Hands-On With The First Intel-Powered Phone You Can Buy (In China)

Hands-On With The First Intel-Powered Phone You Can Buy (In China)
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That Lenovo K800 phone, just announced at Intel’s CES keynote and running off of the company’s 32-nanometre mobile 1.6GHz Medfield chip? It’s here. I played with it. It’s… OK?

The K800 I got my greasy hands on was a pre-production unit, so some of these dings could change by the time the phone hits Unicom in China. The phone’s 4.5-inch display won’t win over anyone that’s ever seen a retina or some of Samsung’s SuperOLEDs. The speaker grills at the top and bottom of the phone were flimsy pieces of plastic. The phone felt about 80 per cent done. Hopefully that’s the case.

The device is running Android 2.3. Uh, really? 2.3? Come on. Still, navigation was peppy, and videos loaded super quick — both good harbingers for Medfield’s future. Unfortunately, Lenovo’s homepage widget takes up nearly the entirety of the middle of the device leading to a few miss-clicks while I was attempting to swipe. And double clicking to get back to the homepage, that was just weird.

The main takeaway: there’s definitely promise here as far as performance goes. But if Intel’s going to enter the smartphone race, it’s going to need a better car for its engine. Good thing Motorola’s lurking in the wings.