Dec 21 AT 1:27 PM Taylor Wimberly 141 Comments

Intel shows off Android phone, hints at CES announcement


This week Intel showed off a prototype phone running Android 2.x and a tablet running Android 4.0, both powered by their new Medfield system-on-a-chip. MIT’s Technology Review sat down with Stephen Smith, VP of Intel’s architecture group, who hinted that “the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January could bring news of gadgets in which Intel’s chips will appear.”

We previously reported on a rumor that Sprint and Samsung were working together on an Intel phone, which was later echoed by another source at Digitimes. There are no hard details on that product yet, but Intel has been talking up their latest mobile processor quite a bit as we count down to CES 2012.

Paul Otellini, Intel CEO,  previously boasted that Medfield beats the competitions hands down, which is the same message from this week’s report. Intel’s Smith said, “Medfield offers faster browsing and graphics performance and lower power consumption than the top three.” Earlier this month Intel said they were coming in 2nd or 3rd in power consumption, so we will have to wait and see which is correct.

Highlights of the Intel prototype devices listed by Technology Review include:

  • Phone prototype looked like the iPhone 4, but was lighter because of less glass and more plastic
  • The phone was “powerful and pleasing to use, on a par with the latest iPhone and Android handsets”
  • The ability to play Blu-Ray-quality video and stream it to a TV
  • Camera has a feature called “burst mode,” which captures 10 full-size eight-megapixel images at a rate of 15 per second
  • Tablet described as “slightly larger screen than the iPad 2 but was about the same in thickness and weight”

Intel once again said we should expect to see products based on their Medfield chip announced in the first half of 2012, but we’ve heard that line before. Hopefully Intel will reveal more in the coming weeks at CES.

Has anyone seen a reason to get excited about Intel inside their next Android device?

Source: Technology Review

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • levigarret

    apple should have a hayday with this one . . . sure looks familiar

    • AsakuraZero

      i see patent suing coming in~

      • ajaxman93

        Great thing about that would be Intel retaliating by cutting of their supply of chips to Apple all together ^.^

        • clocinnorcal

          If you are talking about cpu chips, its samsung that supplies those to apple not intel.

          • bob

            no dude its intel

        • n25philly

          More proof stupidity is everywhere

      • cristian cristiandonose

        Im sure this is not a final version, just a prototype. They only build the chipset, the whole phone is built by somebody else. So the patent war wil be fought between Apple and them.

      • ArticulateFool

        It is a rectangle… Apple will sue!!

        I am excited to see what intel brings to the table. Competition drives innovation afterall.

        • teudster

          It is a rectangle with round corners, which historically one of Steve Jobs obsessions as seen on the biography. Furthermore, Apple tried to work with Intel on this type of chipset for years, but they were just too big to be able to provide Apple what they needed in time. Regardless of the phone, Apple will pay attention to this.

    • iamXiV92a

      Co-signed. The patent wars are really getting quite redonkulous

      • mustybooks

        +1 just for redonkulous

        • assbeard1013

          Ehh I prefer recockulous. Getit? ReCOCKulous???? As opposed to reDICKulous??? Ah bloody hell nevermind….

    • stenzor

      It’s still a prototype.. hopefully they make sure that they aren’t infringing on any patents before they release it.. and really the design doesn’t matter at this point. It’s all about showcasing Intel’s new chipset

      • kazahani

        Sure, it’s just a prototype. But there’s something strangely rectangular about it…

        And GASP! It’s black!

        Apple won’t like this one bit.

    • Sith-Republican

      iPhone 5 will MAUL this $hitphone

    • slimx30

      no way that would be the final version of the phone. at least i hope not, cause apple would go nuts lol. I’m pretty sure intel knows how apple is

      • moik

        5? prolly gonna be more like the iPhone 4s…s

    • zerosix

      I see something between SGS2 and iphone.
      Am I alone?

    • LukeT32


    • A C

      Not sure how you any company can patent something as ridiculously generic as the ‘rectangular prism’

  • w9jds

    Yea just read another article about this. They where testing the blue ray quality videos and it didn’t even stutter. It is quite amazing. Intel has done it again, even though they are coming in the race a little late.

    • Thomas Biard

      It may be late in the way that we are in dual core and approaching quad core processors, but its not late if it can blow away current performance standards.

      That’s like saying Ferrari came into the game late in the 40′s when they opened up shop because the Ford Model A had been around for ages.

