Intel showed us it could create a competent mid-range smartphone with decent processing power and battery life to spare, and then the company decided to create a somewhat slower SOC for poorer countries like Africa. Next month at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona, however, the chipmaker's pulling out the big guns: We'll see a bunch of Android devices with the Atom Z2580, a much faster piece of silicon.

Intel actually announced the chip a year ago, but it should be a major step up. Where last year's Z2460 had a single-core processor with the aging single-core PowerVR SGX 540 graphics and only HSPA+ radio support, the new Z2580 has two CPU cores (with two threads each), two far faster PowerVR SGX 544 GPU cores, and a speedy LTE or faster HSPA+ connection in supported markets. Intel says it should have double the performance of the previous Atom across the board. We already spotted the Atom Z2580 in this Lenovo 5.5-inch IdeaPhone K900 at CES early this month, but the device wasn't ready for a serious test. At MWC, we should be able to give you an idea how this latest Atom and the competition stack up.