motorola razr i
The Motorola Razr i is an Intel Atom-powered smartphone launched for the European and South American markets. Will Intel launch U.S. models soon?

A few journalists have been able to get their hands on pre-release models of Motorola’s upcoming Intel-powered RAZR i and after the initial first looks and hands-on pieces, the device has now been benchmarked. And the question is, how well does the single core 2GHz Intel Atom-powered phone compare to ARM-powered devices?

The most obvious test is to pitch the RAZR i against its ARM-based counterpart, the Razr M, which has a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, and 1GB of RAM. Looking at the numbers the result that stands out the most is the SunSpider 0.9.1 web benchmark. The benchmark runs completely in the browser and the results show that the RAZR i is almost twice as fast as the RAZR M. However, this is a little misleading as Intel has been working hard to optimize the code to highlight web browser performance.

Other benchmarks like AnTuTu, Quadrant and GLBenchmark Egypt show that the RAZR i is about 20% slower than the RAZR M. What does that mean in real terms? It means the RAZR i has a very capable CPU and is able to compete in the mid-range but it won’t win any speed awards. The RAZR M’s CPU runs at just 75% of the speed of the RAZR i’s CPU, but with two cores. So do a bit of math and you can see that on a per core basis the Intel Atom processor is quick, but sadly having only one core lets it down.

It is also worth noting that many of the benchmarks are measuring graphics speed and the Intel setup uses the older (and slower) PowerVR SGX 540 GPU compared to the newer Adreno 225 found in the RAZR M.

However when compared to other Intel-based phones, like the ZTE Grand X IN, the RAZR i is quicker. Compared to the Intel-powered ZTE, the new RAZR is 20-30% faster, which is about in line with the difference in clock speed. The ZTE has a 1.6MHz Medfield CPU, while the RAZR i has that extra 400MHz.