When we stopped by NVIDIA to play with Shield, they had another surprise in store for us with a Tegra 4i-based phone currently being shopped around from an unnamed ODM. The unusual “Brand” markings of course would be replaced with either an operator’s brand or some other OEM’s who wants to carry and support it. NVIDIA has talked about and shown its Phoenix reference design with Tegra 4i inside, this unnamed “Brand” phone includes the same platform but with a different PCB inside with an optimized layout for cost, manufacture, and reduced PCB area. NVIDIA was showing this very phone making CS voice calls on Taiwanese cellular networks just recently at Computex and hooked up to a base station emulator doing Category 4 LTE (150 Mbps downlink) with the same 4i silicon we saw earlier.

We got to play around with the brandphone (as I’m calling it) for a while. It’s impressively thin with a z height of 7.9 mm, width is 72mm and height is 138 mm. It’s sporting a 4.8-inch 720p display and includes 13 MP camera, 1 GB of LPDDR2 RAM, with options for 8/16/32 GB of storage. There’s of course LTE and HSPA+ band options for North American, European, and the other appropriate regions, though NVIDIA wouldn’t share exact band combinations it’s not too hard to make estimates given the transceiver details shared in earlier 4i disclosures.

NVIDIA claims this phone (and other 4i based designs) will be out in the Q1 2014 timeframe, with appearances on some operators earlier than that. Of course Phoenix has already been shown off working on AT&T’s network, reflecting its ongoing certification process for that operator. Pricing for the brandphone I’m told will be between $300–400 unsubsidized, though there will also be Tegra 4i-based phones priced as low as $200 unsubsidized.

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  • SetiroN - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    How nice, a quad core A9 in 2014. Very innovative.
  • just-me - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    It's A9 r4, just those ARM folk don't make a big deal by calling it a 800 vs 600 - given its GHz and the r4 changes, you should be looking forward to what it might bring in the perf vs cost vs battery
  • evonitzer - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    Yeah, the change is similar to an Intel Tock. Die shrink, with some IPC improvements and higher clocks (2.3 GHz). I think Arm should try to make a bigger deal out of this, but we'll just have to see how performance is in practice. Should be pretty good.
  • etamin - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    die shrink should be a tick in Intel terms
  • evonitzer - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    Yes, I remembered my mistake, but you beat me to the punch. So hard to keep straight!
  • TheJian - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    15-30% faster IPC and 5x the gpus clocked faster...You couldn't be more off.
    2x perf of T3, I'm guessing that includes the 2.3ghz vs. old either 1.7 or 1.3ghz. Either way it's a LOT faster even with just the mhz, throw in the IPC and you get a HUGE completely different phone.
    "Tegra 4i’s new CPU was designed by ARM with help from NVIDIA and sets new standards for efficiency and performance while being 2x the performance of the previous revision of Cortex-A9 found in Tegra 3."
    Page 4 of their own doc.
    "R4 has 15-30 percent higher performance per clock cycle than the A9s used in chips like the Nvidia Tegra 3, and can be cranked up to even higher clock speeds; the first 4i will run at 2.3ghz while using less power than either the Tegra 3 or Tegra 4."

    Also note everyone will get these enhancements as NV had to give them back to arm. NV haters crack me up. It's also 1/2 the size of T3 while doing all this. Some people. It should match or beat S600, so I guess you think that sucks too eh?
  • syxbit - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    They're still using single channel memory in 2014? Give me a break.
  • etamin - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    and ddr2 at that
  • TheJian - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    DDR3 amped up which DOUBLES T3 bandwidth without hurting idle efficiency. In the PC mag article they note they worked on memory perf most. This shouldn't be a problem.

    For a hands on report, why no benchmarks or even a comment about perf? It's almost as if there was no hands on at all.
  • Solrax - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    I'd trade a couple of mm of thickness for better battery life.

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