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Android phones in 2012: Quad-core processors and HD video calls

Here's a glimpse at the kind of features future Android smart phones will be offering, courtesy of tech announcements by Qualcomm and Oovoo at Mobile World Congress today.

Dual-core Android smart phones are all the rage at Mobile World Congress this year, but technology is moving on apace. Qualcomm just unveiled its next-generation Snapdragon chipset, which you can expect to see in devices sometime in 2012. How powerful is it? Quad-core.

Even the word sounds slightly rude. The APQ8064 uses a new micro-architecture code called Krait, which has been built for mobile devices. Qualcomm is promising speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core, while also cutting down on power consumption and heat generation.

Or, as the company puts it, "Twelve times the available performance as well as 75 per cent lower power than the first generation of Snapdragon processors." The results: smart phones with Duracell Bunny-style endurance and slimline looks. Count us excited about the HTC Desire 3 already...

Qualcomm also reckons the APQ8064 will power devices with bigger, higher-resolution screens, more complex operating systems, multi-channel audio, HD gaming and stereoscopic 3D photo and video shooting and playback. Oh, and by the way, it supports up to 20-megapixel cameras. Manufacturers get their hands on the chipset early next year.

Another reason to get excited about next-next generation Android devices is also being shown off on Qualcomm's MWC stand this year. A company called Oovoo is showing HD video chat for tablets, using the Snapdragon Mobile Development Platform (MDP). It'll also work on smart phones, but has been optimised for larger-screened devices.

Oovoo claims its tech can provide four times the video resolution of its current rivals, while cutting power consumption by half. In short, Apple's FaceTime is going to get some serious competition on Android devices, although if we're honest, we'd still like to see Android and iOS devices video-calling each other in HD, which is why apps like Skype may remain hugely popular.