You may absolutely love that sleek and shiny smartphone in your pocket, but a visit to this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas would lead you to the inevitable conclusion that it’s about to get old very quickly.

You probably don’t know what processor your phone has, and why should you? But the newest phones from the likes of Motorola and LG boast two processors apiece, so they can run twice as fast as the swiftest phones currently available.

Maybe, this is time for a warning: if you don’t want a chronic case of smartphone envy, maybe it’s best to stop reading. And if you continue, please try not to drool in public.

FYI, Motorola’s Atrix 4G runs on Nvidia’s dualcore Tegra chip, offering 2Ghz of power and 1GB of RAM, allowed the company to claim that it’s “the world most powerful smartphone.” It’s not just all brawn, however. Running on the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, the Atrix is designed to work with various accessories like a docking station, which turns it into a virtual laptop.

Prior to the start of CES, Motorola had generated plenty of hype around its forthcoming iPad competitor, the Xoom. But company chief executive Sanjay Jha tried to put things in perspective in his keynote address, reminding his audience that the smartphone will play a more important role in the lives of consumers.

“The most compelling device fits in your pocket,” he said, predicting that there will be roughly four to five smartphones launched for every tablet released.

Motorola’s claims of cellphone supremacy might be contested by fans of the iPhone.

But South Korean phone maker LG might also be a little argumentative. The LG Optimus 2X also boasts the Tegra 2 chip and offers consumers the delights of an 8 megapixel camera, a 1.3- megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, a 4-inch WVGA screen, 8GB of internal memory (up to 32GB with microSD), an HDMI connection so it can be hooked up to a monitor, an accelerometer, a gyro sensor, and 1080p video playback and recording.

The phone can also handle Flash technology, and is reportedly beefy enough to run console-quality games.

If those are the smartest smartphones, Samsung’s Infuse 4G may be the prettiest. Boasting an impressively bright and large AMOLED screen, Samsung says the device is the thinnest smartphone ever.

U.S. television maker Vizio is another company planning to unleash the power of the smartphone. Best known for its value-priced HDTVs, that could soon be changing as the company introduces a line of tablets and smartphones.

The Android via smartphone doubles as a remote control for most TVs and works with the OnLive gaming system, which can turn the device into a high-powered video game console.

Qualcomm is best known for making much of the technology that goes inside smartphones. But it’s using CES to push a consumer-facing app called Skifta, which allows people to use their phones to stream their music, photos and videos over any connected device via a WiFi network.

“Skifta combines the mobility and WiFi connectivity of the smartphone to create a personal global remote for music, videos and photos without having to worry about where they are stored,” Qualcomm executive Ed Smith explained.

The plethora of sexy smartphones was enough to make most visitors to CES oblivious to the absence of Apple, which years ago decided that the mass scrum of the largest tech trade show in the U.S. did not suit its exclusive image.

The hundreds of Android smartphones on display fostered the feeling that Apple’s iPhone no longer has exclusive rights to the future of the genre, and this was backed up by the latest sales figures released Thursday.

According to Comscore, more Americans are now using Android smartphones than Apple’s iPhone, for the first time ever.

“Think of where this momentum of CES is taking Android — up, up, up, up, up and above the competition,” crowed a blogger on the Phandroid website. “I think 2011 is going to be another amazingly fun and successful year for Android.”


The year of the smartphoneDecember 31, 2010

Mobile revolution: beyond the numbers gameOctober 5, 2010

More In: Gadgets | Technology