    • AppleFUD

      I guess the question then would be, how much is Intel going to charge for these chips? Top ARM chips are about $20 and Intel is accustomed to charging $75+ for their crappiest chips. Adding an extra $100 to a phone’s already high price tag won’t win it too many fans.

      • jaxidian

        I’m sorry but your information is terribly wrong. 3 years ago, Atoms were selling for ~$6 each.,5110.html

        • AppleFUD


          Did you even read that article you site as a source?Obviously not!

          From the article:
          “We don’t know the exact price of the Atom CPU yet . . .”

          That article is PURE speculation. No factual evidence whatsoever.

          Sure, link to an article that talks about the price of a chip before it even hit the market. Sounds like an “internet fact.”

          Atom chip was just announced that same month the article was written–no pricing or actual chips were shipped yet.

          A top of the line Atom CPU, which is what would be needed now to compete against a top of the line ARM chip, currently is running upwards of $75. If you can find it for significantly less you let us know, especially at $6 I’m sure every OEM on the planet would be jumping on that.

          So, back at you. . .
          “I’m sorry but your information is terribly wrong.”

      • prolandscaper

        I think Intel should stick to desktop chips…They just dont get it when it comes to Smart-phones

    • azswift

      Hopefully they can use some code that’s already optimized for other chips to hit the ground running. If any of it is capable of use on Android…

  • YellowDucati

    Meh… Blow my mind or fail.

    • YMS123

      “Medfield offers faster browsing and graphics performance and lower power consumption than the top three.”

      Maybe it can blow your mind

      • dafi81

        lower power consumption – I believe it when I see it!

    • kazahani

      I agree. Show up or shut up at this point.

      If Medfield phones are anything like Atom netbooks, then I will be very much dissappoint.

      • Samar

        The Netbooks are so things of the past. The prototype looks a bit chunky though. And More plastic, I hope it atleast has a premium feel to it.

        Wondering, when AMD is gonna jump into the market now.


    wow that looks like an iphone !

    • Steve Heinrich

      I know right?! I’m hoping it is shaped exactly like one. Maybe this will finally enable people to buy one of the 8 bajillion available iPhone cases for their Android phone…. ;)

      Seriously, those things are everywhere… even the dollar store… the shady dollar store.

  • ramenchef

    I wonder how this will play out on the market as apps are optimized and coded for ARM chips, not x86 chips.

    • azswift

      Will people shy away from these devices when the think about them being based on low-end Intel chips?Efforts on the PC side to create power saving devices that run slower than most of the pack.

      “My cousins netbook has a power-saving Intel chip and it’s really slow”.

      • alee

        To be fair to the Atom, the biggest problem with netbooks is that most of them are sold with Windows. I’ve used a netbook and a Cr-48 which have very similar CPU’s and GPU’s, and the Cr-48 performs much better. Chromebooks are what netbooks were originally supposed to be, until manufacturers decided to put Windows on them.

        Of course, most consumers won’t know any of this. One way Intel can get around this is by creating a new brand for these chips, instead of calling them Atom. Look at the Core i3, i5 and i7. The current generation has very little in common with the previous generation; the names are just branding.

    • kazahani

      Wow, I hadn’t thought of that at all.

      That’s the kind of fragmentation that we want to avoid.

    • alee

      What matters is having a good Dalvik VM. Intel has been working on this for sometime. I believe that Google TV devices use the Atom.

      Anything that uses native code will have to be recompiled for x86.

  • Ryan Gails

    There is absolutely no way this thing will survive looking like that.

  • Robert Rollings

    Ya, if they go with that design, Apple will file patent infringement suit before it launches.

    • bukhrin

      Ha ha, I’d think that they’d wait until after it launched, made tons of monies, and THEN sue.

    • virexed

      Yep, queue it up with their long list of companies to sue. Now serving # 3.1415926…..

      • GeauxLSU

        You serving pie over there?

      • KRS_Won

        As American as Android pie?

  • koorsr

    The list of what it can do is quite impressive, so as long as the battery life using the chip is fine I’m all for it.

  • YMS123

    CES 2012 Is going to be awesome! Intel phones, quadcore phones, Sprint LTE (hopefully)

    • w9jds

      Even apparently Samsung hopes to show off bendable phones!!!

      • kazahani

        If it can’t play Twister, it’s not my next phone!

  • Kenneth Ohonba

    Oh Oh iphone knock off will lead to lawsuit……

  • Marcus

    I hate how the device resembles an iPhone. But the ability to play blu ray blew my mind. (No pun intended)

  • zyphbear

    This sounds like some great announcements at CES from Intel, let’s see what their price point is going to be for them and if they are going for all the carriers.

