Rumor: Honeycomb to Require Dual-Core Processor, Hi-Def Resolution


New reports from OEMs who have been building tablets to spec for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) state that there will indeed be a set of minimum requirements that must be met: the devices will need to have a dual-core processor (based on the Cortex-A9 architecture, which NVIDIA’s widely-used Tegra 2 chipset is), and the display will need to boast an HD resolution of 1,280×720.

This conflicts with what we learned from Google a few months ago where it was once believed Gingerbread – what is currently available as Android 2.3 – would need a lot of horsepower to play nice. If Bobby Cha’s claims are accurate, then Google just wasn’t telling the full truth: a future version of Android still may require a minimum set of specifications.

Though you might think only the most expensive of tablets will don Honeycomb and beyond, Cha says that we will still get “low-end” devices which meet these specs due to component costs lowering in the future.

Don’t panic, though, because we’ve heard time and time again – from a trusted source of our own – that Google’s going to create a less-capable fork of Honeycomb to work well with low-end tablet devices and mobile handsets. Cha’s report initially suggests Google might just stop at Gingerbread as far as software updates for handsets go, but I just don’t see that happening at all.

The Honeycomb story has yet to fully unfold. We may finally learn some concrete details soon at CES as Motorola is expected to be at the show to unveil their tablet, which is now being called the Motorola XOOM, and will supposedly be running Android 3.0

Although PCMag – the originators of this information – strengthened the likelihood of this being true by disclosing the name and affiliation of their source, we’re going to treat it just as we’d treat anything that doesn’t come from the horse’s mouth: it’s a rumor.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Good, I’m getting tired of all the crap tablets that have been coming out, bring on the high quality devices!

  2. How many times will we hear of these ridiculous BS hardware requirement rumors? AndroidOS’s hardware requirements have changed very little over the years. Plus, these are always debunked by Google’s devs and say “Not requirement, but recommendation” if they even carry a shred of truth. And of course, anti-Droidists are going to latch onto this FUD, too. :\

  3. I can see dual core, but display? I think that is far too high a goal to set as a minimum req. Usually minimum requirements are not set at what is currently the top tech. a 720p display is definitely still going to be regarded as top tech by the time honeycomb is released, unless of course they wait a year or more to launch it!

  4. This is definetly BS.this would kill off every android phone ever made

  5. I call bs

  6. First!

  7. If this is worth anything, it probably concerns minimum spec far tablets only. Not phone.

  8. I hope this is true. As much as people don’t like to think about their current device getting an update, I’d rather Google force their partners into making the best devices they can, rather than making software scales down to the bottom

  9. bs..especially screenwise

  10. I hope this is true. It’s about time we start getting displays that are better resolution than the retina display.

  11. Shenanigans!
    First, neither the Nexus One nor Nexus S meet these specifications. In fact, there is not a single device available which meets these specifications. I would think the 1,280×720 resolution might be the maximum resolution supported by Honeycomb.

    As for dual core, there are very few dual core devices available. This would really screw the Samsung Galaxy Tab users over. I doubt Google would do something this evil to a new device.

    I also don’t buy the less-capable fork of Honeycomb. Android is fragmented as it is and this would only make it worse. I would imagine that Honeycomb would have everything and that maybe some features may not be available due to the user’s hardware.

  12. Sure for tablets maybe. But as stated in the article it has been said that there will be a tablet version and a handset version of 3.0. And i will continue believe that untill i am proven wrong.

  13. So the g2,mytouch4g,vibrant,evo and other major players are gonna be left out of the honeycomb update? I don’t think so…I hope not. Even if they strip it down to run on the named devices I still don’t like it. Android is getting a llittle out of hand. Its like u have to buy a new device to get updates. I miss the g1 days.

  14. I would believe some FEATURES of Honeycomb would have special requirements, but not the OS itself. Going back to Donut, someone has said that the new release is going to have hardware requirements. It hasn’t been true so far, and I’ll believe it when Google publishes specs, no sooner.

  15. Definitely bullshit. Honeycomb is also for phones and they won’t have 1280*720 displays for quite some time. Also, Android is open, nothing stops someone from downloading the Honeycomb source and porting it to their low-end tablet.

