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India's new Atom-powered Xolo X900 ISN'T Intel's first smartphone

Despite the hype, Lava's Android offering ain't Chipzilla's mobile debut

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Intel is providing the Medfield Atom processor for the Xolo X900, an Android phone being launched in India - but despite the headlines it's a long way from the Intel's first smartphone.

Not that the X900 isn't a competent Android handset. Outsiders might rate India as a developing market but local brand Lava reckons there's a market for a £262 ($419) device featuring a 4-inch screen and 8MP camera, along with the usual Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/NFC and HDMI capabilities necessary for today's modern Android handset.

Intel itself is being quite careful with the wording, claiming on only that the XOLO is "India's first smartphone with Intel inside", our emphasis, but that's not stopped the BBC and other's calling it the "First Intel-powered smartphone".

Intel chips powered a range of BlackBerry handsets, and a generation of Windows Mobile based devices, including O2's XDA II and running right up to the XDA Advantage – which was more mini-laptop than mobile phone. Even the venerable Nokia Communicator 9000 had an Intel chip in its heart - so Intel didn't miss the mobile revolution, it let the revolution slip through its fingers and into the hands of ARM licensees like Qualcomm.

But now the company is fighting back, and in less than a week will have an Android handset in the shops – in India at least. The deal with Lava was announced at CES in January, and the handset will be in the online shop next week. Bloomberg took a look, including pushing a couple of 3D games into the background while decoding HD video without a hiccup, though they were obliged to take Intel's word on the five-hour talk time.

The X900 will run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) at launch, with an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich promised really soon, so we should see some proper competition between chip families.

Back in January Intel also demonstrated the similarly-specced Lenovo K800, so the X900 might well be Intel's first Android handset, but it certainly won't be the last. ®

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