Oct 05 AT 9:36 PM Taylor Wimberly 20 Comments

Motorola confirms Tegra 2 phone, could slip to early 2011

For the past couple of weeks I have been writing about a dual-core Tegra 2 phone that Motorola and Verizon are secretly working on, but I have had a hard time convincing people without some hard evidence like pictures.

The phone is real (I’ve nicknamed it the Droid T2 or Terminator), but Motorola has issued some of the most hard-core NDAs the industry has ever seen and no one wants to let me near the thing. I’ve heard it is awesome and features a display smaller than 4.3 inches, but that’s about it for actual details.

Tonight I attended Motorola’s press event where they announced seven new mainstream phones for the holiday season. I was hoping they would provide a hint of the Tegra 2 phone, but the presentation ended with no new clues.

I’m still a rookie when it comes to blogging, but I’ve learned that you always got to go to the CEO when you really want to know what is coming next. Everyone else is scared to talk for fear they might lose their job, but the CEO can say whatever he wants.

Sanjay Jha

Sanjay gives me the look as I snapped a pic before he snuck away.

After the presentation was over, Motorola Co-CEO Sanjay Jha came and sat on the front row next to me so I knew this was my best chance to get some new details. I patiently waited my turn as several analysts took turns asking him questions, then I finally brought up Motorola’s relationship with NVIDIA.

Sanjay told me he was good friends with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and he was excited about what they were doing, but then warned me that new partners who try to enter the mobile space always have some lessons to learn.

When I asked about the timing of the NVIDIA-powered device, Sanjay said there was a small possibility that Motorola might release one more phone before Christmas, but the Tegra 2 phone could possibly slip to early next year.

So at least we know the Tegra 2 phone is real and it could arrive before Christmas, but I’m still lacking on the pictures and full specs. With enough luck I might be able to do some digging while I’m in San Francisco this week and provide the real proof you are looking for.

I wanted to capture this exchange on video, but I didn’t think Sanjay would talk with a camera in his face. Luckily there were a few other people in the room who can validate my story (like analyst Avi Greengart) if you still don’t believe me.

Until I actually see a working prototype I’m going to assume this Tegra 2 phone will ship in Q1 2011, but I would love to be wrong. Do you think NVIDIA, Motorola, and Verizon can pull off a Christmas miracle and release the Droid T2 this year?

p.s. Sanjay also said the Motorola tablet was coming in “early 2011″ and not Q1 like many of us expected.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website Andrew

    damn.. i don’t want to wait anymore.. I wonder how long this thing takes to arrive on GSM / 850Mhz for me on Telstra / Australia.

  • http://Website j bernard

    “new partners who try to enter the mobile space always have some lessons to learn.”

    i guess this means the tegra2 wasn’t ready for primetime. i am a little nervous about jumping into a phone with a cpu made by a company with no experience in mobile phones.

    • http://Website sniper

      No every one else will Nvidia has been in the game of Graphics, GPU’s and proccessors longer.

    • http://Website Mary

      Hello steve but you are wrong motorola made phones before. all long time ago do

  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    Nice score, I came up virtually empty at GDC.

  • http://Website UniqueNate

    I believe you and it would be nice. I hope it isn’t just a beefed up spec phone. I mean I want it to have awesome specs but still perform out of this world and have amazing UI or graphics. I seen what Tegra can do and it is amazing. I know for sure we won’t be seeing the full affects of what Tegra can do until UI’s advance even more.
    I also hope HTC is working with them and makes some beasty model for Sprint. Evo 2 maybe?
    I hope that Sabor was not just some fiction story. They need to take advantage of these times and improve little things that make big impacts. Like a 4.3 inch screen should have a higher resolution. I shouldn’t be seeing the same thing I see on a smaller screen that I see on a bigger screen.
    Anyways I believe you and I like tech when it comes to phones period, so it would be nice to see this. I’m curious. Also, if the screen is smaller then 4.3 like you heard it was, then I hope the design and everything else makes up for it. Maybe it’s just shy of 4.3

