2012: Year of the Quad Core Phone

With technology changing at the pace it does, every year is a big year in terms of gadgets and smartphones these days. 2012 is set to be no different, with smartphone manufacturers around the world starting to roll out quad core architecture powering their devices. So if you are looking for a top of the line smartphone in the year to come, what is/will be available, and what do you go for? Let‘s look at some quad core devices that have already or will hit markets in 2012.

The first quad core device to hit the market was announced at this year‘s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in February. It marked a special occasion for HTC, as they announced the One S, One V and their flagship for 2012, the One X. It was announced with a bang, with HTC executives showing off the performance of the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, an 8 MP camera, 1 GB of RAM, and a brilliant 4.7“ Super IPS LCD2 display. It has already been released and the reviews are all very positive.
Recently launched in SA (available for purchase from the end of May), some issues that plagued the European release have been fixed in the devices on our shores. There were some minor software bugs, and certain people reporting easy scratching of the hard covers. It appears HTC attended to these problems immediately.

  • One of the best screens ever seen on a smartphone
  • Full HD recording in 1080p
  • Sense 4.0 is by far the most beautiful Android skin ever made, and would be my first choice if I‘m not buying a stock Android handset
  • Reviewed to have one of the best cameras ever used on a smartphone


  • Back cover cannot be removed, meaning no chance to use a second battery
  • No expandable memory (no MicroSD)
  • Software has been very buggy early on
  • 1800 mAh battery ““ not as large as other devices
  • Price ““ SA pricing varies, but internationally $640 – $700, which is more than other top of the line products

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung has stolen the Android spotlight over the last couple of years. Their new offering is obviously something that you cannot ignore if you are in the market for a new device in 2012. Introduced at the beginning of the month in London, it’s set for a 29th of May release internationally, and said to be available in SA in June. It is the follow up to the most successful Android device of all time, and is expected to sell like hotcakes.
Inside you will find the new Enyxos 4412 quad core processor designed by Samsung, which is said to pack a pretty powerful punch. We will have to wait and see how it performs in the real world, but first hands-on impressions from the introduction seem to indicate good speed, with smooth performance. It also has an 8 MP camera and 1 GB of RAM, with that mesmerising 4.8“ Super AMOLED+ display, which is the richest contrast ratio you will see anywhere.

  • 4.8“ Super AMOLED+ screen
  • Micro SD slot to expand memory
  • Full HD recording in 1080p
  • HD Front facing camera
  • 8MP Camera with BSI Sensor
  • 2100 mAh battery


  • Some have said that the device does not feel premium like HTC devices, as it’s made from plastic
  • Touchwiz 4.0 is an improvement on the previous version of the Samsung skin, but doesn’t offer much of a stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience.

LG Optimus 4X HD

LG has been struggling in the smartphone market in recent times, and this is their latest offering to start competing with Samsung and HTC again. This is their first quad core phone, but early impressions seems to indicate it will be the real deal. The design is very sleek, LG has hit the nail on the head.
It’s packing a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and furthermore almost identical to the HTC One X. The only issue will be pricing. If it is not cheaper than the HTC, they will have a problem. It is expected to release sometime in July, with no official word as to when it will hit SA. The rumour mill seems to suggest not long afterward, though.

  • 2150 mAh battery, hopefully offering superior battery life to competitors
  • Expandable memory (MicroSD)
  • Full HD recording in 1080p
  • 8MP Camera with BSI Sensor
  • HDMI via Micro USB


  • We are not sure what exactly the skin for Android 4.0 ICS will look like
  • Only a 16GB model available

Huawei Ascend D Quad

Huawei is a company on the charge. The Chinese company took the Mobile World Congress by storm when it announced a flurry of devices, both phones and tablets. Among them was a new quad core architecture that the company created especially for its new line of devices.
Giving this phone its grunt is the Huawei K3V2 quad core processor that (supposedly) outperforms the Nvidia Tegra 3 without even working up a sweat. Also, it includes an 8 MP BSI camera, 1 GB of RAM and a very nice 4.5“ LCD-IPS display. It will hit the market sometime in Q3, although there are no details when, if indeed it will, come to South Africa. I suspect it might, though, since it will most likely be one of the cheaper options of high end devices, and the market for that kind of a device seems to be very similar (if we look at proportional sale figures per capita for that price range) in our country than in the Chinese market.

  • 2 choices of quad core models (1.2ghz and 1.5ghz)
  • 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound with Dolby Mobile 3.0 Plus
  • Full HD 1080P video recording
  • It looks great, almost a combination of a Samsung and HTC device


  • 1800 mAh battery isn’t as big as other quad core offerings
  • Only 8GB internal memory
  • Huawei isn’t known as a large scale phone maker yet, meaning that getting support for the device could be difficult

Apple iPhone 5

 This will probably shade the Samsung Galaxy S3 in terms of hype and rumours at the end of the day. Although Samsung received unprecedented attention due to their new flagship, Apple hype is always in a class of its own, and not without reason. Unfortunately, we do not have many reliable details as of yet, and we don‘t know exactly what it will look like.
What we do know is that it will most likely now fall into the release cycle started by the iPhone 4S, releasing sometime in October to capitalise on the holiday shopping season.
Despite the on-going legal battles between the two companies over repeated patent infringements, Samsung looks set to continue its role as a component supplier for Apple‘s devices. The Korean firm is reported to be providing the quad Core A6 chips to feature in both the iPhone 5 and the new(er) iPad, whatever it will end up being called.
“œApple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone,“ claimed insider sources, and added: “œIt appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner.“
Google Nexus Device 2012/2013
For the last couple of months people have been contemplating over which manufacturer would get the honour of the next Google Nexus device, after the brilliant Samsung Galaxy Nexus was released at the end of last year. Recent reports indicated that Samsung, again, HTC and LG were all in the running for the device.
Well, last week a rumour hit that Google is actually planning to reveal FIVE Nexus devices running Android 5.0 codenamed Jellybean on November 5th 2012. Why November 5th? It just happens to be Android‘s 5th birthday.
We have no details on specs, but they will all most likely run quad core processors with no physical buttons and stock Android. Hopefully these rumours will turn out to be true and the details start coming through sooner rather than later.
So, there are MANY exciting handsets on their way. Is there a specific one you are waiting for? If not, which would you go for this year?
Source: T3