Monday, June 27, 2011

Charting Android smartphone hardware development

HTC Dream

2008. The flagship Android phone in 2008 had the following specifications:

  • 3.2-inch 320 x 480 screen
  • 528MHz processor
  • 192MB of RAM

The first commercially available Android phone was the HTC Dream released in October 2008. It had a 3.2-inch 320 x 480 resolution screen and was powered by a 528 MHz ARM 11 processor with a Adreno 130 GPU on Qualcomm MSM7201A chipset. The Dream had 192MB of RAM.

2009. The 2008 specifications remained standard for Android phones 2009:

  • 3.2-inch 320 x 480 screen
  • 528MHz processor
  • 128MB-256MB of RAM

The first Android handset to become widely available in the Philippine was the HTC Magic, released by Smart Communications. The Dream was released in May of 2009 and became available in the Philippines early in 2010. The Magic had the same specifications as the Dream, minus the slide out keyboard and with more RAM at 288MB.  

By end of 2009 the typical Android Phone like HTC's Hero and Samsungs i7500 Galaxy and i5700 Galaxy Spica had a 3.2-inch 320 x 480 screen, a 528 MHz ARM 11 processor, Adreno 130 GPU, Qualcomm MSM7200A chipset and 128MB to 288MB of RAM. 

By the end of 2009 higher resolution screens were released with Motorola Milestone ands it 3.7 inch 480 x 854 pixel resolution screen. It was powered by a 550MHz ARM Cortex A8, PowerVR SGX530 graphics and 256MB of RAM.

2010. 2010 saw the release of the first "reference" design Android and a significant jump in the specifications for a flagship Android phone. Typical specifications for a flagship Android phone in 2010 were:

  • 3.7 to 4.3-inch 480 x 800 or 480 x 854 screen
  • 1GHz processor
  • 512MB to 768MB of RAM

January 2010 saw the release of the Google Nexus One with its 3.7-inch 480 x 800 screen, 1 GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon chipset and 512MB of RAM. Other manufacturers released phones with similar specifications in the first six months of 2010 with the HTC Desire, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and the Samsung Galaxy S. Notably, the manufacturers offered larger screens has started with the Xperia X10 and the Galaxy S with 4-inch screens. The Dell Streak and HTC Desire HD came out bringing the larger screen  5-inch and 4.3-inch screens to Android phones. The Desire HD also had a unprecedented amount of RAM for an Android at 768MB.

Before the end of 2010 Google brought out its Google Nexus S, but instead of being another leap in Android phone hardware it was essentially a Goolge banding of an existing phone, the Samsung Galaxy S. The Nexus S did make a front camera standard equipment for Android 2.3 phones.
2011. 2011 brought dual cores to technology, with the specifications for a flagship Android being:

  •  4 to 4.3-inch 480 x 800 or 540 x 960 screen
  • 1GHz of faster dual processor
  • 512MB to 1GB of RAM

Examples of this are the LG Optimus 2x, the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II.

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