  16. How can this be even plausable. These qualifications would make the Nexus S incompatible and that isn’t gonna happen

  17. Another bullshit nonsense. why do these aholes keep making shit up like this?

  18. In other words, the same first reported, rumored requirements that Gingerbread needed to run.

  19. that’s crap
    even though I really hope that it’s true, it means that the bar for android tablets will be high bringing us awesome tablets .. but it means death to cheap stuff and old tablets.. won’t happen

  20. Can’t happen. Android is open source, so you can run it on whatever you want. They might make some of this a restriction if you want to use google branding or use their market, but Android itself can be run on whatever you want.

  21. If that is true. It’s bad sign for Android. Anyone recalls Windows?

  22. Can I just get Gingerbeard please? Ill worry about Honeycobe when it comes out…

  23. Wow why are you that mad over this? The specifications is for tablets meaning that only tablets have to meet this specification and I beleive this. And yes you will get updated if you have the evo, shift, droid, etc they will have a seperate update for phones. You people are crazy

  24. If it is true. They’re going backward. OSes are supposedly to be more fine tuned and improve performance as they are updated.

    Doesn’t Google learn something from Vista?

  25. Bullshit. That would mean the Nexus S (or the N1) wouldn’t get Honeycomb, lol.

  26. I don’t buy it. That’s a lot of horsepower and very little reasoning to back it up. At that point we are talking laptop replacements and I should have a terminal docking station for my phone. Which is cool in a way … but we aren’t there yet.

  27. @Robbert
    Just because you have access to Honeycomb’s source code does not mean you get access to Android Market. I’m pretty sure you need Goggle’s approval if you want the Market, which means Google can deny your phone from having it if your phone does not meet Google’s requirements. How many people will buy a smartphone with no “app store”.

  28. Well if that it’s true, that means the nexus s won’t see an update beyond gingerbread. Or will it have a modified version of honeycomb to run on it? All of this might be true because the future OSs will pack lots of features and therefore will require powerful enough phones to be able to handle the OS.

  29. There is no way in hell this is true. The Nexus S will be rocking honeycomb in no time.

  30. I thought the whole ‘open’ idea included backwards compatability. Im guessing google is going to support these levels of hardware, but wont actually require it to run. If they actually did this, Google would be resorting to the Big A’s mentality….

  31. Fuck this shit im buying and HD2

  32. comeon phandroid you should know better than that, anyone who would believe this is just dumb.

  33. @cTown: Iv been waiting for months to order an archos 101… they just cant keep em in stock. No app market is a non issue. It is very easy to get on a device.

  34. I don’t believe this. Just rumors… false ones. I think there will not be any hard-set minimum requirements for devices that can run Honeycomb.

    For example, take the device’s screen resolution requirement:
    Remember Andy’s talk at ‘D: Dive into Mobile’ when he was showing off the Motorola tablet and mentioned ‘fragments’? Or just google “android honeycomb fragments”. From info you’ll find there, it seems unlikely that there will be any minimum screen resolution/size requirements.

    And if there are no minimum screen res/size requirements, i strongly doubt the rumor is true.

  35. So Google releases the Nexus S in December, and it won’t be eligible for the next major update coming in March-April? Yeah right. But if that’s true that’s highway robbery and I will never purchase another Google driven device in my life.

  36. There’s no way this is true, as google wouldn’t of release the brand new Nexus S.

    Last summer we heard BS about the 1 ghz rule with Gingerbread, but that was also just bull shit.

    I thought was smart enough to ignore a bull shit rumor like this!!!

  37. There’s no way this is true, as google wouldn’t of release the brand new Nexus S.

    Last summer we heard BS about the 1 ghz rule with Gingerbread, but that was also just bull shit.

    I thought was smart enough to ignore a bull shit rumor like this!!!

  38. I hope they do increase the requirements but not that high. I think it should be 1 ghz processor and like 700 or so ram. No screen requirements, gotta leave a couple areas where the OEM’s can cut costs to create low and mid-tier handsets.

  39. I gonna LMAO if they do do this. That means the Nexus S is obsolete in probably the fastest cycle yet. :P For those who were smart enough to wait for the better phones yet to come, seems you’ll be rewarded.

  40. My prediction,

    3.0 — for tablets (require these specs)
    2.4 — for phones (don’t require these specs)

    Both will be honeycomb, though.

  41. Who cares about the Samsung Galaxy anyways. It is crap. Bring on the better tablets.

  42. I don’t think stating that the nexus one won’t get the update under these specs is a good reason to call BS. At some point, even Google’s flagship handset is going to stop getting updates, otherwise the OS as a whole would be boxed in and have no room to grow. That said, as I mentioned above, I don’t see these minimum specs being a reality.

