Motorola, who is owned by Google, announced a new smartphone yesterday called the RAZR i. It’s basically the RAZR M that’s currently available on Verizon Wireless in the United States, but with an Intel chip inside. We know it’s supposed to be fast and all that jazz, but at what cost? How’s the battery life? Will apps in the Google Play Store run seamlessly despite the different architecture? We’re going to find all that out when we get a chance to review the phone, but we’re already getting some hints that all is not well in the land of Intel. Our friends at Android Central recently tried installing Google’s Chrome browser on the RAZR i, and guess what, it doesn’t work. Ignoring the fact that this “Google Phone” doesn’t run the latest version of Android for a second, now we have to deal with it not even running Google’s own software!
What does Google have to say about all this? They haven’t issued a statement yet, but Motorola has, and it says: “There is not a version available that is optimised for Intel. We expect it at in-store launch or shortly thereafter.”
This brings up an important question: Are you ready to be Google’s guinea pig for this whole Android on Intel project? You’ll get a fast phone, there’s no doubt about it, but is it worth the incompatibilities and other potential issues? Looking at the top five smartphone vendors as of Q2 2012, the only one on that list making an Intel phone is ZTE. Their Intel device, the Grand X IN, is supposed to land on store shelves this month, so technically it’s not even shipping. If the world’s five biggest smartphone makers aren’t supporting Intel’s attempt to enter the smartphone market, should you?