Quad-core smartphones: This is their year | Dialed In - CNET Blogs (click for full article) "This year's Consumer Electronics Show may not have produced much in the way of quad-core Android phones, save one Fujitsu-made Android prototype that was encased and untouchable, but make no mistake: this is their year. Thanks to abundant and well-defined product leaks, we have strong expectations for next month's Mobile World Congress (MWC). Thanks to quad-core devices already in existence, like the Asus Transformer Prime tablet, we also have a real-world example of just how big a performance leap we'll see between dual-core and quad-core speeds. Quad-core phones on the horizon Last November proffered the first peep about the HTC Edge, an Android phone that's expected to have a 4.7-inch 1,280x720-pixel HD display, an 8-megapixel camera, an Nvidia Tegra 3 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. (Read more on HTC's alleged plans.) Also boasting the quad-core Tegra 3 chipset, or so we've heard, is the LG X3. Its specs are similar to those of the HTC Edge, with a 4.7-inch 1,280x720-pixel HD display, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and Ice Cream Sandwich. Next in line, there's Samsung's third version of its insanely popular Galaxy S series Android smartphone. Although the Galaxy S II phones only landed in the U.S. just a few months ago, they launched at last year's MWC. It's very likely that we'll see the quad-core successor, the Samsung Galaxy S III, shred its previous records in processing power in this global upgrade. And let's not forget that hands-off Fujitsu phone from CES. Although it's no longer expected to launch at MWC, the HTC Zeta is a 2.5GHz quad-core concept phone. What quad-core does for you If you're familiar with dual-core phones, quad-core follows the same principle. Put simply, the handset's central processor (CPU) contains four cores for divvying up tasks, rather than one or two CPUs. The benefits are many, but distill into two overarching results: dramatically faster performance and better battery life. In other words, each core can work less to accomplish a task; and because tasks are split, each core requires a smaller battery contribution (at a lower voltage) than if fewer cores strained with heavier workloads apiece (requires higher voltage per core). In a practical setting, quad-core processors promise to support sharp screen resolutions; load apps and render photos and Web pages faster; quickly and smoothly process HD video; and improve the quality of gameplay to bring it much closer to a desktop standard. Just how much faster are they supposed to be? Nvidia has claimed that its Tegra 3 processor completes tasks up to five times faster than its Tegra 2 dual-core predecessor, and its chip for processing graphics (GPU) grew from 8 cores on the Tegra 2 version to 12 cores in Tegra 3. Impressive as quintupling the phone's speed is, at least in theory, it's nothing compared with Nvidia's plan for exponential increases with added cores. The following release, code-named Wayne, will promise speeds up to 10 times faster than Tegra 2. Logan, the processor after Wayne, will clock speeds 50 times faster than those dual-core phones we're seeing now. In some senses, Tegra 3 is a small taste of your smartphone future, not just from Nvidia, but from all the chipmakers."