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I am planning to soon buy an Android phone, but don't know which to get. I really like the HTC Thunderbolt and the Droid Bionic (Yes, I realize these phones aren't released yet), but I think I would rather the Thunderbolt (IF it even comes to Canada), because I really like the look of the Thunderbolt, and HTC Sense is my favourite UI skin, and I hate Motorola's.

So really, my question is, what would the benifits be of a dual-core phone? Other than being more "future proof."

asked Jan 26 '11 at 13:49

Justin's gravatar image


edited Jan 28 '11 at 00:14

GavinRoskamp's gravatar image


Isn't that for tablets? O.o

(Jan 26 '11 at 23:30) Justin Justin's gravatar image

I'm sure it will show up in some of the higher end phones also... Tablets are more likely....

(Jan 27 '11 at 16:50) TheTechDude TheTechDude's gravatar image

12next page »

ok here is the deal, no it is not needed for processing power, it may be nice but it is not needed....

However, we that is the problem, we think of dual core as giving you more processing power but lets back up a bit... how often are u actually using your phone, calling, texting, email, ext... not very much it mainly sits in your pocket just waiting for a call or you to do something... well with a single core processor you need to have the whole processor turned on all the time, that single core processor probably has more then enough power to sit idle, so your throwing away your battery... but with a dual core, you can turn off one of the cores and only use half your power you would other wise, thus giving you more then a day on your smart phone...

also, dual core means you can handle two machine instructions at once. this means your cell phone can get done with the tasks in your task list sooner so it can get into idle.

so at least one reason is for battery life being extended. also lets face it, phone are not just phones anymore...

answered Jan 26 '11 at 23:39

trueb's gravatar image


It depends on the phone it self.

Take the IPhone for instance. A highly powerful phone which feels responsive all the time. This phone doesn't need a dual core processor.

But my dad's HTC (unknown version to me) feel sluggish. Low framerate, slow responses and just not a pleasant experience. This phone might be better off with a dual-core processor.

In the end it's all about how the hardware works with the software and the other way around. With the IPhone both the hardware and software is designed together for each other. With the HTC it's not like this. Android is a OS that is made to support A LOT of hardware. Therefore there is little change that it is optimized for your specs. This takes down the capabilities significantly!

answered Jan 26 '11 at 13:58

nitrocrime's gravatar image


You might want as much power as you need, if you just check email, see some webpages then multicore processor isn't really for you, but if you like to play games, multitask, use enterprise features then you might need it. Motorola Atrix 4G looks cool, just check it out :).

answered Jan 26 '11 at 23:03

HacksLabs's gravatar image



It does, except for the fact that it's made by Motorala... :/

(Jan 26 '11 at 23:30) Justin Justin's gravatar image

With technologies using more and more memory and CPU it becomes more and more necessary to have additional CPU/memory. For example 600 MHz was extremely fast a couple of years ago but now it (for example) it can hardly run Eclair on the Eris. I know someone who has one and he hates it.

answered Jan 26 '11 at 23:22

FilipinoPower's gravatar image


Smartphone's are becoming far more like computers, we will do a lot of things on our phones instead of our computers. So, as the software becomes more advanced the hardware requirements go up.

answered Jan 27 '11 at 16:36

Mattophobia's gravatar image

Mattophobia ♦♦

I would suppose if it supports multi-tasking otherwise it's almost utterly pointless to have two cores. Probably really drains the battery to run both cores.

answered Jan 28 '11 at 00:03

sulljason's gravatar image


As smartphone operating systems get more and more sophisticated, the power does become necessary. With the considerably slick looks of the UI built into platforms like WebOS and iOS, phones need more and more power to throw at tasks. We could get away from it if everyone turned down the eye candy, but that's what sells an iPhone these days.

Besides, who cares if they are really necessary. Dual core in my pocket? Yes, Do want! I don't care if it gets an hour or two of useful battery life on a good day. I love seeing the forward march of the technology itself! Batteries will eventually catch up.

answered Jan 28 '11 at 04:01

KnightZero's gravatar image


Phones are too little to type for long periods and too small to do precise graphical editing work and encoding video? Who is actually doing this on a phone? Activities that actually require two or more cores, aren't happening on smartphones. So no, it's not necessary.

As previously mentioned, things like transitions, 3d and other visual effects are what the extra memory and cores are being used for. All of this is fun (if you're into it) but ultimately unnecessary.

And when you consider we are going backwards, not forwards, with battery times you really have to question the market logic to this entire multi-core trend. Initially, smartphones were getting a little over a day. Now the Galaxy S3 is predicted to offer 8 hours of battery life. A phone loses it's purpose if you are tied down due to the need to charge. And most users don't want to carry around 3 spare batteries like us techies. So, yeah, the original poster is correct. This is all really unnecessary and ultimately not useful for the user.

answered Jan 12 '12 at 09:32

_atlien_'s gravatar image


Provided the hardware is all in order, in the end isn't it really the software written that counts more for best performance?

answered Jan 12 '12 at 21:29

Joseph%20Palmer's gravatar image

Joseph Palmer

from my experience, they are 100% needed in any smartphone and tablet.

On my HP touchpad, I can run the system in a single core mode and a dual core mode.

With 2 cores running at 1.83 GHz, web pages load very quickly. (faster than any tegra 2 tablet at stock speed and faster than the ipad 2)

With just 1 core, things still run well but responsiveness goes down, the browser no longer has the desktop responsiveness feel. Applications don't load as fast.

non hardware accelerated 1080p video does not run smoothly

I currently run the tablet in a ondemand mode where only 1 core is used until the CPU usage goes above a certain threshold at full clock speed. The second core then turns on. This helps save battery life while offering the additional performance when needed.

and if I am doing something on my main PC such as a full drive clone and I don't have access to the laptop, I will then put the tablet into full time dual core and get snappy web performance.

The good thing about multicore is that it allows more performance for less power. With any current core technology, after a certain clock speed, the performance to power ratio begins to diminish. This makes it so that you will get less power usage by having 2 efficient cores instead of pushing a single core twice as fast

Only downside to multiple cores is, an application has to be written to take advantage of multiple cores. if not then you will end up with a game or some other program that will struggle to run because it is only using 1 of the 2 cores.

answered Jan 13 '12 at 00:19

Razor512's gravatar image


edited Jan 13 '12 at 00:20

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Asked: Jan 26 '11 at 13:49

Seen: 16,330 times

Last updated: Jan 13 '12 at 00:20