AT&T's HTC One X won't be quad-core (and here's why)

While the rest of the world will get HTC's One X superphone with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the cost of LTE for AT&T's version is a dual-core processor.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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AT&T's HTC One X smartphone is one of the first to feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0. AT&T/HTC

BARCELONA, Spain--HTC's newest flagship device, the HTC One X, sounds like a killer phone on paper--Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, huge HD screen, and a quad-core processor. But that's only if you get the global version.

The U.S. version of the device, which is bound for AT&T within the next 60 days, will add LTE capabilities (the global version stops at HSPA+42 support), but will lose its chance to claim the title of America's first quad-core device.

The trade-off for network speed is processing power.

Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor holds court in the global version of the HTC One X, but at the time of production several months back, the chip wasn't LTE compatible, according to HTC. Although quad-core phones with Tegra 3 under the hood will be LTE-ready for future phones, AT&T's version of the device will use Qualcomm's dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, which is plenty fast in its own right.

HTC and AT&T are betting that in the hotly competitive the U.S. market, 4G LTE trumps four cores any day of the week. We'll soon see if they're right.