  43. Honeycomb is 2.4 goddamit! It is only for tablets currently. But 2.5 should allow those features, brought in on 2.4, on a smart phone.

  44. @ Bob
    Where are you getting this info? Just curious because I haven’t seen anything from Google officially stating this. In any case, does it REALLY matter what number it is given?

  45. 1024×768 is a sweet spot res imo (yes I realize ipad has got this right, damn you!)
    Web pages display well, not much, if any need to zoon. Also a min spec of 1ghz is a reasonable expectation. I conclude/hope this article is wrong!

  46. this would only even be plausible if it were a tablet honeycomb sys req, not honeycomb in general, there is no way in hell this applies to phones

  47. yeah I call BS on the dual core thing, why create a minimum requirement thats not available on any retail device as of today. Think about it, does any other os ever do these kind of extreme requirements. I do see a 1ghz min though (what everyone thought gingerbread would have)

  48. Just like FROYO would require 1GH processor. That proved to be WRONG.

  49. The article is only about tablets…not phones. Nowhere do they say that phones will require dual cores or HD screens.

  50. I came in here to BS this, but I can see that has already been done. Very interesting comment by Conrad though. Very

  51. How is this BS? Sounds reasonable.

    Google seems to be making Honeycomb to run on high end tablets. A 720p screen + dual core CPU will be needed to play. Every other tablet will run a gimped version of Honeycomb. I also got to assume that phones will get the gimped version. You guys really want the tablet OS to be exactly as capable as a phone? Really? I thought we wanted more than just a phone OS on a tablet.

  52. please Google dont become another apple……

  53. but doesn’t google need to sell cheap android phones too ? maybe this is just for tablets.

  54. I remember not very long ago the limits that were leaked about Gingerbread. As the article states, we remember how true that turned out to be. Handsets are the focus of Android. Heck even Google decided at the last minute for Android to be on tablets rather than GoogOS. Cell phones are the bread and butter of Android and definitely will not stop updating at Gingerbread. That is simply a goofy statement on Cha’s part. Apparently someone is not very forward thinking.

  55. conrad i dont \think google wants to confuse people even more with two versions of honeycomb

  56. Looks like one day we’ll get Windows 7 to work with all the resources. I wish they would optimize the OS to use less resources instead of pushing hardware requirements. I really don’t care about carrying a battery pack on my back.

  57. I dont think its BS. BUT it IS why you don’t rush out and buy the latest new device on the market. I didn’t do that with my flat screen tv and I didn’t do that with my first smartphone. (Just to name a few) Because every time and I mean EVERY TIME, a better, less expensive device will follow 6-12 months later!

  58. I say bring on that technology, place it in my hands!

  59. @moii
    There has to be a divergence somewhere. Tabs and phones are headed in two different directions.
    As far as marketing and product confusion, having android for your phone and android for your tablet wouldn’t be all that hard to swallow. And I don’t think they will be drastically different versions, but the devices will likely have a different UX.

  60. Seeing as their brand spanking new Nexus S Is now the current Dev phone replacing the Nexus 1 and doesn’t meet those requirements….
    Im going to have to call BS on this one. Seriously, just think about it a little bit. Just a little….
    Wouldn’t make any sense in the least. Rumors and speculation as always when new build is around the bend. We’ve been here a few times havn’t we?

  61. 1,280×720 resolutuion would be crazy on a sub 4 in screen but i seen requirements for tablets not phones not sure if i read it right.

  62. Bologna

  63. I call bs as well, there is probably a higher chance that those “minimum requirements” are actually the specs of the first device.

  64. Smart hardware abstraction built into Gingerbread would mean same version can be run on phone and tablet and it merely adjusts to differences in hardware such as screen size/rez, memory, and i/o interfaces. I am betting Gingerbread is designed to run on anything that can currently run 2.1 or maybe 2.2. I imagine the official statement/intent was more like, “… will run best with …” and a miscommunication occurred.

    That said, we do need to keep in mind that at some point it is OK for an OS to leave behind old hardware. Of course, it would be pretty sucky (but I would laugh) if Google’s new flagship, the Nexus S, would not run Honeycomb! :) Sure, Samsung seems to have no issues with screwing customers, but I don’t believe Google would let it happen.

  65. more unfounded rumours that will become fact after a few reposts. no way will honeycomb require dual core…. that will make phones that came out one month ago essentially obsolete.

