Mediatek MT6589: Everything you need to know


Many of you will already know that Taiwanese Semi-Conductor manufacturer Mediatek have announced their MT6589 Quad core processor. Mediatek have usually focused on low-end chips but are now looking to change that with the MT6589. In this article I’m going to go over the specifications and features of this processor.

The MT6589 is a quad-core Cortex A7 1.2GHz CPU. The MT6589 is different to rival quad-core chips from Qualcomm, Nvidia and others because this processor combines an ARM CPU, a PowerVR Series 5XT GPU and a wireless modem chip onboard. Unlike previous chips from mediatek, the MT6589 supports hardware that is only just starting to come out in high-end phones today. The MT6589, thanks to the PowerVR GPU can support up to 1080p Full HD screens. It also supports up to 13MP cameras with integrated ISP, 1080p playback and recording at 30fps, and enhanced image processing for DTV-grade image quality . Not just this but the GPU is powerful enough to support 3D, including real-time 2D to 3D conversion and support for 3D displays.

mediatek mt6589

Like I mentioned earlier, the processor not only has an integrated graphics chip, it also has an integrated wireless modem as well. It has a 42Mbps DC-HSPA+ / TD-SCDMA-capable dual-SIM dual-active radio. This means that it will support 3G speeds of up to 42Mbps. Many networks have started upgrading their 3G networks to support DC-HSPA+ so this modem will be able to support these much faster speeds unlike the MT6577 which was bottlenecked to just 7.2mbps download speed. As mentioned the processor will also support dual sim cards which is a huge plus. A neat new feature is that the processor now has a dual active radio. What this means is that when you take a call on one sim card, the other sim card is still active and can accept or make calls as well. This is something that was lacking from previous Mediatek Processors.

mediatek mt6589 quad-core

The MTK6589 also supports Miracast technology for multi-screen content sharing and pre-integrates MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo, which supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM Radio. The good news here is the upgraded version of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi on the N band and the fact that the processor supports multi screen output.

So as you can see the Mediatek MT6589 is a very powerful CPU. However it’s all good and well having a powerful CPU but it’s worthless if it is not efficient as it would just overheat and drain the battery. You will be glad to hear that MT6589 is the most power efficient and coolest Quad core processor on the market. You can take a look at the video below for proof. Another great feature about the MT6589 is that it is very cheap to produce. So we should see it in a lot of low-cost/budget devices just like we did with the MT6577.

The MT6589 benchmarks at 13500+ with Antutu on most devices. The Dual core Qualcomm S4 and Mediatek MT6577 benchmark at around 9000 and 5500 respectively. From this we can see that the MT6589 benchmarks better than Dual core processors out today, when compared to Quad core processors it’s narrowly beaten by the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor with a score of 15000. However, Antutu scores are never a true reflection on real life performance. IMO the MT6577 performs just as well in some areas compared to other dual core processors that score higher scores. So I would expect the MT6589 to be the same.

As you’ve all probably seen from GizChina’s front page, the MT6589 will be making it’s way to a huge number of manufacturers this year and not just domestic brands like Jiayu and THL. Sony, Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and many others have expressed their interest in the processor for their new budget Quad core phones. We can expect to see the MT6589 in phones before the end of Q1.

Tip: Be wary of online retailers claiming different from above. For example with the MT6577 many online sellers provided false specs claiming that the camera was better megapixels than the processor supported. Other online sellers claimed that the MT6577 was clocked at 2.0GHz and not 1.0GHz. So make sure to refer to this article when choosing a MT6589 phone to get the correct max specifications. So If you see an advertisement saying 16mp camera, it is going to be a 13mp camera max which has been interpolated to support 16mp resolutions.

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78 Comments

  1. sam
    January 11, 2013

    the Rockchip RK3066 is also a nice SoC, dual 1.6ghz cortex a9, mali 400 MP4.

  2. January 11, 2013

    Hello,

    Can you please confirm that this chip will solve the difficulty with “no OTA updates on low cost phones” that has plagued this market segment.

    Market making in the ‘low end smartphones’ marketplace has been seriously challenged by that single irritation.

    A few words for an expert would be highly beneficial … PLEASE !

    • Bas
      January 12, 2013

      Why would you need ota updates? I’d better have a good finished product than endless updates.
      Mediatek is very bad when it comes to supporting the open source community, for instance, I haven’t seen the sources for any old mtk chip. Which isn’t nice for the rom community, and against the gpl.
      On the other hand, I have experience with two mtk6577 phones, and they both are stable as a rock, so no need for updates/custom roms.

      If you want ota updates from Google, buy Nexus gear. If you want cheap stuff, buy in China.

