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Huawei could usher in octa-core era on December 16

The so-called Honor 4 is expected to feature MediaTek's octa-core processor.

Huawei could be first out of the gate with an octa-core processor.

The Honor 4 should be among the first Androids to market with an eight-core mobile processor.

Don't look now, but the octa-core smartphone wars are about to begin. Indeed, Huawei may be first to announce a smartphone with a "true" octa-core processor later this month.

An invitation to a Huawei press event suggests that the Huawei Honor 4 should make its debut on December 16. The processor, which is expected to come from MediaTek, figures to deliver eight cores with clock speeds of 1.7GHz.

(For what it's worth, the international version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 employs an Exynos 5 processor, which Samsung claims to be eight cores at 1.9 GHz.)

Taking a peek at the other specifications, we find that the Honor 4 isn't entirely bleeding edge. Details, such as the 13-megapixel camera, 2GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage, are par for the course with high-end Androids. In terms of display, it's a mixed bag; measuring at 5.5 inches, it's expected to offer a 1,280x720p HD resolution, rather than the 1080p HD we're seeing for larger, high-end screens.

It is not clear which markets are expected to carry the Honor 4; however, we might not look for it in the United States. According to recent reports, Huawei has decided to exit the US market after allegations of cyber espionage. Reportedly, some markets will see this smartphone under the name of Glory 4.

While it's debatable whether MediaTek's octa-core processor can outperform Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 quad-core CPU, both definitely raise the bar.

While we're at it, the next-generation of Samsung and Intel processors won't be slouches. Heading into 2014 we can expect things to get faster and even more optimized -- maybe with a bit of mud slinging.