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Oh, Snap!

Since HTC had limited control over making Windows Mobile less of an iceberg of bloated and buggy code they wisely asked their friends at Qualcomm to stuff as much horsepower as possible under the hood to compensate for the sludgy software and make guys like David K think that their new phone rivals the likes of my Google phone. Qualcomm worked day and night to cook up the miracle chip to lessen the lag a little of opening a WinMo registry editor or processor overclocker and to rotate the screen and render web pages slightly faster. They call it the Snapdragon.

The breed used in the HD2, the Nexus One, the Desire, the Toshiba TG01 and soon the Incredible, among others, which is the Qualcom QSD8250, without any overclocking magic hums at 1GHz. Tricks up its sleeves for all the devices using it include decoding 720p video, on board cellular, HSDPA+, Bluetooth, wifi transceivers plus a GPS receiver (I didn’t know this was a bundled up on the processor). Yawn?

The newest Snapdragon, the QSD8672, packs two cores doing math and making polygons fast enough to get a 1.5GHz rating, comfortably both decoding and encoding high definition video. Soon to come is their 8X72 which, just in case your definition of high def is 1080p, has got you covered, possibly targeted at netbooks and people willing to buy the new HTC device with the supersized screen even though it would only get EDGE on their own carrier. Why would you need that kind of juice in your phone? Well, why would you need LTE for that matter? But if you can think of a reason to want either one, there’s your reason to need the other as well. Need the chip to handle the bandwidth, need the bandwidth to download things that require such a powerful chip, need the chip to run those things.

Because of battery limitations, in order for these chips to be worth using is if their engineers can somehow make it calculate more digits of Pi per each milliamp hour burned. They claim they’re doing that with their nano-techno-whatever. Another thing that helps is a smart operating system that knows when it’s time to scale down the juice and rev it back up as needed. I’m now using a phone sporting one of these Snapdragons with a larger screen than my Tilt 2, the phone has a smaller battery and not only are things much much faster, the phone lasts significantly longer on a single charge and the screen is nice and bright. Like buttah, this thing. So between them and whoever makes this Android thing, they’re getting it right.

So my question to you is why would you need this kind of horsepower in your telephone? What else is there to do? While I’m asking you questions, what, other than tethering, would you do if you had LTE speeds? And where will we be in another ten years? Better batteries? Don’t hold your breath.

Doug Simmons