  • azulpiscina

    It looks nice, but…

    Apple’s lawyers are happy…


  • amgala

    Competition leads to innovation. Welcome, Intel!

  • Donald Williams

    is it me or was i the only one that seen a phone run GB and a tablet run ICS? Should it not be the other way around or at least ICS and Honey… Did not know apple made an android phone. O well :)

  • Jeremy Johns

    I think it looks like an iPhone but a little nicer and just different enough to be distinguished form the iPhone. I would not be ashamed to have that phone.

  • jaxidian

    Okay, other than the fact that it looks like an iPhone, I’m seriously excited about what Intel brings to the table. They will jolt our CPU/GPU manufacturers quite a bit and hopefully stir up some more innovation. We’ve not exactly been lacking the innovation, which is good, but more innovation and additional competition and choices is even better!

  • AppleFUD

    I’m not seeing how it looks like an iphone other than being rectangular with rounded corners. . . I hope the many comments saying it does look like the ip are being sarcastic because of these two standard design elements. I personally think it’s a decently designed device.

  • smisa27

    Nice phone, and I do like Intel. But I wonder how does that compare to NVIDIA’s Tegra 3. Or other quad cores coming out. I wonder how this will go. One thing’s for sure, I’m interested to see how this develops.

  • DroidPower

    Sounds pretty interesting. I was surprised to see that they haven’t jumped on this earlier. Intel’s being a leader in chips, and they had a good run with the Atom chips for netbooks. This is logical and hopefully it’ll work out so we can have more powerful Android devices.

  • Toonshorty

    Why are we still running the four button layout on the bottom?

    I thought we were moving to software based buttons (which I didn’t like the idea of at first but it works quite well on the Galaxy Nexus) and even if we keep physical buttons there should only be three.

  • nwilliam3

    It has taken Intel a long time to come to the table and I get the feeling they think everybody is just going to roll over now that they are (almost) here. I think Intel is going to find the competition is pretty good in the mobile area and is going to have a big fight on their hands to get market share.

  • Oskar Wismierski

    It’ll probably get banned as it looks like iphone.. and it does look quite fat.. or is it just me?

  • Numbertwo

    Id get it, it looks a little like an iphone but if it is able to play blu ray like quality videos and is an android, im on it!

  • 4n1m4l


  • staryoshi

    I can’t wait to see more of what Intel’s Medfield SoC can do and I’m eagerly anticipating learning more about its specs/architecture/etc :)

  • David Hughes

    Why so many buttons on the front? It does look like an iPhone, lets not do that

  • Billy

    Awesome. Hope to see where this leads!

  • kusic

    Maybe I should reconsider my Intel-not-mobile thoughts. If they are right, then why not, I could be in.

  • mikeytusa

    Pretty nice looking phone.

  • lxgeorge

    Android 2.x? I sure hope it’s 2.3 and not 2.1

  • WlfHart

    It’s funny how their descriptions are all comparisons to iProducts… Is being so similar to a competitor a good thing?

  • ralphwiggum1

    Didn’t see anything about battery life, but I’m guessing it should be competitive. Pretty nice to have a x86(ish) processor in a handheld with good battery life.

    Also, it’d be nice to have WiDi (though I have nothing that supports it) to standardize wireless displays and compete with AirPlay.

    Full desktop experience using Windows 8 with touch-optimized interface and good battery life?

    They shouldn’t mess around and include a minimum of 2GB of RAM for true desktop performance.

    And it seems like netbooks were just a stopgap for Intel to finally compete with ARM processors in the handheld market.

  • HogFan77

    With Intel throwing their hat in to the ring, things should get real interesting in the next year or so.

  • Dan13

    Awesome, but Apple is going is become even more sue happy if that is the final design of the phone

  • mjforte

    Android 2.x on the phone…really? The tablet is running 4.0 but they couldn’t update the phone to run ICS also?

  • darkhorse166

    Assuming it’s competitive performance and battery-life wise, I see no reason not to be excited by Intel getting into the market … unless of course they come in and crush the market with anticompetitive practices.

    By the way, Taylor, what’s up with the giving credit to those who tipped @androidandme via Twitter? ;-)

  • TaoRenCe

    Well, I can’t wait to see what happens. Another competitor in terms of hardware can only help drive down smartphone prices. I would love to be able to buy a new phone for less than 300 and not have to lock in for two years to get that pricing. Like someone said earlier, will AMD get into the mix?