    • http://Website Gee

      The “EVO 2″ if it’s released in the same time frame will probably have the 1.3 GHz dual core 45nm CPU with the Adreno 220 (due out in devices in the first half 2Q of 2010). Add 768 MB – 1 GB of RAM + 4-8 GB of internal storage and a preloaded 16 GB of microSD. 4.3″ display with maybe 1024×640 resolution. Tegra is a nice but when the Adreno 220 is twice as fast as the hummingbird, who really needs that much GPU power.

      • http://Website sniper

        Wrong thats not happening

  • http://Website zedklind

    im just hoping that this isnt the only tegra 2 phone this year/q1 2011 with great specs… i mean i hear of tegra 2 from LG to be in the next enV pro but cmon verizon… dont steal all the tegra 2 devices… tmobile plz?

  • http://Website dagamer34

    Speaking of which, has the Tegra 2 shipped in anything yet? The holiday’s are soon upon us so pretty much anything that’s going to sell a decent amount needs to be on shelves in the next 6 weeks or so. Anything released after that point is going to sell out too quickly with little to no time to restock.

    And where are all the Android tablets? Besides the Samsung Galaxy Tab, there’s nothing that I know of that’s shipping this year. Did everyone else come to their senses and decide that Froyo isn’t the best thing to build a tablet off of?

  • http://Website JTHC

    I love the idea of a Tegra 2 phone, but what is the power consumption of such a powerful processor? I feel like we’ve kind of reached a power vs. battery crossroads with all the 1ghz processors in use right now. They’ve pushed it to the very edge of where a phone’s power is detrimental because of the battery life hit. It’s great that we’re seeing mobile processing power growing so quickly, but I’m wondering if this technology is going to be very useful without some kind of complementary advance in batteries or other power efficiency measures. (I’m guessing this is why the Tegra 2 is most often thought of as a processor for tablets).

    • SliestDragon

      Hasn’t Tegra always been great with battery life? Like what about those laptops that can play HD video for hours using Tegra 1? Shouldn’t that mean Tegra 2 will have even better battery life?

  • http://Website JohnB

    Tegra 1 is actually a bit underwhelming by today’s standard. It was based on ARM 11 design, so it is hopeless against any Cortex A8 based processors (like Snapdragons, TI OMAP 3, Hummingbird etc).

    Tegra 2 is a different story though. NVIDIA skipped Cortex A8 and jumped to A9 directly. It will be VERY interesting how this processor performs in smartphones.

    (You can read more about Tegra 2 here: http://smartphonebenchmarks.com/forum/index.php?/topic/85-nvidia-tegra-2-tegra-250-dual-core-processor-smartphones-are-they-going-to-be-fast/ )

    Sabor is another interesting rumored phone for Sprint. Supposed to be a successor for HTC Evo, and given the timeline (well into 2011), it has to have a dual-core processor as well. Given HTC’s historic heavy use of Qualcomm’s processors, I don’t see this change anytime soon. Next Qualcomm processor to feature dual-core is the 3rd generation version, called MSM8x60:

    http://smartphonebenchmarks.com/forum/index.php?/topic/73-analysis-of-qualcomm-msm8x60-msm8260msm8660-12ghz-dual-core-snapdragon-processor/page__pid__86#entry86

    Once again, it will be very interesting to compare these two processors.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    Please, please do make the display at least 4″ — 4″ + a minimum of 720P resolution would be awesome.

