NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 chipset has finally found a smartphone to call home, as Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE announced today that it would build the world’s first Tegra 4 smartphone to ship by the end of Q2 2013. This superphone, slated for sale in China initially, will be based on the full-fledged Tegra 4 chipset (as opposed to the budget-friendly Tegra 4i announced Tuesday).
As of October 2012, ZTE was the world’s fourth-largest seller of Android phones, with models such as the Grand S, which claimed the tile of world’s thinnest smartphone at CES 2012. NVIDIA hopes to maintain a presence in the global smartphone market with its Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i chipsets, which would also benefit the rest of us by preventing a practical Samsung-Qualcomm duopoly in the Android market (although Intel also has a small presence in the market). ZTE has teamed up with NVIDIA before via last year’s Tegra 2-powered Grand X and the Tegra 3-powered Grand Era and U950 phones.
By way of review, the Tegra 4 is a high-end quad-core chipset based on the latest ARM Cortex-A15 architecture, featuring a top-rated clock speed of 1.9 GHz, an efficient 28nm die, and support for the latest 32-bit dual-channel 800 MHz LPDDR3 RAM specification. The included i500 modem also supports the latest LTE network technology, which ZTE will be utilizing with its new superphone.
Little else is known about this phone (we don’t even have a name yet), but I imagine we’ll see a 1080p Full HD display, at least 2 GB RAM (possibly even the newest LPDDR3 RAM, but I wouldn’t hold my breath), and a 8-13 MP camera. This is really the bare minimum these days to stay competitive with the likes of the Xperia Z/ZL, the HTC One, ZTE’s own Grand S, and the upcoming Galaxy S IV.
21 February 2013, Shenzhen, China – ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices has announced that it is partnering with NVIDIA to deliver the first super phones powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra® 4 mobile processor, with the first models to reach the market before mid-year.
ZTE has a long-term strategic partnership with NVIDIA and expects to launch the first Tegra 4 super phones in China in the first half of 2013. The Tegra 4 processor was only announced by NVIDIA in January, at the CES 2013 exhibition in Las Vegas.
“This is a clear demonstration of ZTE’s ability to quickly develop, and bring to market, market-leading devices running the industry’s latest technologies,” said Mr. He Shiyou, ZTE EVP and Head of the Terminal Division.
The NVIDIA Tegra 4 will enable the ZTE devices to deliver ultra-fast web browsing, improved app load times, more realistic gaming experiences and great battery life – thanks to the processor’s 72 custom NVIDIA GeForce® cores and quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU.
Tegra 4 also enables worldwide 4G LTE voice and data support through an optional chipset, the NVIDIA i500 processor. ZTE and NVIDIA are also planning a new LTE super phone using the i500 LTE chipset for blazing-fast networking.
These new devices build on ZTE and NVIDIA’s success with previous smartphones such as the Grand X, the first smartphone powered by both the Tegra processor and NVIDIA’s Icera modem; the Grand Era super phone with Tegra 3; and the U950, the first premium quad-core smartphone with Tegra 3 priced below $160 USD.
“We’re proud to continue our pioneering partnership with NVIDIA and are looking forward to offering more Tegra-powered devices, which are defining a new generation of phones offering premium mobile computing experiences,” said Mr. He. “Our Tegra 4 smartphones will provide full HD entertainment and multimedia experiences that consumers will love.”
“ZTE’s newest super phones will show off Tegra 4’s processing power, efficiency and unprecedented capabilities,” said Phil Carmack, Senior Vice President of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “They’re a great example of what the market expects from one of the world’s largest phone makers.”
– ZTE and NVIDIA Partner to Launch First Tegra 4 Super Phones