Google’s Motorola unit has released its first Intel-powered smartphone.

The Razr i is based on a mid-range model sold in the US that features an ARM-based Snapdragon processor.

The firms said the change of chip meant improved camera performance. However, it has also meant Google’s Chrome browser is not installed on the device.

Intel recently cut its sales forecasts citing weaker demand. Although it dominates PC chip sales it is a niche player in the smart device sector.

Its existing smartphone partners – ZTE, Lenovo, Lava, and Gigabyte – are all relatively small players in Western markets.

The tie-up with Google – which also makes the Android system – is widely seen as its most significant effort to crack the market to date.

The handset will be offered in the UK, France, Germany and Latin America.

It has a 4.3in (10.9cm) display making it bigger than Apple’s iPhone 5, but smaller than Samsung’s top-selling Galaxy S3 and HTC’s One X.
Chrome compromise

The Motorola device features a new Intel Atom chip which runs at 2 gigahertz – an improvement on the 1.6GHz model included in an Orange-branded model launched in the UK in May.

Intel said the chipset also included a new image signal processor that had been specifically optimised to work with Motorola’s technology.

“You can be ready to take a picture in less than one second, which is about twice as fast as other products on the market,” Eric Reid, general manager of Intel mobile and communications group, told the BBC.

“A lot of times you want to take multiple pictures – and you can take up to 10 pictures in a second, which is faster than many DSLRs (digital single lens reflex) cameras on the market today.”

However, the inclusion of Intel’s technology has meant that Google has not been able to offer Chrome as the default web browser, as it does with the handset’s US counterpart, the Droid Razr M.

“Chrome is not ready for pre-loading on this device,” acknowledged Jim Wicks, senior vice president of consumer experience design at Motorola.

“We don’t want to do that unless we have complete chipset optimisation at that level.”

He added that users would be able to download the software from the Google Play store as an option. The firm markets the software as having “hardware-accelerated page rendering” on ARM-based chips.

Mr Wicks confirmed that his firm planned to offer further Intel-based handsets over the coming years, but would not discuss whether they would be restricted to markets outside the US.

Intel’s Mr Reid added that his company planned to announce further tie-ups with manufacturers before the end of 2012.