One of the big things at CES that caused major excitement and disappointment was the introduction of dual-core processors powering mobile phones. Some companies like Motorola really embraced this idea, while others seemed to dismiss it entirely. Currently, the only phone manufacturers to put their money where their mouth is are Motorola and LG. Motorola came out with not one but two different Superphones that are going to break the bank of many people this year. Other major Android players like HTC and Samsung are set to launch their Dual-Core Superphones in February, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Dual-Core Goes Mainstream
Motorola has embraced dual-core processing on two of their devices: the Atrix and the Droid Bionic. These phones are similar, but also different. The Droid Bionic is going to be on Verizon, hence “Droid” being included in the name, and the Atrix will be with AT&T. The Droid Bionic has a 4.3 inch screen and a dual-core processor, but sadly, it only has 512MB of ram. You would think that if Motorola gave a phone a dual-core 1GHZ processor they would at least give it 1GB of ram. Not only Motorola could have thrown in the same 1 GB of ram, but instead opted not to. To make matters even more difficult, the Atrix also offers a powerful webtop application, coupled with an HDMI dock, that will turn it into a computer more powerful than most netbooks.
HTC also tried to have a strong presence at CES and announced the Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt had everything from 4G to 2.2 with a promised upgrade to 2.3. However, one thing it did not have was a dual-core processor. Everyone at CES was expecting the Thunderbolt to come out strong, but many were disappointed by the absence of a dual-core processor. A lot of people are saying that phones themselves don’t require dual core because Froyo and Gingerbread haven’t been optimized to make use of it yet. Others are saying the user won’t be able to notice a difference in performance. It really doesn’t matter how you look at it, dual-core is a must have going forward, and most will agree with that idea.
Many people were very disappointed with Verizon’s lineup at CES 2011. With the Droid Bionic having only 512MB of ram and the Thunderbolt having no dual-core at all, Verizon’s offerings are a little underwhelming. On the positive side, the devices themselves are quite solid. They are still fast and are promised to get Gingerbread. One other big thing is they both have front-facing cameras, a first for Verizon. These devices are awesome, and with my upgrade coming up in the next month I will probably own one myself. We may have to wait on the LG Revolution to see if Verizon will soon have a device will dual-core, 1GB of ram, and Android 2.3. On the bright side, Verizon will also have the Motorola Xoom, a tablet that is shaping up to be a monster with a dual-core processor and Honeycomb.
The real showstopper at CES was the Atrix. Packed with the latest and greatest in mobile technology, it features a qHD display, 1GB of PC grade ram, and a dual core processor with Nvidia’s Tegra 2 technology. It is the first time AT&T is getting an Android phone that can really compete go head to head with the Iphone. Prior to the Atrix, the Captivate was left to fend for itself in the dark shadow of AT&T’s overwhelming iPhone 4 campaign. This most likely has to do with Verizon now having the iPhone, as well as myriad other factors we likely will never really know. Either way, many Verizon lovers and subscribers are a little angry that they are not getting CES’ best piece of hot tech, being the Atrix. Anyways, the Atrix stole the show, and clearly it is a fantastic device that people will be using for quite some time. This year’s CES had some incredible devices, and we are all very excited to see what is in store for Android in 2011!