These 8 smartphones are proof that dual-core processors aren't extinct yet

These 8 smartphones are proof that dual-core processors aren't extinct yet
Most of the smartphones released nowadays have processors with at least 4 cores, and it feels like it's been ages since the world's first dual-core smartphone (the LG Optimus 2X from late 2010) was announced. Right now, even low-end, cheap handsets (costing less than $100) are powered by quad-core processors, mostly thanks to MediaTek, but also to Qualcomm, which is offering some quad-core chipsets (like the Snapdragon 210, or the Snapdragon 400 and 410) at very low prices. Thus, it makes little sense for handset manufacturers to use dual-core CPUs.

And yet dual-core smartphones are still being produced, and some of them are actually high-end devices. Join us below if you want to check out some of the notable dual-core handsets released in the last 12 months. In alphabetical order:

Asus' latest ZenFones come in various versions, and the ZenFone 2 ZE500CL is among the most modest ones (though it's definitely not a low-end device). The ZE500CL is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor clocked at 1.6 GHz, and sports a 5-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixels. Running Android Lollipop, the Asus ZenFone 2 ZE500CL further features a 2 MP front-facing camera, 8 MP rear camera, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage space, and a 2500 mAh battery. You can buy the ZenFone 2 ZE500CL from Amazon for prices starting at around $180.

Apple is literally the only smartphone maker that still has dual-core flagship handsets: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. However, as you may know, the number of CPU cores isn't everything when it comes to performance. In fact, the 64-bit A8 SoC that Apple designed for its latest iPhones is a top performer when compared to other high-end chipsets out there. The dual-core 1.4 GHz CPU of the A8, alongside an M8 motion coprocessor and a PowerVR GX6450 GPU allow the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to run smoothly in any situation.

Announced in March this year as one of the cheapest Lumia smartphones to date, the Microsoft Lumia 430 is a modest dual-SIM handset that uses a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz. The 430 is small by today's standards, sporting a 4-inch display with 480 x 800 pixels. Other features include 1 GB of RAM, a 2 MP rear camera, VGA front-facing camera, and 8 GB of expandable internal memory. The Lumia 430 runs Windows Phone 8.1, and should be updated to Windows 10 later this year (though it might not get all the features of the new OS). Unlocked, the Microsoft Lumia 430 costs around $70, but it's not available all over the world.

The Lumia 435 was introduced a few months earlier than the 430, offering similar features, but without dual SIM support. The 435 also has a different design, and it's officially available in the US (on T-Mobile) for $70 off contract.

The Galaxy J1 is Samsung's first handset from a new line of smartphones: the Galaxy J family. Introduced in January in some markets, the J1 is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Spreadtrum processor, sports a 4.3-inch screen with 480 x 800 pixels, and runs Android KitKat. It also has 5 MP and 2 MP cameras (rear and front), 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of internal memory, microSD card support, and a 1850 mAh battery. In the US, the Galaxy J1 was recently released as a pre-paid phone by Verizon Wireless, costing $99, and offering upgraded features: quad-core processor, LTE, Android Lollipop, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of expandable storage space.

The Galaxy S Duos 3 has been around since August last year. Obviously a dual SIM smartphone, the Galaxy S Duos 3 uses a dual-core 1 GHz processor of unknown provenience, and is slightly smaller than the Galaxy J1, sporting a 4-inch WVGA (480 x 800) display. Other features: a VGA front-facing camera, 5 MP rear camera, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of expandable internal memory, and a 1500 mAh battery.

Unlike the previous two Samsung handsets, the Z1 doesn't run Android, but Tizen OS - that's why it's not a Galaxy device. Launched earlier this year in select markets, the Z1 costs around $90, and unsurprisingly offers modest specs: dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 4-inch WVGA display, 768 MB of RAM, and 4 GB of expandable storage space. Dual SIM capabilities, a 3.1 MP rear camera, and a VGA front-facing camera are also included. The Samsung Z1 is unofficially available in the US via Amazon, but right now it's way more expensive than in other markets, costing $350 - not worth it, unless you really, really want to try Tizen OS.

Special mention: Google Nexus 9

No, this is not a smartphone, but we thought we should mention it because it's one of the few high-end mobile devices that still use a dual-core processor. Released in October last year, the Nexus 9 is Google's latest tablet, and the world's first to run Android Lollipop out of the box. Its dual-core processor is a 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 clocked at 2.3 GHz. Helped by NVIDIA's Kepler DX1 GPU, the Tegra K1 is powerful enough to provide am excellent experience on the Nexus 9, even though the tablet has a high resolution (1536 x 2048 pixels) 8.9 inch display.