  • dpleus

    If Samsung was taken to court by Apple for it’s devices being similar to the Apple’s, I agree that this prototype could have some major legal ramifications if it makes it to production. I have a feeling these are more to show the SoC off capabilities, and in a form factor that is familiar to end users. We’ll have to see the performance benchmarks and see where intel comes in.

  • Skis03

    By the looks of it, it looks like it is a lawsuit waiting to happen and Apple will try to get it banned. But on the other hand the processor sounds very promising. Anyway to get more power that is easy on the battery makes me happy.

  • redraider133

    The more competition the better. The consumers benefit in the long run!

  • Tarwinia

    It performs faster than the top three… Which top three? Top three based on performance or popularity? Or what?
    And does it include the Tegra3 which is barely out? Because we have to remember that hype the time devices with this come out that it won’t be competing with the current gen but rather with Tegra 3s, Krait based Snapdragons and maybe A15 based OMAPs and Exynos.

    And isn’t Tegra 3 already capable of blue-ray quality video (not to mention higher than 1080p resolution video).

    It might be interesting or it might be problematic. If it performs well it still means program fragmentation. How many devs will update their apps to run on x86? It’s one of the same challenges facing Windows 8 on ARM. With the current SoCs, sure, maybe A game is optimized to run on Tegra or a Snapdragon, but it’ll still run on the rest, maybe just not as well, but it’ll still run seeing as how they’re all ARM based.

    As for their having better graphics… Aren’t they still using PowerVR tech for that? Or did I miss something?

  • RRR

    Good news actually. I’d like to see Win8 or even Win7 phones like ones from Japanese Fujutsu and Chinese XPphone but thinner and lighter like are all current “top three”. I doubt that single-core Intel will be as smooth as current phones. No way.

    Same with tablets as soon as it’s at least a dualcore. Current Android, iOS, WP7 or BB phones are all nice but i’d like much higher compatibility with the PC apps. At least as a dual boot. Yes, and of course the screen has to be 1080p too

  • pekosROB

    Looks like its taking cues from Motorola.

  • HoLfElDeR

    I see lawsuits coming up :)

  • securifirm

    Yes please…sign me up to get one :)

  • Silver

    The first thing that pops into my mind is… “Dude! this thing is infringing on all Apple’s design! Apple’s gonna sue!” hahaha.

    “The phone was “powerful and pleasing to use, on a par with the latest iPhone and Android handsets”

    Really? From what I see and think, it seems to surpass the latest iPhone and current Android handsets. Being able to watch blu-ray and stream it? That’s pretty nice!

  • aranea

    To tell you the truth I’m more excited about the tablet than the phone. Are there any leaked pictures of the tablet?

  • Tran Lang

    Intel should change the shape of their phone and tablets to square and sharp edge/corner in order to void lawsuit from Apple, also change the color to red…

  • Tran Lang

    Intel should change the shape of their phones and tablets to square and sharp edge/corner in order to void lawsuit from Apple, also change the color to red…

  • Martjn2

    Intresting that intel joins the processor battle. I think it’s good for the industry with competition. Otherwise we would stay with dual core 1.2 ghz processors. i mean intel makes the best x86 processors so why don’t try the mobile industry. with there ultrabooks thing they already halfway through. I’m watching the battle with excitement and with some popcorn and soda in my hand :)

  • coryteague

    yeah def. looks like to Iphone. And 2.2? companies are slipping… when do we get the phone/tablet combo (much like the padphone from ASUS)?

  • Lewis McGeary

    Strange they’ve chosen that form, even as a demonstration as it’s clear what everyone’s first reaction will be. But still more competition for chips is better for us all.

  • TruFactz

    ….Yeah, this phone is so iPhone like-ish Apple will say UFCK what Samsung is doin. That phone has a Sim-card tray, I’m gonna throw a stick in the dark and say the silver strip around it is…….an antenna……yeah, now Apple won’t have any mobile or CPU processors…….that phone looks like a thicker iPhone with android buttons on the front…..notice the screen, looks SOOOOOO 3.5 ish.

  • keridel

    Bad bad bad intel. Not going to go well in court

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Hopefully it’s quad-core

  • BigCiX

    nice looking phone

  • Oscar Ortega

    In sueing!!

  • Jorge Eslava

    I don’t like the way this phone looks, Its so ugly. That’s my personal opinion though, I wonder how many people would agree with me if that wasn’t the shape Apple chose for the iphone.

