An early look at Intel's 'Lexington' platform: Atom, tailored for emerging markets (update: video)

Good morning, kids! We're here at Intel's CES booth, where the company is showing off a low-end reference smartphone running the Atom Z2420 processor, which is part of the new "Lexington" family of chips tailored for emerging markets. We learned yesterday that three manufactures are on board, with Acer being the biggest name.

Curiously, though, the handset we just found is completely unmarked, and Intel won't say who makes it. It also won't share any specs other than the processor, though we already know what the platform is capable of: up to 1.2GHz of clock speed, 1080p video at 30 fps, HSPA+ connectivity and, support for dual 5MP / 1.3MP cameras. Whatever this phone is, it won't do more than that. Still, despite not knowing much, we wanted to give you a look at this device anyway because we thought it would be a good opportunity to give you some early impressions of the performance. Head past the break to see what we found.

The best way to describe our experience with this phone is that it was like picking up a handset from 2009. It responded quickly enough as we swiped through pages, and we were able to carry out a game of Fruit Ninja without any hiccups. It was with app transitions, though, that the processor started to show its limits. Several times when we tapped the home screen to exit out of a game, the app hung there for a second before finally disappearing. Other times we noticed tiling when we launched applications. Obviously, this is a pre-production unit, and we expect we'll be checking back in with the Z2420 as we learn more about the devices that use it. Still, given that this CPU won't ever see the light of day in mature markets, we suspect the performance we observed today could actually be quite appropriate.

Daniel Cooper contributed to this report.