No images



1. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

I never considered dual-core processors to be close to extinction.

27. waddup121 unregistered

Good list PA

2. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

The Asus Zenfone 5 is also Dual-Core, why it isn't mentioned?

3. Florin.T

Posts: 315; Member since: Dec 16, 2013

Because: "some of the notable dual-core handsets released in the last 12 months." The ZenFone 5 is over 1 year old.

6. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Good point, should've mentioned in the title rather than in the story 'coz it mislead me.. :)

13. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

Or you can actually read the article before posting.

19. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

I disregarded the story because reading the title is enough for me to assume the phones featured are actually those cool dual core phones, but eh..

16. mawhob2222

Posts: 219; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Because: Samsungarena

24. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Good to see authors commenting on their own posts.

4. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

" Thus, it makes little sense for handset manufacturers to use dual-core CPUs. " And that proves that you guys know nothing about CPU's .. A shame so many "tech" sites are run by people that know so litthe about tech...

5. Florin.T

Posts: 315; Member since: Dec 16, 2013

Actually, we do know that the number of CPU cores isn't everything when it comes to performance. This is also mentioned in the article, word by word.

29. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

@brrnopt = Burned

7. Springa

Posts: 14; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

There are great dual core CPUs. Apple and nvidia are living proof to this. Not to mention intel. My laptop is a dual core i3 although is supports hyperthreading.

8. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

In Honduras, most of the devices out there are dual-core.

28. InmortanJoe

Posts: 14; Member since: May 23, 2015

Most? Should have better said "most cheap smartphones" , cause I live in Honduras and own a Galaxy S6 Edge bro... Its most of the people who cant afford a well specd phone.

32. cgprats

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 28, 2014

My mom is Honduran, and one of my aunts comes to America to buy electronics for like $100 (500 HNL) and sells them for $200 (1,000 HNL)

33. InmortanJoe

Posts: 14; Member since: May 23, 2015

Honduras is in America...Do you mean United States? And btw, $100 USD are equal to (2,100 HNL)

9. Downtime24g

Posts: 24; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

OOOOOOOOO!!! shut down! quick to jump on it got shut up by the author! (just starting stuff for fun) On a side note, remember this myth was already broken back in the when they were proving numbers werent everything. remember the evo 4G and T-mobile's G2? 1Ghz vs 700Mhz and the G2 blew it away everytime? numbers mean nothing

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No but they do have one foot in the grave. The more power available the more a phone can do. Nome of the above phones have any advanced features. They are all boring app launchers. They have no additional unique features that enhanced their usage, thus that is all the power they need. After sll, you wouldn't drop a V12 into a Prius.

11. Basharhd99

Posts: 100; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

I miss the old qualcomm dual core processors. My xperia s still runs fast enough with many heavy games running smoothly.

25. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Dont forget the acro s. One of the best duo core mid range smartphone of it's time.

12. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

Am I the only one who wish to see the Nvidia Tegra K1 on mobile phones, despite the possible overheating issues?

14. gaming64 unregistered

It's a tablet processor and can't be implemented into a phone. They can create another variation though.

15. gaming64 unregistered

I still use a dual-core iPhone:) Anybody out there who still uses a dual-core Android phone?

22. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

1st gen Moto X user here. Still just as fast as it was in the day I unboxed it.

30. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I finally updated my 4S to 8.3 because of jailbreak. Kudos to Apple it runs much better than 8.1.2, if iOS9 will be even smoother I won't sell my 4S for at least year more. I wanted to buy 6S when it comes out, but what's the point when 4S runs perfectly fine?

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Also, none of those guys are in first place, or second or even 3rd in sales. Samsungs dales more phones than almost of of them combined. So yeah. I could get by with a lower costing phone for half the cost of an S6 or iPhone, but why should I compromise just because I don't need it?

18. gaming64 unregistered

Who cares if their in first or second? I am tired of the sales argument already. As long as the phone is good, they're good. Plus you're talking about total number of phones Samsung sells, not an individual. And by far not only does the iPhone 6 sells more, it generates more profit. And BTW you might wanna turn off your dang autocorrect.

23. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Phone sales shouldn't always be the basis for phone quality. As for the iPhone 6, their duo-core and 1gb ram was compensated by powerful gpu. You do lots of multitasking and web browsing? Have more ram. You do lots of gaming? You go fo better gpu. For the higher number of cores, it must be for better battery management.

31. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

I'm surprised the article didn't mention battery life. More cores allow some work to be handed off to cores that use less power.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.