Android smartphones have taken the fight to Apple after launching the first quad-core handsets that work faster than iPhones.
HTC, LG and Huawei all showcased the new technology – which will be released later this year – at the Mobile World Congress fair in Barcelona.
The phones, which all use Android 4.0 operating systems, should work twice as fast as the iPhone 4S, which uses a dual-core A5 processor.
Although, with Apple likely to release the next version of its iPhone this year, any lead the Android offerings now have in speed may not last long.
The most lauded of the three quad-core phones is the HTC One, which includes a massive 4.7in screen and an 8 megapixel camera with its own image processor.
The Taiwan-based firm hopes the handset, which comes in three forms, will boost its share price, which last years slumped amid fears it has lost its edge.
Analysts said the new devices, which runs at a speed of 1.5GHz, represented a pragmatic choice for a company that lacks the resources of its deep-pocketed rivals.
‘The company aims now to concentrate on what they do best and have built their brand on: bringing innovation through design of premium devices rather than spreading efforts across all segments of the market.’
A reviewer for technology website Gizmodo said of the HTC One: ‘It’s the most excited I’ve been about a phone in a long time.’
Next among the reviews tricking out of the congress is the Huawei Ascend D quad, which claims to be the fastest in the world.
Powered by the K3V2 quad-core 1.5GHz processor and boasting the most compact design among 4.5in smartphones, it uses 30% less energy that its predecessors.
‘We’ve listened to people’s top demands from smartphones: speed, long-battery life, high quality visual and audio capabilities, and a compact, lightweight handset. The Huawei Ascend D quad exceeds these expectations,’ said Richard Yu, Chairman of Huawei Device, which is based in China.
One of its best features is Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound and Audience earSmart voice technology, which aims to ‘excel across the senses’.
Korean firm LG also showcased its new quad-core Optimus 4X HD smartphone for the first time.
At 8.9mm thick, its ‘prism-edged design’ looks pretty sleek.
Inside it’s equipped with Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad core chipset clocked at 1.5GHz and carries a ’12-core’ graphics processing unit (GPU), 16GB of on-board storage – half the amount of the HTC One.
‘The Tegra 3 processor is the world’s only 4-PLUS-1(tm) quad-core mobile processor designed for high-level multimedia performance that also utilises a fifth battery-saver core to handle less demanding tasks,’ said a spokesman.
‘What’s more, the enhanced 2000mAh battery ensures users will be able to work, browse and game for longer.’
On the back is an 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash and a ‘Backside Illumination’ (BSI) sensor, while on the front there’s 4.7in ‘True HD IPS display’ with a 1280×720 pixel resolution.
Also mounted on the front is a 1.3-megapixel secondary camera.
SPECS: HOW QUAD-CORE ANDOIDS MEASURE UP AGAINST IPHONE 4S
|HTC ONE||HUAWEI ASCEND D||LG OPTIMUS 4X HD||IPHIONE 4S|
|SPEED||1.5 GHz||1.5 GHz||1.5 GHz||800 MHz|
|SIZE||134.4 x 69.9 x 9.3mm||129 x 64 x 10.9mm||8.9mm thick||115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm|
|CAMERA||8 megapixel||8 megapixel||8 megapixel||8 megapixel|
|OPERATING SYSTEM||Android 4.0||Android 4.0||Android 4.0||IOS 5|
by David Livingstone