The power of ten: 5 upcoming deca-core phones

MediaTek recently introduced its newest warrior in the fight against Qualcomm's domination, the Helio X20 chipset, raising the stakes in the multi-core fight to the ten. Ten cores, that is, as that's precisely how many of those processing hearts will be in Helio X20.

The unique processor has a pretty clever power distribution, as you can see in the architecture schematics above, with two mighty Cortex-A72 core, four Cortex-A53 for everyday computing, clocked at 2 GHz, and four A53s again, but clocked at mere 1.4 GHz for efficiency in continuous tasks like standby. 

That many cores may sound like a marketing gimmick, but a recent Anandtech experiment with Android performance in everyday usage showed that the number of cores really matters in a few common scenarios. Chief among those is browsing, where rendering and tab management can take advantage of as many cores as you have, so the more the merrier, as well as during app installation.

The study praised specifically multi-cluster designs, like the one on the Helio X20, so we can't wait to put the new deca-core chipset through its paces once it lands in retail handsets. This moment is not far off, it seems, as there are already a few phones said to carry it, and we are rounding them up below.

Meizu MX6

Meizu is prepping to release its top-shelf MX6 phone, introducing it with the Helio X20 chipset, while most of the other specs will be inherited from the current Pro 5. Meizu already has a Helio X10-laden phone, the MX5, so it's not a stretch to guess that the MX6 may have a sweet deca-core chipset inside.

HTC One A9

A version of the upcoming One A9 handset by HTC was shown to run the deca-core X20 on Geekbench, with some pretty impressive results to show for it. Still, the One A9 also leaked with a Snapdragon on board, so we'll have to wait for October 20th, and see what this metal-clad upper-midranger has to show.

Oukitel U6

The intriguing Oukitel U6 slipped from the rumor mill with a 5" panel, and a second 4.7" e-ink one on the back, like on the YotaPhone 2. Besides the funky dual-screen setup, Oukitel U6 is also said to employ MediaTek's upcoming 10-core Helio X20 chipset, too.

Elephone 9000

According to the e-tailer site where the phone was listed for preorder, the Elephone 9000 is equipped with a 5.5" 1080p display, and, just as rumored, a MediaTek MT6797 under the hood, which denotes a deca-core 2.0 GHz Helio X20 chipset. The rest of the specs are nothing to sniff at, too - a 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, along with 32GB of internal storage. The camera combo from back to front weighs in at 16MP/13MP, and a fingerprint sensor is on board. A 3100mAh battery powers the phone, and the Elephone 9000 will apparently be a dual SIM phone, surprise, surprise.

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Xiaomi Mi Note 2

The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is expected to be the sequel to the Xiaomi Mi Note, with a 5.7" Quad HD display, and a MediaTek Helio X20 chipset inside for a good measure. The Mi Note was announced in January, so we might not see the Mi Note 2 released until Q1 next year. 



23. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

More the merrier fellas

9. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

If Anantech's evaluation that the more the cores the better the performance then why is it that Apple is still winning the Web browsing speeds and app switching with only dual core A9?

8. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

If Anantech's evaluation that the more the cores the better the performance then why is it that Apple is still winning the Web browsing speeds and app switching with only dual core A9?

13. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

I dont know, here is LG G4 with QHD and SD808 vs iPhone 6s plus:

5. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

I swore off from ANY phone powered by a Mediatek, especially when they took a hard stance AGAINST releasing the kernel and source code for their chips on devices. Without the code, Android builds are not optimized well enough, and without optimization, software on MTK devices are less stable than comparable Snapdragons/Intels/Exynos. Thus, the devices on this list will be more prone to app crashes and less optimisation...

4. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Where is Galaxy is 7? Rumor has it it's coming with 12 cores. 6 for normal operation and another 6 to catch up to Apple's dual core performance.

7. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Rumor has it that a lot of uneducated people think more cores=better. It is for power saving not perfomance.

11. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

That guy's knowledge about CPUs is less than the number of pigs that has grown wings.

12. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Mmmmm, really? I guess Apple's Engineers are dumb if they fail to implement such a simple strategy that can win them lot of long battery fans. Maybe, just maybe, Qualcomm's engineers are getting dumber as well for returning to dual core for Snapdragon 820.

14. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Battery is crap for 750p phone and 14nm SoC. Even Z3C with SD801 has much better battery life. Dual core SD820? Now you just confirmed that you and SoCs should not relate in any possible way.

16. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015


17. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

True but it's the other way for Qualcomm. Their 8cores is less efficient than their 6 cores and qualcomm's 4 cores is the most efficient smh

15. sean1548

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 08, 2015

Apple is just a glorified interior decorator. They don't make or design CPUs they pay companys like Samsung to do this for them. The A9 is a CPU designed and manufacturered by Samsung. This means that every phone Apple sells Samsung gets part of thr profits. Look it up. I would post the link but I don't have enough posts yet.

18. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

U talking rubbish. If that's the case, then Samsung is the stupidest company ever, designing SOC's for Apple that are superior than their own Exynos. Apple design's, Samsung and TSMC manufactures. Now repeat after me, ENGINEERS design a car, it gets assembled by workers at a line, Engineers design an electrical distribution system, electricians build it, engineers design a building structure, bricklayers construct the building, etc. Got it now?

19. sean1548

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 08, 2015

No! You are wrong. Why would Apple waste money hiring people to design a Cpu when they can just go to Samsung or Qualcomm and tell them what they want and have them design it for them? Apple is all about profit. Apple is not an Engineering company its an advertising/design company.

20. Iodine

Posts: 1520; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Because the would have to pay a hell a lot more to force samsung making a Cyclone grade-CPU architecture, that is big ass powerfull, efficient and pricey, two and a half years earlier than samsung was planning to (and they wouldn't do it unless cyclone was released btw.). And then they would have to pay another fortune to make that architecture an Apple exclusive. Bottom line: Apple did it, because: there were NO 64-bit designs available to use from other companies, they could optimize it for their own purposes and they could gain a imense competitive adventage (pushing entire industry forward in that process) of drastically improving efficiency of all of their products, with not so imense price of about few billions over years. The result ? Apple Twister architecture in A9 and A9X supposedly trashes Intel (at it's most advanced node !) in performance/W and the Semi-custom Power Vr GPU trashes nvidia maxwell (So called "most advenced GPU architecture") in performance per W at least in small form factor devices. BTW if you came to samsung as an Apple contractor and asked them to design a 64-bit super chip for iPhone in 2013, they would laugh you out hard.

21. sean1548

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 08, 2015

Wow! If u think for a second the processors in the you are getting in your phones are "cutting Edge" then you are so oblivious to how the world works. Samsung is HUGE I dont think you understand how big of a company they are. Do you really think that the first 64 bit process or was invented in 2013. Short answer is NO. Samsung like most "Global Giants" first priority is to the Governments they serve. How dose the Government stay ahead in technology? by controlling the rate at which it is released... Just for your information Google and Apple Announced 64bit chips in 2012 not 2013...

24. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 748; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

So how come samsung produced a worst processor that wasn't built for mobile gaming? Does their exynos chipset plus mali can run heavy intense games?

29. monkeytown

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

dont be mean, they try everything they can :)

3. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

All have moment of silence for HTC

1. slannmage

Posts: 289; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Reading Anandtechs summary of these chips, it could be very good for Android and power saving, I look forward to seeing how it works out.

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5838; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, ignore the Apple fanboys Android SoCs are designed with different intentions Hence why Android SoCs is usually always on top for multi core And why iOS SoCs is usually always on top for single core I can't wait to see some the comparisons between the A9, X20/X30, 820 and next Exynos

10. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Wait for the idiots to tell you that "iOS is so efficient it can beat deca-core androids with a dual-core!!!1" or "no one makes money with android"

25. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It's not about beating cores, entirely different architecture. What it is how the device it is in performs. That is all that matters. So when a dual core iphone can keep up with an 8-10 core chip, it is not because the cores are better. It is because the larger cores in the dual core are designed entirely different, and the OS is coded for that difference. This is also why for a very long time, Intels Dual core extreme series were faster than any 4core, 6core etc in gaming and usage. It is how the cores and chip was built.

22. jeeta444

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

They should have gone with 4 Cortex a72 and 4 cortex a53, then this would have neck to neck competition for S820. but personally i like 4 powerful custom cores of qualcomm.they have been much more efficient Compared to Arm stock designs

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