While Qualcomm prefers to take a step back from the processor arms race, Taiwan’s MediaTek is taking two steps forward.
It not only announced that the first smartphones with its tri-cluster, deca-core Helio X20 chipset are almost ready to go, but another Chinese hardware partner is set to take up an even more advanced SoC that the chipmaker didn’t even announce.
MediaTek took to a stage in Shenzhen to address media on where the Helio X20 is going and, after a long road from its introduction last year, it’s going to appear in products starting next month. PhoneArena and other outlets are reporting that Chinese OEM debutant Vernee is launching its Apollo handset with the X20, — touted as a flagship with a quad HD screen, 6GB of RAM and Force Touch functionality — but we haven’t been able to confirm it for ourselves as accessing the product page gave us a 404 error as of this post. Vernee is the consumer-facing side of an ODM named Newbund.
More silicon came on during the presentation in the form of the Helio X25. It uses the same set-up as the X20: 2 Cortex-A72 cores and two Cortex-A53 clusters with four cores each. The change comes onto the A72 cores’ top speed — 2.3GHz on the X20 and 2.5GHz on the X25, though MediaTek’s own product site seems to erroneously note that the X20’s A72 cores will run at 2.5GHz.
The Mali-T880 GPU also gets clocked up from 780MHz on the X20 to 850MHz on the X25. Still, MediaTek promotes power savings on the “newer” Helio similar to what you’ll see on the “older” Helio.
A Meizu executive announced that the company’s upcoming Pro 6 smartphone will have exclusive license to use the souped-up chipset for a time. He teased the phone to come along after the Helio X20’s commercial launch.