  66. I can buy on the “honeycomb needs a nextgen GPU”, but NOT a dual core CPU. And the reasoning is plain simple:

    1- Tegra2 uses the same ARMv7 instruction set as hummingbird
    2- Mobile GPUs have been built “external” to the cores since Nexus One (at least)
    3- The OS itself is NEVER a CPU hog (while it can require a good GPU)

    Given this premises, a single core at 1ghz must be able to run honeycomb. If that rumor was to be true, it would more likely be related to GPU/resolution issues…

  67. all u folks. we can still be happy we might get the gingerbread update. its the honeycomb that requires higher resolution screen and dual core processor.

  68. I call BS. The same was said about Gingerbread, and it was proven to be wrong. I highly doubt Samsung would have pushed through the Tab if this was true. What I do believe is this is nothing more than the manufacturers delaying tablet production until better hardware is available. Regardless, no requirement will stop XDA, they’ve already proven time and time again that specs don’t matter much.

  69. Similar to the 1ghz gingerbread requirement I think this has just been misquoted.
    In regards to the resolution issue, that is just a minimum for tablets, if you watch Andy Rubin’s All Things D interview he talks about the framework for tablet resolution support that allows one application to have alternate layouts for phones and tablets. I can imagine what they are doing here is avoiding a situation where there cheap tablets with resolutions higher than phones but lower than the average tablet which will cause headaches for developers working out what’s a high res phone and what’s a low res tablet.
    I can imagine the CPU recommendation is something similar, think how much more processing is required to draw a bigger screen, and how much more a laggy UI is noticed on a bigger screen. I have no doubt I will be able to run honeycomb smoothly on my HTC Desire but I can understand that Google don’t won’t a flood of underpowered tablets entering the market as is reduces the overall credibility of android tablets compared to the competition. Keep in mind the ipad is a single core 1ghz cpu but come CES that will be seen as low end.

  70. If people keep on waiting for a better and more powerful phone on android, they will never stop waiting. Gingerbread is the future os, stop thinking of today’s phone or tablet but think about the future technology like in 6 months how much will it change.

  71. Honey is bee vomit.

  72. why did i see a samsung focus ad when this an android site

  73. Man this website has been slow to update in the latest days…you guys are slacking?

  74. I think this is the big G’s way of trying to push more advanced hardware from manufactures so it can compete with microsoft and apple in the next-gen. Microsoft seems to have done really well with their offering so Google wants to make sure they can be in the top position while Apple is getting left behind.

  75. not to argue semantics….but it’s bee poop! Yum!

  76. BS.

  77. As long as Android is Open Source, there will never be any hardware requirements. Period. End of story.

    This rumor, just like all the previous ones, is complete B.S. You can either have an open platform, or you can have hardware requirements. You can’t have it both ways. My money is on Android and openness.

  78. Remember when we heard (from these same OEMs that told us this) that gingerbread would have silly requirements? And then Google said “no. don’t be silly.” I’m just waiting for the update to this post that says “Google says ‘no. don’t be silly’ again.”

  79. For those calling shennanigins(hope I spelled it right) remember that the supposed initial release of honeycomb is supposed to be tablets only and that screen res wouldn’t be out of the questions.

  80. Dual core is ok. Just heard the news of upcoming quad core mobile processor this year. But the display size is too big i think. It seems that all companies are movig their focus of tablets rather than phone making. How can i name a device with 1280*720 pixel display PHONE?

  81. If companies like Apex and Coby want to make a Honeycomb tablet with a 800 x 480 resistive screen then Google aint gonna stop em. Unless they hire Mr. Jobs and go all comunist on us.

  82. Sounds like these specs are for tablets only, not phones.

  83. Did Phandroid go out of business or did everyone call in sick?? There hasnt been any new news posted since this post yesterday. I hope not

  84. get your facts right Phandroid! Cortex A9 is not an architecture, but rather a core. ARMv7-A is the architecture.

  85. A 1.2ghz dual core chip would be nice and higher res display too! Also, in the higher priority: MORE BUILT-IN MEMORY! Although most tablets are sdhc expandable, you don’t want to be swapping cards all the time to play hd video. Also, bring on the competition! Pricing could use a 50% price cut over last year’s prices.

  86. To the posters inquiring about our inactivity: we were en route to Las Vegas to cover CES for you.

  87. @Snaggletooth. Honey is bee vomit. honeycomb is made of wax which might be bee poop.

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