  • Adryan maldonado

    Im pretty excited to see these but as some other have commented i dont like the look of that phone. I guess intel hasnt learned anything cause they will get sued so quick for that design.

  • jimtravis

    Welcome Intel to the mobile party. Just hope it does not cause problems with existing 3rd party apps, and add another compatibility item to check for before purchasing an app, or accessory. I do like Intel desktop chips, and looking forward to performance benchmarks for their new mobile chips.

    Intel may have the money, and patent to take Apple down a notch, but probably not since they value supplying the desktop chips for the Mac.

  • Varemenos

    >Apple sues everyone
    >Intel says: “Challenge accepted!, see you in court”
    everyone is happy and we continue with our lives

  • Hall Lo

    Welcome intel to the android family! ;D

  • donger

    nice, excited for january

  • Andy_jr

    I’m not that excited about Intel (because of anti-competitive behavior in the desktop/server market), but I always like to see more competition. It can only make everyone work harder.

  • stef

    it is…a …phone…
    Will Apple allow it?

  • jk0l

    Dear Intel,
    Welcome to the mobile world.
    And be ready to get sued by Apple when your phones sell well
    Yes, no matter what they’ll find a way
    Good day

  • Elliot Powell

    My question is, will there have to be separate apps for intel phones? I ask because I don’t know are phone apps written in the same way that desktop apps or is the processor not as much of a factor when writting the phone apps. I guess I am thinking of Apple’s trasision from PPC to Intel and how the apps worked then.

  • azswift

    I’ve seen laptops with Intel’s WiDi(Wireless Display) tech. If they could put that in a phone you’d have no need to HDMI or a converter. When operating this way maybe the entire screen could become a controller.

  • vid500

    I think it’s not about the outside, the important things are inside and those are amazing.
    I’m convinced that they would not like to interfere with apple more than they have to, so they will probably changed the design drastically.

  • humidity

    Wow, that looks oddly familiar… I can see it all now…

  • kungpaodragon

    I’m excited! Purely from the perspective of competition stimulates creativity and innovation. And we consumers stand to benefit from it. (Though some might suffer from it for not being able to catch up…) Intel is not a small player. Whether they will be successful or not is another matter. I think the Android community will benefit, nonetheless.

  • myandroid99

    i hope my dad can get a discount on this

  • OzygarO

    my Nokia 6310i is better than this device, at least it won’t blow off and I still make some calls :>

  • _Diego

    Excited to see what they will bring to the table next year, this looks very promising!

  • madtnotn

    More competition in the phone and tablet market is a good things. Hopefully they have solid and add to the development of better interaction/design, etc.

  • ukyuy

    now this is interesting hopefully intel releases a ATOM CPU
    ill be keeping an eye on this .

  • ukyuy

    now this is interesting hopefully intel releases a ATOM CPU or even something bew
    ill be keeping an eye on this .

  • alexanderharri3

    Vapor til it comes to market – if they can deal with battery life, Intel should bring some bang to the market.

  • blaseb

    That phone is sleek and sexy! I like it a lot!

  • classic_hero

    All these lawsuit comments, can’t all these companies just get along? Wishful thinking

  • Lamar

    Oh know I don’t wan’t anything looking like an Iphone Intel please try again.

  • MyMilan

    OK Intel sounds promising. Now let’s see what the product looks like when it’s on the stores shelf….

  • Dan13

    If the battery life is good, then I’ll take x86 over ARM any day!

  • AndyNguyen36

    Looks too much like an iphone to me. Performance better make up for that!

  • http://XDA canadianrider

    Looks interesting.

  • mcbride1969

    Wow!! Apple lawyers are licking their chops

  • ultraman

    quite like the boxy design

  • Stalte

    It’s to much like the Iphone. Apple will sue in every country. Please, Intel lawyers learn what your devices looks like from 10 feet away.

  • seansin

    It’s always good to have more competitors… it means more choices.

  • Jbolen818

    This will only help push competition. Hopefully they have improved battery consumption. That is there area that needs improved the most.

  • tigervyh

    Sure looks like a thick iphone 4?! lolz…

    • fabien

      it looks like it’s just a 3D render , not a real product ,
      but yeah , if they sell a phone looking exactly like this picture apple is going to sue

  • nrorm

    its a rectangle with a horizontal speaker grill—must have copied somebody

  • Claw Digital Review

    For Android its the other way round (especially on ICS) – on tablets I find it mediocre but love it on phones. Have yet to see a flagship ICS tablet when my opinion might change.
    . Claw Digital Review