We got a chance to see Intels Atom processor in action on UK carrier Orange's new Orange Smartphone. The processor is very zippy and renders HD video perfectly. This handset didn't stutter or slow down throughout the whole day. I took it through it's paces in the morning and came back in the afternoon to have Ben demo the phone. It performed just as flawless. The features that the processor will afford the manufactures is pretty impressive as well. Keep in mind, Intel will not be designing the hardware around their chip. That will be left to the discretion of the manufacturers. Intel only provides a reference design to the manufactures to best showcase the chip and it is up to them, the manufactures, to decide which way to go with their hardware.
I got a chance to speak with a gentleman in Intel's Marketing department, and he told me that handsets utilizing the Atom will not be released until 2013 sometime. Unfortunately, manufacturer and US carrier are unknown at this time.
Take a look at the Atom in action and get a good look at features that the processor will offer handset manufacturers.