NVIDIA’s ‘Phoenix’ Tegra 4 Reference Phone Being Shown Off at MWC

Posted on February 26, 2013 9:15 AM by Rob Williams

Tegra 4 has been garnering a fair amount of attention at the on-going MWC event in Barcelona, but lest we forget about its sibling unveiled last week, the Tegra 4i.

As we covered in our announcement post, Tegra 4i could be considered Tegra 4’s little brother, but it still looks to pack a punch. Tegra cores are dropped from 72 to 60, while the processor remains a quad-core but is based on the older Cortex-A9 architecture. The biggest difference between 4 and 4i is that the latter bundles the i500 modem right on the same chip, saving a ton of space. While NVIDIA could have easily removed the feature to help define the 4i as a lower-end product, the Chimera photo architecture remains.

At MWC, a reference design phone called “Phoenix” is being shown off, and it looks good. But it’s not until you learn some of the specs that you start to really want one. It features a high-res 1080p (which is almost becoming a standard on the high-end, but is rare when targeting the mainstream market), 13 megapixel camera and of course, integrated LTE.

A quick example of a 1080p movie is shown, and as expected, it runs extremely well – though I think NVIDIA could have chose a video that actually filled the entire screen rather than one with bars on the top and bottom. Video specs were not given, so more advanced testing will have to wait for reviewers to take care of.

For a reference design, Phoenix looks good enough to be a production phone, so hopefully it won’t take too long for vendors to take heed and begin building their own designs. The first Tegra 4 devices are set to ship during Q3, with the bulk for the year likely to roll-out during Q4.

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