In a new attempt to crack the smartphone market, Intel(s intc) is powering the latest Motorola(s goog) phone that runs Google Android 4.0. At a press event in London on Tuesday, the two companies unveiled the Motorola Razr i, a carbon copy of the Razr M announced earlier this month with one key exception: Qualcomm’s(s qcom) 1.5 GHz dual core chip is replaced by a 2 GHz Intel Atom.
This isn’t the first mass-market smartphone with Intel’s silicon inside, but it is one of the first that’s been designed by a major manufacturer. Earlier Intel phones this year were largely influenced by Intel’s own reference design: An in-house created phone that gives handset makers a base model to work with. The new Razr i looks exactly like Motorola’s Razr M, complete with 4.3-inch edge-to-edge display.
With a faster clock speed of 2 GHz and the Intel history of computing performance, the promotional video highlights the overall speed of the device, as well as full compatibility with Google’s Android platform:
Chip performance hasn’t been the reason that Intel isn’t a factor in today’s smartphones, however. In fact, I suspect performance of the Razr i will be quite good; better in particular areas than it’s Razr M twin. Instead, the Achilles heel for Intel’s smartphone silicon has been power consumption and it may have overcome that challenge. Motorola’s battery life estimate for the Razr i is the same as the M: 40 percent more than Apple’s (s aapl) iPhone 4S with up to 20 hours of mixed use on a single charge.
Motorola is targeting Europe and Latin America with the new Intel-powered phone with October availability in the U.K., France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico to start. If the phone’s battery life is as good as claimed and has full Android compatibility, Intel has a solid chance to make some headway in mobile market; something that appeared impossible back in 2010.