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The phonemaker, which has sometimes been notoriously wary about buying from its own stablemate, may be keen not to be too dependent on one supplier, especially as Samsung Electronics is also largely responsible for Apple‘s A4 processor. It may also see Tegra2 as being more advanced than Orion for the next round of Galaxy gadgets, since the Hummingbird successor remains somewhat shadowy. Yeung also speculates that Tegra2 has been selected as the reference design for release 3.0 of Android, called Honeycomb, the first that will be fully optimized for large screen products like tablets. Andy Rubin, Google's VP of engineering and head of Android, demonstrated an Android tablet from Motorola this month, running on an Nvidia chipset.

First dual-core smartphone</h3

A more definite win comes from LG. As promised, the second Korean vendor has launched the world‘s first dual-core smartphone, the Optimus 2X, belatedly staking its claim to be a high profile contender in the Android market. LG has produced big hitting mobile hardware before, pioneering widescreen displays and cameras packed with megapixels. But those superphones have been proprietary, and the firm has suffered from its slowness in embracing open OS handsets. Its profits and market share have been hit hard this year by its lack of smartphones, making it over dependent on low margin products.

After a management shake-up, it has launched the Optimus Android range, but initial models were targeted at the mass market – an area of strong growth, but with limited impact on profit margins or brand awareness. To stand out in the crowded Android space, something special is needed. Samsung and HTC are fighting it out with gigahertz-plus processors, new display technologies and 4G radios. Now LG hopes Optimus 2X, with its Nvidia Tegra2 processor, will provide its own differentiator, supporting a fast web experience, efficient multitasking and advanced graphics and video.

"Dual-core technology is the next leap forward in mobile technology so this is no small achievement to be the first to offer a smartphone utilizing this," commented Dr Jong-seok Park, CEO of LG Mobile Communications. "With unique features such as HDMI mirroring and exceptional graphics performance, the LG Optimus 2X is proof of LG‘s commitment to high end smartphones in 2011."

Among the features of the new device are 1080p HD playback and recording with HDMI mirroring, which expands content on external displays to full HD quality, supporting the increasingly popular multiscreen concept, with the phone as hub and controller for many media devices. Like other Optimus models, the 2X supports the DLNA wireless standard for connecting to in-home platforms such as HDTVs, offering console-like gaming as well as video viewing.

Also included are an 8-megapixel rear camera – not quite matching the 12-mp of proprietary LG models or the Nokia N8, which currently sets the smartphone benchmark in terms of pure hardware functionality. There is also a 1.3-mp front-facing camera plus microSD, a micro-USB port and a 1500mH battery. At launch, the 2X will run Android 2.2 or Froyo, and will be upgradeable to 2.3. ®

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