  3. Vlastimil
    January 11, 2013

    And what about support Glonass? Do you know if this support Russia navigation system??

  4. January 11, 2013

    Unfortunately Mediatek have not stated anything about OTA updates.
    Sorry i cannot help you any further on this.

    I’m just guessing but i don’t think we will see OTA updates from domestic manufacturers, we will probably have to flash the new ROM manually.

  5. January 11, 2013

    Yes the MT6589 will support Glonass. If you check Alcatel’s official specs of their new Mediatek powered phone you will see that they list Glonass as supported.

    • Vlastimil
      January 14, 2013

      Can i ask witch Alcatel. I need it writed that these chip support Glonass. I write to Mediatek before the 1st January and No Answear… Write the name of the phone with this chip and support glonass or give me a link to this INFO. THX 🙂

  6. OlegK
    January 11, 2013

    Does it let a mouse or USB drive to be connected to the phone?

    • yxc
      April 1, 2013

      nope

  7. Frans
    January 11, 2013

    The CPU has nothing to do with the updates Millgate, its just the lack of interest of manufacturers. Some “lower end” phones have capable hardware that can easily run 4.1/4.2.

    Example
    Sony Xperia u: Novathor U8500 (Dualcore 1 ghz) Not getting 4.1
    Sony Xperia J: Qualcomm S1 (Single Core 1 GHZ cpu from 2-3 years ago). Getting 4.1

  8. JJMartinez
    January 11, 2013

    Daniel,

    Which legit websites do you use to buy your Chinese phones? Thanks
    Do you have a twitter account??

  9. January 11, 2013

    Hi JJ,

    I have purchased two Chinese dual sim phones in the past. I also know a number of people who have purchased dual sim phones as well. In my experience i used AliExpress and EtoTalk.

    AliExpress is a bit like ebay where you have to look at the sellers rating and feedback before purchasing. The good thing is that AliExpress always withhold the money from the seller until you mark the phone as received so you’re less likely to have a scam or issue. I had a good experience with one Ali Express seller who had great feedback. (bear in mind you have to pay shipping/taxes)

    A few years ago i used Etotalk, they are a great company who cater to the international market. It’s a bit more expensive than aliexpress but like i said they cater to the West by installing a new rom with google play, no Chinese apps/software, Language and keyboard of your choice, plus they pre root the phone. Their customer service is good as well. Like i said they’re a bit more expensive but do have some good perks.

    I know some friends who use Ebay sellers based in their country. They usually are quite expensive but quite reliable as well. Bear in mind you don’t pay much tax and shipping because the ebay seller has already paid to import it so they are passing the costs on to you in the already expensive price. From ebay is probably the safest way if you don’t want to risk importing from China.

    I know Andi and a few of the GizChina team recommend Uredeal as well. I’ve heard good things about them too. Their prices are not bad for some phones either.

    Just make sure you know which phone to go for and make sure you know that you may facing import tax depending which country you are in.

    Hope this helps.

  10. Guest
    January 11, 2013

    the Rockchip RK3066 is also a nice SoC, dual 1.6ghz cortex a9, mali 400 MP4.

  11. Guest
    January 11, 2013

    Hello,

    Can you please confirm that this chip will solve the difficulty with “no OTA updates on low cost phones” that has plagued this market segment.

    Market making in the ‘low end smartphones’ marketplace has been seriously challenged by that single irritation.

    A few words for an expert would be highly beneficial … PLEASE !

    • Guest
      January 12, 2013

      Why would you need ota updates? I’d better have a good finished product than endless updates.
      Mediatek is very bad when it comes to supporting the open source community, for instance, I haven’t seen the sources for any old mtk chip. Which isn’t nice for the rom community, and against the gpl.
      On the other hand, I have experience with two mtk6577 phones, and they both are stable as a rock, so no need for updates/custom roms.

      If you want ota updates from Google, buy Nexus gear. If you want cheap stuff, buy in China.

  12. Guest
    January 11, 2013

    And what about support Glonass? Do you know if this support Russia navigation system??

  13. Guest
    January 11, 2013

    Unfortunately Mediatek have not stated anything about OTA updates.
    Sorry i cannot help you any further on this.

    I’m just guessing but i don’t think we will see OTA updates from domestic manufacturers, we will probably have to flash the new ROM manually.

  14. Guest
    January 11, 2013

    Yes the MT6589 will support Glonass. If you check Alcatel’s official specs of their new Mediatek powered phone you will see that they list Glonass as supported.

