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2/17/2012
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HTC Quad-Core Smartphone Nears MWC Debut

Look for HTC to announce an Android smartphone with a Tegra 3 quad-core processor at the upcoming Mobile World Congress trade show.

Smartphones: Never Too Thin Or Too Organic
Smartphones: Never Too Thin Or Too Organic
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There's no doubt that smartphones with four processing cores are coming, and that they are coming soon. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang assured as much during his recent earnings call. "This quarter we are expecting to ship Tegra 3 based super phones. At Mobile World Congress is when we expect to announce these devices, and we expect to announce and ship them this quarter," said Huang.

That doesn't leave a whole lot of wiggle room for interpretation. But which handset maker is prepping a Tegra 3-based super phone? HTC, naturally.

HTC has a device in the works that has about a dozen code names, including Edge, Endeavor, and One X. It's the last of these that is expected to stick once the phone is announced. HTC is holding a press conference the day before Mobile World Congress kicks off Feb. 27, and is expected to announce a device with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor running at 1.5-GHz per core and 1 GB of RAM. It would be the first such device.

Aside from four processor cores, what else does the One X offer? Plenty.

Foremost, it will be the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone from HTC, and it will run the latest version of Sense built specifically for Android 4.0. This is a big deal, as HTC hasn't given Sense a significant refresh in well more than a year.

[ It will take another six months for many popular devices to get Android 4.0. See Motorola's Messy Ice Cream Sandwich Speaks Volumes On Android. ]

The device is said to have a 4.7-inch Super LCD display with 1280 x 720 pixels, giving it the right to claim "high-definition" powers. The device will ship with 32 GB of memory built in, but will not support microSD cards for additional storage.

The device is expected to include an 8-megapixel camera that can capture 1080p HD video, a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera, and an 1800mAh battery to provide power.

In terms of connectivity, this quad-core beast will support HSPA+, though there's no word on LTE 4G. It will also include 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, an FM radio, and near-field communications (NFC). That means it has the potential to make mobile payments with services such as Google Wallet.

There's no indication so far which markets will be first to see a device such as this on store shelves, but HTC has a pattern of announcing devices for international markets--and not the United States--at Mobile World Congress. Even so, HTC usually offers a variant of phones announced at MWC to the U.S. later in the year.

In case you're wondering what the big deal is about four cores, well, that will all depend on how the operating system and specific applications can make use of that kind of horsepower. We can only hope that the battery lasts more than a New York minute.

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 26-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.

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