Google Experiments With Intel On Motorola Mobility Smartphone
John Neumann for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Google’s Motorola Mobility and chip maker Intel today unveiled the Razr i smartphone, operating with Google’s Android platform but destined, for now, to store shelves in the UK, France, Germany and Latin America.
The Razr i is very similar to the Razr M, unveiled earlier this month for US consumers, but operates with Intel’s Medfield smartphone processor running at 2 Gigahertz instead of the Qualcomm chip that powers the Razr M.
Chips made by Intel are unusual in the smartphone and tablet market, criticized as being too power-hungry and inefficient to run in smartphones, where Qualcomm and Samsung processors are preferred.
“This type of response has forced the chip maker to partner up with major players such as Motorola, Orange, Lenovo, and ZTE in its bid to expand into the mobile market,” writes Roger Cheng for CNet. The Medfield chips used in them however have performed better than many skeptics expected.
The Razr i, like the Razr M, features a 4.3-inch display fit into a fairly compact design and has a dedicated camera key, a feature not available on the Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Razr M. The smartphone also features an 8-megapixel camera, a 2,000-milliamp battery, and runs Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, just like the Razr M.
“You can be ready to take a picture in less than one second, which is about twice as fast as other products on the market,” Eric Reid, general manager of Intel mobile and communications group, told the BBC. “A lot of times you want to take multiple pictures – and you can take up to 10 pictures in a second, which is faster than many DSLRs (digital single lens reflex) cameras on the market today.”
The inclusion of Intel’s technology into this device has meant that Google cannot offer Chrome as the default web browser, as it does with the Razr M, reports BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones.
“Chrome is not ready for pre-loading on this device,” acknowledged Jim Wicks, senior vice president of consumer experience design at Motorola. “We don’t want to do that unless we have complete chipset optimization at that level.”
Motorola has included its own Smart Actions software to help the device achieve a roughly 20-hour lifespan between charges, a utility not offered to other Android device makers.
The software studies how each owner uses their handset and then suggests times it can automatically switch off functions such as bluetooth connectivity and GPS location functionality. “You might get up to 15% to 20% more battery life out of our devices as a result,” Wicks said.
In a step toward getting consumers to start associating Intel with smartphones, the back of the phone will carry the familiar Intel Inside logo. The phone marks the first to come out of a partnership announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
The alliance was seen as a significant stepping stone for Intel to get deeper into the smartphone market, with Motorola, a unit of Google, which runs the Android ecosystem.