Intel introduces more Medfield mobile processors at Mobile World Congress, but actual hardware is in short supply

Orange Santa Clara Intel MedfieldIntel has been making plenty of noise concerning its Medfield mobile processor over the past months, and it continued to talk about its plans during a briefing at Mobile World Congress, however actual hardware using the new chip was in short supply.

Lenovo and Motorola have both signed up to produce mobile devices using Intel’s Medfield processor. Lenovo’s K800 Medfield smartphone was on display at CES 2012, and we’ve seen a leaked picture of Motorola’s offering, however it hasn’t made an official appearance at MWC.

This lack of hardware hasn’t phased Intel though, and it confirmed details on a further two mobile chip platforms coming in the future. Joining the Medfield Z2460 will be the Z2580, a processor with double the performance and LTE technology, and the Z2000, a basic 1Ghz chip suited to budget handsets.

While both these new chips will be made available to manufacturers later this year, any phones using them won’t go on sale until 2013.

Where are the phones?

Lenovo’s K800 hasn’t been given an official release date yet, although a rough mid-year estimate for the Chinese market has been suggested, and with Motorola’s phone a no-show, who will be first to release an Intel phone in North America or Europe.

The answer is a little unexpected, as UK carrier Orange has snapped up Intel’s reference design and will release it later in the year. It’s currently codenamed the Orange Santa Clara.

When details on Intel’s reference design phone emerged, the company said it would be available as a complete solution to anyone who wanted to license it, making it ideal for networks around the world. Orange is an old hand at this type of thing, as they have a wide range of own-branded Android devices already, primarily using hardware made by Huawei and ZTE.

The Santa Clara has a 4-inch touchscreen with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, however an update to Ice Cream Sandwich will be along after the phone has launched. Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but is said to be “affordable,” but it’s not yet confirmed whether Orange will beat Lenovo to become the first to put an Intel-powered phone on sale.

ZTE and Lava join the party

Intel has also struck a deal with ZTE, who will produce a smartphone using the Medfield chip for the second half of 2012, plus a tablet too. Given ZTE’s ambitious plans for the coming years, this could be a key partnership for both ZTE and Intel.

You can be forgiven for not knowing who Lava is, as unless you live in India or Africa, you won’t have seen them about. However, the company has also commissioned Intel’s reference design and will call it the Xolo, and it’s expected to launch just after the summer.

A flagship?

Although these examples show Intel is moving forward, and its new chips prove how committed it is to the mobile space, we can’t help but wonder when a flagship phone will appear. High-end devices aren’t everything, but to pull consumers away from ARM-based devices it’ll take more than a network-branded phone and one only available in India.

Are we going to have to wait for the more powerful Z2580 chip, of which Intel say it’s producing new reference design handsets at the moment, or will Motorola save the day with its Intel phone, if and when it appears?


Bethesda's sharp new Elder Scrolls mobile game is blunted by microtransactions

Elder Scroll: Blades brings elements of the most popular open-world RPG to mobile phones. It has many of the features fans will expect but, in its current Early Access state, lacks the real charm and depth of its predecessors.

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.

The Department of Justice may prevent the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.

The Pixel 3 range will soon be coming to T-Mobile's network

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?

Keep your new iPad (2018) sparkling with the best screen protectors

Your iPad sports a stunning 9.7-inch screen and you'll want it to stay that way. The best iPad (2018) screen protectors guard against cracks, scratches, and even smudging from your fingers. Check out our top picks here.

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

The best LG G7 ThinQ cases will keep your phone looking new

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with a powerful processor, versatile cameras, and amazing sound. But a powerful phone still needs protection and you might want to change the style. Here are the best LG G7 ThinQ cases.

Multiple phone leaks show May 21 is going to be a big day for Honor

Honor will launch at least one new smartphone on May 21, at an event taking place in London. Leaks have indicated the Honor 20 will take center stage, with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.

Breaking news: Samsung responds to reported Galaxy Fold display issues

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.