Intel’s smartphone: “The x86 power myth is finally busted.”

“The x86 power myth is finally busted. While the X900 doesn’t lead in battery life, it’s competitive with the Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy Nexus… …If you’ve been expecting the first x86 smartphone to end up at the bottom of every battery life chart, you’ll be sorely disappointed. “

Intel’s(s intc) first commercially available Android(s goog) smartphone went under the microscope at the always thorough site, Brian Klug’s summary on power consumption for Intel’s Medfield-powered X900 is both surprising and exciting. It means that Intel has finally been able to deliver what it has promised for the better part of three years: A capable x86 system on a chip that can rival those based on the ARM(s armh) architecture.

Going forward then, handset makers have another choice for smartphone and tablet chips, which should, at the very least, be concerning to companies such as Qualcomm (s qcom), Texas Instruments (s txn), Nvidia (s nvda) and others in this space. Klug’s review shows a very capable Android 2.3 device — that can also run Android 4.0 — with solid graphical prowess, decent imaging capabilities and performance that matches most other current Android phones running on ARM chips.

Klug notes that most people wouldn’t know the handset is running on a different type of chip: Nearly all of the apps he tried ran perfectly fine. One lone exception was Netflix(s nflx). That should be expected, however, since Netflix rolled out its app piecemeal to begin with as it initially tested different processors with its DRM system.

Since 2010, I’ve been sour on Intel’s mobile efforts — so has Om –but to be fair, all the company had were promises and not products. But I began to have a change of heart when I saw an Intel-powered Android 4.0 tablet in January. And after reading Klug’s well-written review of the Xolo X900, I think it’s safe to say that Intel won’t allow ARM-based chips to pitch a shutout in the mobile market. There’s room for Intel to improve, for sure, but at least they’re inside the ballpark and now part of the game. Let’s see if any handset makers want to take a swing.