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Rumor: Sony Xperia smartphone with an eight-core processor coming in November

If a new report is correct, Samsung may be about to lose the crown of being the only manufacturer to produce a smartphone with an eight-core processor inside. Its challenger could be Sony, which is rumored to be preparing a new Xperia smartphone/tablet hybrid, powered by MediaTek’s new eight-core chip.

The phone is codename Tianchi, and it has been leaked by a Chinese news source, where it’s speculated the phone could launch at an event on November 12. Apparently, it’ll have a big 6-inch touchscreen with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, suggesting the phone will be a cheaper alternative to Sony’s top-of-the-range smartphone/tablet hybrid, the Xperia Z Ultra.

Sony’s decision to use a MediaTek chip also points to the Tianchi having a competitive price tag. MediaTek introduced the MT6592 processor in July, and so far it has been seen in a few phones for sale only in China, so could Sony’s Tianchi be our first opportunity to buy one?

Eight-core chips have been rather elusive in the U.S. and Europe, as Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa only appears in certain Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 phones launched in particular international markets. The trouble lies with 4G LTE radios, which aren’t built into the chip, and would cause undue extra pressure on the phone’s battery. It’s much more power efficient to use the Snapdragon 800. The good news is MediaTek’s eight-core chip really does use all eight-cores at the same time, a feature only recently added to the Exynos 5 Octa, and has an average clock speed of 2GHz.

If Sony does hold an event on November 12, the Tianchi may not be the only guest, as the Xperia Z1S may make its debut too. We’re expecting the Z1S to be an international version of the Xperia Z1F, the 4.3-inch version of the Xperia Z1, which recently launched in Japan.

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