    • Guest
      January 14, 2013

      Can i ask witch Alcatel. I need it writed that these chip support Glonass. I write to Mediatek before the 1st January and No Answear… Write the name of the phone with this chip and support glonass or give me a link to this INFO. THX 🙂

  15. Guest
    January 11, 2013

    Does it let a mouse or USB drive to be connected to the phone?

    • Guest
      April 1, 2013

      nope

  16. Guest
    January 11, 2013

    The CPU has nothing to do with the updates Millgate, its just the lack of interest of manufacturers. Some “lower end” phones have capable hardware that can easily run 4.1/4.2.

    Example
    Sony Xperia u: Novathor U8500 (Dualcore 1 ghz) Not getting 4.1
    Sony Xperia J: Qualcomm S1 (Single Core 1 GHZ cpu from 2-3 years ago). Getting 4.1

  17. Guest
    January 11, 2013

    Daniel,

    Which legit websites do you use to buy your Chinese phones? Thanks
    Do you have a twitter account??

  18. Guest
    January 12, 2013

    Hi JJ,

    I have purchased two Chinese dual sim phones in the past. I also know a number of people who have purchased dual sim phones as well. In my experience i used AliExpress and EtoTalk.

    AliExpress is a bit like ebay where you have to look at the sellers rating and feedback before purchasing. The good thing is that AliExpress always withhold the money from the seller until you mark the phone as received so you’re less likely to have a scam or issue. I had a good experience with one Ali Express seller who had great feedback. (bear in mind you have to pay shipping/taxes)

    A few years ago i used Etotalk, they are a great company who cater to the international market. It’s a bit more expensive than aliexpress but like i said they cater to the West by installing a new rom with google play, no Chinese apps/software, Language and keyboard of your choice, plus they pre root the phone. Their customer service is good as well. Like i said they’re a bit more expensive but do have some good perks.

    I know some friends who use Ebay sellers based in their country. They usually are quite expensive but quite reliable as well. Bear in mind you don’t pay much tax and shipping because the ebay seller has already paid to import it so they are passing the costs on to you in the already expensive price. From ebay is probably the safest way if you don’t want to risk importing from China.

    I know Andi and a few of the GizChina team recommend Uredeal as well. I’ve heard good things about them too. Their prices are not bad for some phones either.

    Just make sure you know which phone to go for and make sure you know that you may facing import tax depending which country you are in.

    Hope this helps.

  19. kev
    January 12, 2013

    was wondering if this will be substantially more power efficient than the mtk6577?

    • January 12, 2013

      Yes it will be more power efficient than the MT6577

      • kev
        January 14, 2013

        but will it be substantial? i mean if its just 5% improvement in efficiency then that would really mean nothing.

        • January 14, 2013

          It is a Cortex-A7 chip so it will give high performance whilst running very efficiently. It is said to be about 60% more power efficient whilst offering 50% more performance. Like mentioned in the article it’s not going to be as powerful as other quad core CPU’s but it will definitely be more efficient.

          • kev
            January 16, 2013

            Wow! those are amazing numbers if true. can’t wait to see reviews of the chip in action.

  20. ja91zero
    January 12, 2013

    i would like to know if this new soc support usb otg.

    • January 12, 2013

      No word just yet on whether it will support USB OTG. I hope that it does though.

  21. Guest
    January 12, 2013

    was wondering if this will be substantially more power efficient than the mtk6577?

    • Guest
      January 12, 2013

      Yes it will be more power efficient than the MT6577

    • Guest
      January 14, 2013

      but will it be substantial? i mean if its just 5% improvement in efficiency then that would really mean nothing.

    • Guest
      January 14, 2013

      It is a Cortex-A7 chip so it will give high performance whilst running very efficiently. It is said to be about 60% more power efficient whilst offering 50% more performance. Like mentioned in the article it’s not going to be as powerful as other quad core CPU’s but it will definitely be more efficient.

    • Guest
      January 16, 2013

      Wow! those are amazing numbers if true. can’t wait to see reviews of the chip in action.

  22. Guest
    January 12, 2013

    i would like to know if this new soc support usb otg.

    • Guest
      January 12, 2013

      No word just yet on whether it will support USB OTG. I hope that it does though.

  23. takethree
    January 12, 2013

    Great article! Very informative.

  24. akash
    January 13, 2013

    what would be the price range of mt6589 devices? I hav seen both 6575 nd 6577 in 150$ range..but im yet to see one of 6589 in that same range..most of the phones are in the 300$ range..so is that going to be the standard price of al the phones or are they expensive as not many 6589 phones are available now?(demand-supply issue)
    thanks in adv

    • mikey
      January 13, 2013

      i hope we can get one around $200-220 USD range

    • January 13, 2013

      It’s hard to say. I remember reading an article where Mediatek was saying that it was actually quite cheap to manufacture this processor. I don’t think we’ll see any super cheap phones, but for example phones like the Jiayu G4 is expected to cost around $160 (in China). Other phones are expected a bit higher.

