At the beginning of this year Intel finally unveiled its Atom Z2460 (Medfield) smartphone platform. The single-core, dual-thread CPU ran at up to 1.6GHz and was paired with a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU from Imagination Technologies. 

Most of the first Z2460 smartphones announced simply leveraged Intel's Medfield Form Factor Reference Design (FFRD). This approach guaranteed minimal risk for the device vendor, while introducing a completely new way to address the market for Intel. If the typical device markers weren't biting at the opportunity to ship an Intel phone, Intel would simply build its own and sell it directly to carriers and others who wanted it.
The major exception was Motorola. At CES this year Motorola announced it would be building smartphones and tablets based on Intel's Atom silicon, with the first devices appearing in the second half of 2012.
We're well into the second half, and at a special event today in London the two companies announced the first fruits of their labor: the Motorola RAZR i.
If the device pictured above looks familiar to you it's because the RAZR i is very similar to the Droid RAZR M that was just announced a couple of weeks ago in NYC. The same 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display is present on the front, and you get the same Dupont Kevlar around back. What's new is the silicon inside: a combination of Intel's Atom Z2460 and XMM6260 baseband drive the RAZR i.
At Mobile World Congress Intel announced the Z2460 would be able to run its CPU core at up to 2GHz, up from the 1.6GHz announced at CES. Since then, no Intel based phones have used the new 2GHz silicon. The Motorla RAZR i is the first. I believe this also makes the RAZR i the first Android smartphone to hit 2GHz in its default configuration, without overclocking. Admittedly the Z2460's base clock remains 1.3GHz, it's only when the thermal conditions allow it that the CPU will boost up to 2GHz. Frequency isn't everything of course, but it's interesting to see Intel at the forefront of ramping it in the smartphone space. 
The rest of the specs should be identical (or very similar) to the Droid RAZR M. Obviously LTE support is out given the Intel HSPA+ baseband.
The RAZR i runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) although Google/Mototorla/Intel are committed to delivering 4.1 (Jelly Bean) as an upgrade at some point.
While the RAZR i isn't the flagship device Intel needs, it's another step in the right direction. The first devices will ship in October to select European and Latin American markets, including the UK, France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Unlike the Droid RAZR M, the RAZR i will only be available in black.
One of these days we'll see a US-focused Intel smartphone, although I suspect that won't happen until next year.
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  • icebox - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I wonder if having an x86 arhitecture it will allow booting other operating systems... I dream of a maemo/meego like distro for this class of smartphones...
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    As much as I know about it, Maemo/Meego and many Linux distributions are ARM ready. Only Windows (until Win8RT) is x86 exclusive (not talking about OSX here). The issue is that most of the devices don't let you get their drivers on your own. There are a few tablets on which you can install Ubuntu for example. But a lot where you can't, even with similar architecture.
  • Lucian Armasu - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Very much doubt it. Intel is not supporting Linux with its latest line-up of Atom chips, probably because it uses a different GPU this time.
  • Hector2 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Not sure what the implications are for these Medfields for smartphones, but that Linux announcement by Intel was specifically about Clover Trail support for Win8 tablets.
  • hyvonen - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

  • chilko - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    there is white version too. check the images on motorola press site.

    "A stand out white version will also be coming to select markets. "
  • xdrol - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    It is funny to see that not even Google manages to deliver a new in-house phone with Jelly Bean.. How long is it out? Next week will be 3 months..
  • teng029 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link
  • xdrol - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    And when did Google buy
  • bplewis24 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Nice effort to shift the argument.

    Nevertheless, has Motorola changed their name to Google, or are you simply ignoring everything Google has ever said about the acquisition and assuming that Google has been designing all upcoming phones for Motorola for the past 6 months?

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