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Sony in 2012: No quad-core, new flagship Q3 or Q4?

Sony appear to have made a clean-cut decision to forgo quad-core in their current line-up of Android smartphones this year and will likely release a device sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 in Q3 or Q4 according to the latest reports spotted over at Xperia Blog and cNet Asia. Despite mounting pressure from consumers to step-up to the cutting-edge quad-core plate along with the likes of HTC and LG, Sony don’t feel that enough support for multi-cores is present to throw any more into the mix. When coupled with the potential impact on battery life, it’s it’s clearly more of an educated decision than a resignation on Sony’s part.

The Sony Xperia S reviewed very well, gets a glowing response from people who see us using it and beats the likes of the HTC One X in terms of price while still offering an HD 720p screen. That said, with its 1750 mAh battery, getting any more than a day out of the handset is a push. So what would a quad-core battery be like?

In theory, it could actually be better. When running apps designed with four-cores in mind, the workload is spread across them all and the voltage across CPUs is lower across both cores. Battery wins. That said, a handful of apps are designed with quad-core support and this will likely be the way for at least the first half of 2012, with many still not taking advantage of dual-core. Sony suggest that there’s a compromise in terms of battery when non-multi-core apps are run on a quad-core device.

So while the latest, greatest mind-blowing technology is always a plus, when the alternative is to focus more on design and keeping the price down without compromising on user experience, we see Sony’s point. In turn, the reports suggest Sony will move to another dual-core processor towards the end of the year, probably the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4. Does this suggest another flagship a la Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S in Q3 or Q4? We wouldn’t be surprised.

What’s our take on the cores question? If you’re someone who upgrades your handset every 12-15 months, you can comfortably get a high-end dual-core handset like the Sony Xperia S. You will save a little money in the process and still be safe in the knowledge you won’t be hampered by its performance and app support in a years time. That said, if you want to be 20-24 month future-proofed and are into your power-phones, a quad-core’s probably the way to go. For more on cores, check out our feature on the subject and if you’ve got any thoughts on the subject, comment to your heart’s content below.

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