LG releases Optimus 2X, first dual-core processor smartphone

LG Electronics ratcheted up its presence in the high-end smartphone market with the release of the Optimus 2X, its latest flagship device and the world's first commercially available smartphone with a dual-core processor.

LG Optimus 2x androidThe device, which runs Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor, notches a clock speed of 1 GHz. LG touted its super-smooth user experience, low power consumption and multimedia capabilities. The Optimus 2X runs Android 2.2. (and will be upgraded to 2.3), has 4-inch WVGA screen, 8 GB of internal storage, 8-megapixel camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and the ability to share DLNA content and record and play 1080p video. LG said the phone will be available in Korea next month with countries in Europe and Asia to follow. The company did not release pricing details or when the phone might be available in North America.

LG has been relying on Nvidia to power its Optimus line of smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, and the jump to a dual-core processor represents the next leap in chipsets. The Optimus 2X also represents LG's boldest attempt yet to shore up a position in the high end of the market. The company's Optimus line of phones previously catered to the mid-range segment.

While dual-core processors for smartphones have been discussed for years, they likely will become more widespread next year. The animating force behind the technology is that one core of the processor can be switched off when the phone is not performing high-intensity applications such as playing video, thereby conserving power.

"Having previously marketed mobile phones based on the number of megapixels and gigabytes of storage, manufacturers will keep the focus on processors, but shift from speed to multi-core computing," CCS Insight wrote in a recent research note detailing its 2011 predictions. "In 2010, Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor and its 1 GHz clock rating achieved some prominence. The next 12 months will see marketing activity in this area increase. We expect to see devices advertised as 'twice the speed' and 'the most powerful smartphone' owing to a dual-core processor, even though such claims do not reflect true performance."

Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor also is likely going to turn up in a number of tablets next year. "Although the Tegra 2 is based on dual-processor ARM Cortex-A9s, Nvidia's own massively parallel graphics engine is said to enable better graphics at lower power consumption than that of competing application processors from Qualcomm (Scorpion) and Texas Instruments (OMAP4)," Forward Concepts analyst Will Strauss recently wrote. "But, we're anxious to see the real power draw specs."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Engadget post

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