      I think overall we will see slightly higher prices for phones from China with MT6589 processors, but not as high as $300 (unless it’s big brand big spec phone etc…) I think it will be similar pricing to 6577 phones but with a small premium.

      All we can do now is wait until official pricing is announced.

  25. Guest
    January 13, 2013

    Great article! Very informative.

  26. Guest
    January 13, 2013

    what would be the price range of mt6589 devices? I hav seen both 6575 nd 6577 in 150$ range..but im yet to see one of 6589 in that same range..most of the phones are in the 300$ range..so is that going to be the standard price of al the phones or are they expensive as not many 6589 phones are available now?(demand-supply issue)
    thanks in adv

    • Guest
      January 13, 2013

      i hope we can get one around $200-220 USD range

    • Guest
      January 14, 2013

      It’s hard to say. I remember reading an article where Mediatek was saying that it was actually quite cheap to manufacture this processor. I don’t think we’ll see any super cheap phones, but for example phones like the Jiayu G4 is expected to cost around $160 (in China). Other phones are expected a bit higher.

      I think overall we will see slightly higher prices for phones from China with MT6589 processors, but not as high as $300 (unless it’s big brand big spec phone etc…) I think it will be similar pricing to 6577 phones but with a small premium.

      All we can do now is wait until official pricing is announced.

  27. -Carlos-
    January 13, 2013

    I’m just waiting for the Jiayu G4! I want that phone… but who knows… maybe a new better phone comes out

    Good article!

    • January 14, 2013

      It’s still early days. I’m sure we’ll see lots of great phones from domestic manufactures. The processor is capable of much more than the Jiayu G4 specs so no doubt we will see better spec phones using this processor soon.

      • -Carlos-
        January 16, 2013

        then I hope they are cheap

  28. Guest
    January 14, 2013

    I’m just waiting for the Jiayu G4! I want that phone… but who knows… maybe a new better phone comes out

    Good article!

    • Guest
      January 14, 2013

      It’s still early days. I’m sure we’ll see lots of great phones from domestic manufactures. The processor is capable of much more than the Jiayu G4 specs so no doubt we will see better spec phones using this processor soon.

    • Guest
      January 16, 2013

      then I hope they are cheap

  29. !#
    January 15, 2013

    Hello,
    An information on MT6583,the dual core version and phones using it?

  30. Guest
    January 15, 2013

    Hello,
    An information on MT6583,the dual core version and phones using it?

  31. Naveen
    January 21, 2013

    Check this out Guys……the tiger is out.
    http://igyaan.in/2013/01/35899/micromax-partnership-mediatek/

    For a price range of 16K INR…..297 USD……:-)

  32. Guest
    January 21, 2013

    Check this out Guys……the tiger is out.
    http://igyaan.in/2013/01/35899/micromax-partnership-mediatek/

    For a price range of 16K INR…..297 USD……:-)

  33. Arnold
    February 12, 2013

    Seems strange that this chip is advertised with goodies like DSDA, HSPA+, BT 4 etc. yet all the phones using this chip are stuck with the same specs as the older 6577. How can this be if the modem is integrated?

  34. Guest
    February 12, 2013

    Seems strange that this chip is advertised with goodies like DSDA, HSPA+, BT 4 etc. yet all the phones using this chip are stuck with the same specs as the older 6577. How can this be if the modem is integrated?

  35. Rob
    March 12, 2013

    This chip is capable of dual sim dual active wright? So, why are all phones you see with this chip dual sim dual standby?

  36. Guest
    March 12, 2013

    This chip is capable of dual sim dual active wright? So, why are all phones you see with this chip dual sim dual standby?

  37. darkwing
    April 3, 2013

    Well, i’ve seen those phones on the price range of $300 which is pretty much a rip off, also i “supossedly” bought a cellphone with the quad core from mtk (under $160, still on the way) but now i think it is dual core cuz of the benchmarks i saw. And while this processor is not awsome, phones seems to be getting launched almost at the price of cellphones with way better processors, and yet again, you do have to stick with the original rom since i haven’t seen any custom rom for mtk! and if those small drawbacks werent enough, there is still the freaking problem that all the mtk’s i’ve seen so far are really underperformers!

