Two Cores Can Still Get the Job Done

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The non-stop hype machine may be telling you that your phone's an embarrassment if it's not got a quad-core processor inside (and a screen big enough to entertain 100,000 spectators at Hyde Park), but there's still plenty of OOMPH to be had from today's well-tuned dual-core options.

Sony's new Xperia T comes with a dual-core processor, which may have some angry internet nutcases skim-reading the spec sheet and slagging it off for not adhering to the quad-core power trend that's emerged over the last month or two.

The problem with that blind bit of tech spec analysis is that, as we've seen in some previous benchmarks, a well-tuned, modern dual-core processor is every bit as capable as a quad-core model when it comes to running today's apps and games. It's not just about the headline configuration, it's more to do with the clock speed and manufacturing processes.

Saying a phone powered by a dual-core chip is "worse" or "slower" than some other random quad-core model is like assuming that a minibus with a three litre engine can outperform a 1.8 hot hatch, simply because the engine looks more impressive on paper.

The Xperia T's powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, or Krait MSM8260-A to give it its factory production name, which we've seen used in other recent phone models. It's bonkers-fast and ought to make the Xperia T one of the slickest performers out there in Android World when it arrives in a month or two.

Quad-core chips certainly have their place, but until Android and the apps and games it runs have significantly moved on and embraced the enhanced power they offer, there's little actual need for the almost-intangible boost they deliver.