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Quad Core Android Smartphones for 2013

Updated on October 20, 2014

A New Player In The Great Smartphone Race

The popularity of entry to mid-level smartphones has spawned a new competitor in the global smartphone industry. Unknown to most of us here in the United States and the majority of world as well, Mediatek emerged in 1997 as a Research and Development company. It is now listed on the Taiwan Stock exchange under the symbol 2454 and has now become the foremost dominant player in the China smartphone industry with it's eyes set on the likes of Apple and Samsung. Mediatek chip sets can be found aboard many popular mobile devices coming out of China today and several international brands as well. In recent years the company has grown to be one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers of mobile device chip sets in the world. In 2013 it will become a household name that is synonymous with mobile device chip sets.

MTK6575 1GHz

Advanced 2D-to-3D image/video conversion


Centered around the Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" OS, the latest two chip sets, the MTK6575 and MTK6577 have become the driving force behind the China smartphone revolution. In early 2012 Chinese smartphones began to appear with the MTK6575 which is a 1 GHz Single-Core smartphone platform based on the ARM cortex A-9 architecture. It is fast enough to handle the most demanding of task and lends a quick, fluid and virtually seamless Android user experience. MTK6575 is the world's first mobile device CPU to include a stereo 3D display controller and 3D video processing features to a mobile device chip set. In addition, stereo 3D video playback and advanced 2D-to-3D image/video conversion aids in providing rock solid web browsing, 3D gaming and 720P HD video playback. During the fourth quarter of 2011, the Star Note N8000 was one of the first 5 inch display smartphones to appear on the market and is still very popular today under $200US. Some of the other more branded companies in Asia like Zopo and ZTE have also gravitated to this chip set due to is high quality performance and low cost, which has helped to increase the overall profit margins of this growing sector of the global smartphone market. Other features of the MTK6575 include an 8MP auto-focus CMOS camera and display support for mobile devices using up to QHD displays with up to 960x540 screen resolution. Picture quality capabilities are comparable to LCD. Power consumption is low and the devices above can easily provide 500 hours of standby, 8 hours of talk time and 6 hours of continuous 3D gaming or multimedia playback. If there is one thing that Mediatek has mastered, it is low heat dissipation and power consumption.

MTK6577 1.2GHz

PowerVR Series5 SGX GPU Imagination Technologies


The dual-core 1 GHz MTK6577 was released during the second quarter of 2012 and has secured it's place as the premier chip set for the Chinese smartphone industry today. Also built on the Cortex A-9 application its strength lies in its dual-core processing capability at 1 GHz. Dual core processing has increased browsing and application performance by as much as 40% in contrast to its single-core platform MT6575. Aslo allowing for Dual SIM Dual standby and a 4-in-1 connectivity combo that provides support for dual-band 802.11n, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM Radio. Video output supports high-resolution displays of up to HD 720p at 1280x720 resolution. As the phablet (phone+tablet)market began to emerge in Q2 of 2012, the 5 inch display N9000 (i9220) became and currently stands as the most popular handheld device to come out of China. It was the first phablet of 2012 to include dual SIM along side an 8MP camera that supports up to 1080p HD video playback. All of these features for a smartphone costing less than $200US make it a solid choice for those in the mid to entry level smartphone market. The N9000 is a good device overall, but I was most impressed with its handling of multimedia task and solid 6-7 hours of continuous use time. The S3-9300 is my runner up for the title of chinese cell phone of the year. It runs on the same MTK6577 platform with its sleek, stylish and ultra-thin design.

MT6589 - 1.5GHz

Imagination Technologies PowerVR Series5XT GPU


2013 is going to prove to be an exciting year for the global Android smartphone and tablet markets as Mediatek is set to release the 28nm (nanometer) MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA chip set for Android mobile devices. This is the world's first HSPA+ Dual-SIM smartphone chip set that offers low power consumption and quad-core processing. Rumors have it that devices have been tested from 1.5GHz to 2GHz and will most likely perform out of the box in the 1.4GHz to 1.5GHz range. What excites excites me most is the opportunity to see how the new Imagination Technologies PowerVR Series5XT GPU will provide additional browsing and multimedia performance to this behemoth of a chipset . This is a huge milestone in the mobile device world and it will be interesting to see the impact that Chinese mobile devices will have on the overall market. The additional features that the MT6588 bring to the table are going to change the smartphone industry for years to come. MT6589 will also include a 13MP ISP camera that supports 1080p video recording at 30fps. The display output is also impressive at Full HD resolution 1920x1080 for LCD displays with DTV image quality. As a tried-and-true the company will continue with its 4-in-1 connectivity combo, which supports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM Radio. Some of the companies currently testing devices with the MT6589 include Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and even a company that everyone knows-Sony.


The Contender

Qualcomm is set to release its own version of the quad-core processor in Q2 on 2013

Can Qualcomm run the race?

The only competition for this chip in the near future will come by way of Qualcomm which is set to release its own quad-core Cortex-A7 SoCs with Adreno 305 and 1080p. The expected release is sometime in the 2nd quarter of 2013. Rumors have it that the the chipset will offer less performance, but will come at a lower price point. Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors have always been a good bet, so it should be interesting to see who will come out on top.

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