  38. Guest
    April 4, 2013

    Well, i’ve seen those phones on the price range of $300 which is pretty much a rip off, also i “supossedly” bought a cellphone with the quad core from mtk (under $160, still on the way) but now i think it is dual core cuz of the benchmarks i saw. And while this processor is not awsome, phones seems to be getting launched almost at the price of cellphones with way better processors, and yet again, you do have to stick with the original rom since i haven’t seen any custom rom for mtk! and if those small drawbacks werent enough, there is still the freaking problem that all the mtk’s i’ve seen so far are really underperformers!

  39. siddarth
    April 24, 2013

    Can anyone tell if its GPU has PowerVR 544MP1(single core) or 544MP2 (dual core)

    • Marius
      April 30, 2013

      As far a I know it’s the single core version so not all that powerful. I for one will stay away from 1080p screens powered by this. 720p it can handle but more … I’m not sure

      • darkwing
        April 30, 2013

        I still don’t know why does anyone wants full hd or even hd on a cellphone…

        • Marius
          April 30, 2013

          Because Apple started it as a marketing gimmick and that’s what it remained. It’s said that the pixels are so very small and you can’t see them. I do have a 480×320 4 inch display on a phone and it’s not quite right, the pixels seem a bit large so …
          All I’m saying is don’t overdo it, 720p is just fine for a 5 inch display, even for a 7 inch one.

          • darkwing
            April 30, 2013

            What you actually need is better pixel density. probably from 240 to 300 ppi (pixels per inch) but 300 is an overkill too. 480P on a cellphone is just fine. Sadly, my mi2 clone with the mtk got sent back for no reason at all.

  40. Guest
    April 25, 2013

    Can anyone tell if its GPU has PowerVR 544MP1(single core) or 544MP2 (dual core)

    • Guest
      April 30, 2013

      As far a I know it’s the single core version so not all that powerful. I for one will stay away from 1080p screens powered by this. 720p it can handle but more … I’m not sure

    • Guest
      April 30, 2013

      I still don’t know why does anyone wants full hd or even hd on a cellphone…

    • Guest
      April 30, 2013

      Because Apple started it as a marketing gimmick and that’s what it remained. It’s said that the pixels are so very small and you can’t see them. I do have a 480×320 4 inch display on a phone and it’s not quite right, the pixels seem a bit large so …
      All I’m saying is don’t overdo it, 720p is just fine for a 5 inch display, even for a 7 inch one.

    • Guest
      April 30, 2013

      What you actually need is better pixel density. probably from 240 to 300 ppi (pixels per inch) but 300 is an overkill too. 480P on a cellphone is just fine. Sadly, my mi2 clone with the mtk got sent back for no reason at all.

  41. James
    May 22, 2013

    Hi. I’ve just bought a MediaTek-branded MT6589 dual-sim phone using this CPU, and found (to my surprise) that Google Voice Search doesn’t run. The local supplier says Voice Search is incompatible with the phone, but he may be trying to avoid replacing it. It seems strange to me that MediaTek would release a chip with such a deficiency.

    I’ve emailed MediaTek but got no answer. Can anyone confirm the supplier’s statement that Voice Search is incompatible with this chipset?

    • May 22, 2013

      Hi James, the MT6589 is a quad-core chip not a dual-core. I can’t remember ever trying google voice on a dual-core (MT6577) CPU. As for the quad-core MT6589, I have just installed Google Voice on the UMi X2 to see if it works and it does (badly)

  42. Guest
    May 22, 2013

    Hi. I’ve just bought a MediaTek-branded MT6589 dual-sim phone using this CPU, and found (to my surprise) that Google Voice Search doesn’t run. The local supplier says Voice Search is incompatible with the phone, but he may be trying to avoid replacing it. It seems strange to me that MediaTek would release a chip with such a deficiency.

    I’ve emailed MediaTek but got no answer. Can anyone confirm the supplier’s statement that Voice Search is incompatible with this chipset?

    • Guest
      May 22, 2013

      Hi James, the MT6589 is a quad-core chip not a dual-core. I can’t remember ever trying google voice on a dual-core (MT6577) CPU. As for the quad-core MT6589, I have just installed Google Voice on the UMi X2 to see if it works and it does (badly)

  43. July 25, 2013

    I found my way here after reading your (Sum Gai) posts at thestudentroom.co.uk.
    Thank you very much for your advice; much appreciated.
    So many phones based on MT6589. Apart from the Star S7589 are there any reliable makes and models worth considering?!
    Thanks

  44. Guest
    July 26, 2013

    I found my way here after reading your (Sum Gai) posts at thestudentroom.co.uk.
    Thank you very much for your advice; much appreciated.
    So many phones based on MT6589. Apart from the Star S7589 are there any reliable makes and models worth considering?!
    Thanks