2011: Rise Of The Dual-Core Superphone?

Posted: Nov 6 2010, 10:02pm CDT | by , in Rumors | Hot Gadgets

2011: Rise of the Dual-Core Superphone?
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Moving Past 1 GHz

A new high-end HTC smartphone was revealed today, the HTC Incredible HD. This Verizon device will launch with full LTE capability. The display is 4.3" and the camera is an 8 MP shooter with a dual-LED flash. The Incredible HD has an aluminum unibody design.

The processor hasn't leaked yet, but it is likely to be a 1 GHz or 1.2 GHz processor. Currently, that puts the Incredible HD at the top of the line. But by the time it launches in 2011, it will already be a second-tier device. Nvidia Tegra 2 smartphones are expected to be available before the end of Q4 2010. LG will be the first to market. Their dual-core superphone will be able to handle 1080p video.

The display is likely to be something 4" or over, maybe even 4.5". LG would be foolish to not push this as a great media-viewing device. Motorola plans to have a Tegra 2 smartphone out in Q1 of 2011.

While Qualcomm's dual-core Snapdragon isn't due out in a product until the end of 2011, their 1.2 GHz dual-core chip will be out in early 2011. We're likely to see RAM complements on first-tier smartphones bump up another jot, maybe to 768 MB or even 1 GB. The relative leap in power from 1 GHz single-core to 1 or 1.2 GHz dual-core is enormous, and will further blur the lines between tablets and smartphones.

Another blurring agent is the fact that smartphone displays keep getting larger. People love the Evo because its big 4.3" screen and 720p capability makes media-watching a genuine pleasure. Imagine bumping the HD up to 1080p and the screen up to 4.5" or even 5".

It would still be a smartphone, but it would offer a tablet-quality viewing experience. While 5" is getting uncomfortably big for some of you, it's still small enough to fit in a pocket. Certainly more easily than Samsung's 7" Galaxy Tab. Large-display pocket-worthy smartphones with mighty dual-core processors would introduce a new interval category to the market. Such a device would almost certainly cannibalize 7" tablet sales.

Most of these "superphones" (they deserve the moniker far better than the Nexus One) will probably be either LTE or WiMAX. Android is the most likely OS, and the Verizon Droid ads would write themselves. Sprint won't stand for that- and we may see the Evo's sequel rolling with two cores.

I think it is worth noting that any Tegra 2 or 1.2 GHz Snapdragon smartphone likely to launch will be roughly on-par with a first-generation netbook in terms of power. In some ways, they will be much more powerful. My old HP Mini couldn't handle 1080p for crap. It's a little bit silly, right?

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at robert@i4u.com.




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