So the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich or ICS) is finally up and about in mobile devices, with more to come as new smartphones are steadily being unveiled and upgraded. As you may have heard, it’s got a load of new features and supposedly combines the best of Gingerbread and Honeycomb to create a more unified platform for both tablets and smartphones. But herein lay the problem: is your current Android tablet or smartphone compatible with ICS?
Many asked the same question when Gingerbread came out, and particularly when Honeycomb was introduced. However, for the latter, speculations were immediately dispelled as Honeycomb was announced to be exclusive to tablets. Although, this made some early tablet owners also wonder if their device would be compatible. Sadly, the popular Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000 (the first Samsung tablet) was left running Gingerbread while the rest of Samsung’s tablet line went Ice Cream Sandwich. This had something to do with the P1000’s hardware not being compatible with the requirements for Honeycomb, which were a dual core processor and a fairly powerful GPU.
Now enter ICS, and we see the same thing happening to smartphones all around. If you happen to own a high-end device that was released late last year, then you stand a better chance of getting the coveted upgrade. Putting faith on an ICS upgrade for high-end smartphones is mostly backed by the simple logic that most recent high-end smartphones have very capable hardware. In relation to ICS, all that is required to run the new OS is memory above 256MB and a GPU capable of HD gaming. That is, if you can download and install games labeled “HD” from the Android Market (now called Google Play), then there’s hope for your device. All that’s left is to wait for the official announcement from the manufacturer on the availability of the update. Typically, these devices use an Adreno 220 or 205 GPU.
For the midrange bunch released sometime in 2011 like the Samsung Galaxy W I8150, chances are slimmer as most devices in this price range are understandably not as hardware equipped as high-end models to help bring down the price.
As of the time of writing, the known list of devices eligible for the ICS upgrade from Samsung, HTC, and LG are as follows:
Alfred Bayle / Senior Technical Writer
Amateur photographer, self-proclaimed storage junkie, PC gamer and human swiss-knife, Alfred joined the team back in 2007 straight out of college, lured by the smell of fresh new gadgets and mind-boggling computer wizardry. He juggles his time between graphics cards and mobos, photo shoots, Otaku conventions, PC games, collecting anime figures, and sorting files on his hard drives.