the International version, I’m starting to feel more and more miffed that the American market doesn’t get the benefits of the quad-core Tegra 3 processor.
Yes, dual-core chips in smartphones is a relatively new thing and, yes, a lot of consumers don’t know or don’t care about the difference. They should, though, because a quad-core chip means more power which means you can do more with your phone.
Last week SlashGear posted a hands-on video showcasing the One X’s gaming prowess. Since the phone has a Tegra chip inside it benefits from game optimizations from developers that work closely with NVIDIA, makers of the chip.
Chris Burns points out:
What you’ll notice is that not only do these games open extremely fast, their performance is second to none. When you’ve got NVIDIA’s quad-core processor here working with you to this phone’s full potential… NVIDIA’s ability to push secondhand tasks (keeping a game open in what’s essentially idle mode) to the back of their importance list for processing is one of many great features included in this next generation chipset.
The performance boost from quad-core isn’t just a boon for gamers but for all smartphone users.
The point Burns’ makes about the phone’s “full potential” is also important. In my hands-on time with the dual-core version of the One X and the EVO 4G LTE I noted that they are fast, capable phones. In some benchmarks, the dual-core One X even beat out the quad-core version. We’ll have to see if it makes as much difference in everyday tasks as it does in gaming.
So why can’t the One X and the Evo have quad-core as well? According to HTC, it’s due to the LTE chips. They’re incompatible with Tegra 3 right now. Given that Verizon Wireless is only releasing 4G LTE phones this year and both Sprint and AT&T are making an LTE push to stay competitive, someone, somewhere need to hurry up and figure out how to make LTE and Tegra 3 play nice together.
Dual-core chips serve smartphones and their users well, so I’m not advocating for a wholesale move to quad-core right away. However, I’m looking toward the not-too-distant future and seeing where smartphones are headed.
No matter what you think about Motorola’s phone Lapdocks or the ASUS Padfone in their current incarnations, they do point us toward the potential for smartphones to be a core element in a larger piece of mobile tech. Just look at Ubuntu for Android, which aims to put a full-fledged desktop operating system on your phone next to the mobile operating system you already enjoy.
For that kind of use case, you’re going to want quad-core. You’re also going to want LTE.
As I said, that’s near future stuff. For the current moment I wonder if consumers would rather have LTE speeds or quad-core power since you currently have to choose one or the other?