When Motorola officially announced the T-Mobile Charm yesterday, it elicited responses from our readers like – “Woohoo, another cheap, bottom of the line failed attempt at a smartphone”. That couldn’t be further from the truth, because the Charm is actually the fastest entry-level Android phone to ever be released.
Normally when we think low-end Android phones, we think of Qualcomm’s 528 MHz processor that was found in early devices like the G1, myTouch 3G, and Hero. Newer releases such as the myTouch 3G Slide, HTC Aria, and Motorola Devour have received a bump to the newer 600 MHz line of Qualcomm CPUs, but they are still based off the aging ARM11 cores.
The Android phones with the best performance are those from ARM’s Cortex family which feature the newer Cortex-A8 core. This includes phones like the Droid, Nexus One, EVO, Droid X, and the Samsung Galaxy S lineup.
The Motorola Charm deserves a little more respect because it’s the first entry-level phone to feature a faster Cortex-A8 based processor. Powering the device is Texas Instrument’s 600 MHz OMAP3410, which even includes a dedicated PowerVR SGX graphics processor. The Charm also features 512 MB RAM – that’s double the Droid and on the same level as current top-of-the-line offerings.
You would think Motorola might mention these specs in their press release, but I guess they think your average customer could care less what’s inside their phone.
Since the T-Mobile Charm has an OMAP processor, that means it can actually support Flash 10.1 and live wallpapers thanks to the extra processing power. Not even T-Mobile’s current flagship Android phone, the myTouch 3G Slide, can make that claim.
Given that the Charm might debut for free with 2-year contract (or $269.99 full price), this looks to be the most enticing entry-level phone we have ever seen.
Bonus: If you want a lesson in ARM architecture, hit up Wikipedia.