Over the past few years, Lenovo has been one of Intel’s stalwart partners in the mobile phone business. The company has launched multiple Atom-based devices going back to the original Medfield SoC, and this year is no exception. Lenovo announced its P90 phone today — the first smartphone based on Intel’s 64-bit Atom.
Intel may have prominently announced imminent shipment of Cherry Trail devices, built on 14nm technology, but Lenovo is tapping the company’s 22nm silicon for this effort. The 22nm Z3560 SoC at the heart of the P90 is based on Intel’s Moorefield design, with a quad-core CPU and a burst clock of up to 1.83GHz. The GPU is based on Imagination Technologies’ G6430 — the same GPU inside the iPhone 5S. While no longer cutting-edge, it’s still more than sufficient for most tasks and mobile gaming.
The P90 will pack a 5.5-inch screen with a 1920x1080p resolution with a 400 PPI, support for five-finger multi-touch, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. The battery inside the P90 is a massive 4000 mAH — far larger than the battery on devices like the iPhone 6 Plus, which clocked in just under 3000 mAH.
The device will ship with Android 4.4 (KitKat) but presumably receive an Android 5.0 upgrade at some point in the future. Lenovo is aiming this device at the business segment rather than explicitly towards consumers, which is part of what’s driving the larger battery as well — at 4,000 mAH, the phone should be more than capable of delivering all-day performance.
That said, it’s a little surprising to see Intel’s tablet silicon showing up in a phone. This new device will be paired with Intel’s XMM7260 modem, but it’s not going to ship into the US markets. This has been one of Intel’s most enduring problems — without OEM and carrier support, the company’s efforts to build high-end devices for customer consumption stateside have been fundamentally stymied.
As before, performance shouldn’t be the issue here, quad-core Bay Trail with Imagination Technologies is more than fast enough for a smartphone and the XMM7260 is an advanced 4G modem. Power consumption, price, and availability will dictate how successful the phone is, and unfortunately Lenovo isn’t willing to give it a shot in the crowded US market. Intel has had more luck in the wearables market, where a new version of Google Glass is coming with an Atom inside in 2015. The Verge has more details on both this device and the upcoming Vibe X2 Pro.