MediaTek boasts of world’s first ‘true’ octa-core SoC in new smartphone


Remember this MT6592 SoC whose leaked photos we brought you not long ago? Yeah, it was real. And today it powers a no-name brand smartphone in China where MediaTek hails from. The UMI X2S, a smartphone by little-known Chinese phone maker UMI, was announced and showcased during the Hong Kong Electronics Fair which ended this Wednesday. The UMI X2S smartphone has the honour and prestige of bearing the title of the world’s first smartphone with a ‘true’ octa-core processor thanks to MediaTek’s new MT6592 SoC.

Why is it called a true octa-core? Isn’t the Galaxy S4 the first smartphone to ship with an octa-core processor? There’s a reason. The Galaxy S4 has eight cores yes but they don’t work as eight. At any given time based on the nature of whatever you are doing on your smartphone, there are only four cores active. That is because the Galaxy S4’s Exynos 5410 processor utilizes ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture with two sets of cores: four Cortex-A15 and four cortex-A7 cores. The Cortex A15 quad-cores do the heavy lifting and are called into action when you are performing heavy tasks like graphics intensive gaming, downloading torrents or heavy image editing with Photoshop Touch or video editing with Samsung’s video editing app. All the slightly light tasks are taken care of by the Cortex A7 quad-cores. Thus the cores only work as four at a given time and not eight as you would expect with the term “octa-core”. That is where MediaTek’s MT6592 “true” octa-core claims are vindicated. In this case, all the eight cores are fired up and are ready to take up whatever task you throw at them.

About the UMI X2s

first phone with true octa core chip

  • It has a 5 inch display with a 1080 x 1920 resoultion
  • Packs what we are interested in: a Mediatek MT6592 octa-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz
  • has 2 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage. No word on whether this is expandable or not but hey, 32 is enough, right?
  • 13 megapixel camera
  • Has NFC support
  • Goes for about $245-$327 in China

The device was just showcased at Hong Kong Electronics Fair (the East’s version of CES perhaps?) and is yet to be launched officially.

We should not expect this device to show up from nowhere in the international market but that MediaTek SoC will surely make it to some devices we’ll see released in various markets pretty soon. MediaTek chips are usually lowly priced hence helping OEMs producing many devices cut back on some extra costs and with the Chinese company taking its innovation seriously, it is bound to battle the likes of Broadcom and be a threat to established players like Qualcomm (the Snapdragon maker) and NVIDIA (the Tegra king). Heck, even Samsung is planning on using MediaTek chips on its mid-range devices.