Sprint is today announcing the LG X Power, a midrange Android smartphone that isn’t particularly remarkable save for one thing, the processor inside of it. It is the first phone from a Sprint to use a MediaTek processor, specifically, the Helio P10. MediaTek has been found in a handful of devices in the US — most notable ones being Amazon’s Fire tablet line —but it still lags far behind Qualcomm in North America and has not yet made significant inroads into major carrier stores.
The X Power has a 5.3-inch, Full HD (1080p) display, an 8-megapixel camera, 16GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, and a giant, 4,100 mAh battery. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow (not Nougat, unfortunately) and will be available from both Sprint and Boost Mobile for just $149. The most impressive part of it will likely be its battery life: with that size battery and MediaTek’s claimed efficiencies, it’s rated for 33 hours of talk time or two full days of use between charges.
MediaTek's Helio P10 provides similar performance to the Snapdragon 600 series
MediaTek says the 1.8GHz octacore Helio P10 processor provides comparable performance to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 series. It comes with a world-mode modem that allows the X Power to work in most countries across the globe and it support’s Sprint’s LTE Plus two-channel carrier aggregation. MediaTek has other, more powerful processors in its lineup, as well, but it’s not clear if or when they will come to the US.
The X Power is just the first US CDMA phone with a MediaTek chip in it, but the company says it will have completed modem certification for the P10 on all four major carriers by the end of October. That means that we’ll likely see more devices with the MediaTek P10 soon, including on carriers other than Sprint.
Sprint is expected to start selling the X Power this month.
Correction, September 16th, 12:30PM ET: An earlier version of this article said this was the first phone with a MediaTek processor to be offered by a major US carrier. That is incorrect, the X Power is merely the first phone with a MediaTek chip on Sprint. The article has been corrected.