  • http://Website George

    What I would want:

    * 3G/4G capability
    * Tegra 250
    * Android 3.0
    * 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capability
    * 8+MP autofocus camera with dual LED flash and 1.3MP front-facing camera
    * Capture and share HD-quality video @ 1080p
    * Output pictures, slides and videos in HD quality @ 1080p via HDMI cable
    * Built-in kickstand for hands-free viewing
    * Media player with 3.5mm stereo headset jack
    * FM radio
    * Bluetooth 4
    * dual WiFi @ 802.11 n
    * Digital compass
    * G-Sensor
    * proximity sensor
    * light sensor
    * GPS & AGPS
    * Accelerometer
    * Dual Sim card slot
    * Dual microsd slots
    * Micro usb and no proprietary connectors
    * Weight: less than 8 ounces
    * as little Bezel as possible
    * Main display: 5” 1024×600 amoled / pixel-qi type screen
    * Standard removable 2000+ mAh Li-on battery
    * Memory: 1+ GB ROM, 1+ GB RAM
    * Unlocked boot loader
    * 4+ row querty landscape keyboard
    * wifi/3g/4g voip calling

    and finally for god sakes: USB HOST MODE

    I’m sure I’m missing some things, but this is my short list.

    • http://Website Frank

      You forget to add iTunes to the list LOL! ;D

    • http://Website D

      There’s one person who will never, ever be satisfied.

    • http://Website sinni800

      SIGNED! Everything completely appeals to me :)

      The USB Host Mode thing really would ROCK.

      Also Bluetooth should support bluetooth keyboards and all that good stuff.

  • italianmagik

    Why doesnt at&t ever come out with good android phones. I have a captivate….i would like a droid 2….

  • http://Website Steve

    I actually played with a Motorola Android phone today that was running on the AT&T network. I was told it was running a 1.5ghz processor. So it might be similar to this Verizon one?

  1. AndrewGuest 5 years ago

    damn.. i don’t want to wait anymore.. I wonder how long this thing takes to arrive on GSM / 850Mhz for me on Telstra / Australia.

  2. j bernardGuest 5 years ago

    “new partners who try to enter the mobile space always have some lessons to learn.”

    i guess this means the tegra2 wasn’t ready for primetime. i am a little nervous about jumping into a phone with a cpu made by a company with no experience in mobile phones.

    • sniperGuest 5 years ago

      No every one else will Nvidia has been in the game of Graphics, GPU’s and proccessors longer.

    • MaryGuest 4 years ago

      Hello steve but you are wrong motorola made phones before. all long time ago do

  3. Nice score, I came up virtually empty at GDC.

  4. UniqueNateGuest 5 years ago

    I believe you and it would be nice. I hope it isn’t just a beefed up spec phone. I mean I want it to have awesome specs but still perform out of this world and have amazing UI or graphics. I seen what Tegra can do and it is amazing. I know for sure we won’t be seeing the full affects of what Tegra can do until UI’s advance even more.
    I also hope HTC is working with them and makes some beasty model for Sprint. Evo 2 maybe?
    I hope that Sabor was not just some fiction story. They need to take advantage of these times and improve little things that make big impacts. Like a 4.3 inch screen should have a higher resolution. I shouldn’t be seeing the same thing I see on a smaller screen that I see on a bigger screen.
    Anyways I believe you and I like tech when it comes to phones period, so it would be nice to see this. I’m curious. Also, if the screen is smaller then 4.3 like you heard it was, then I hope the design and everything else makes up for it. Maybe it’s just shy of 4.3

    • GeeGuest 5 years ago

      The “EVO 2″ if it’s released in the same time frame will probably have the 1.3 GHz dual core 45nm CPU with the Adreno 220 (due out in devices in the first half 2Q of 2010). Add 768 MB – 1 GB of RAM + 4-8 GB of internal storage and a preloaded 16 GB of microSD. 4.3″ display with maybe 1024×640 resolution. Tegra is a nice but when the Adreno 220 is twice as fast as the hummingbird, who really needs that much GPU power.

  5. zedklindGuest 5 years ago

    im just hoping that this isnt the only tegra 2 phone this year/q1 2011 with great specs… i mean i hear of tegra 2 from LG to be in the next enV pro but cmon verizon… dont steal all the tegra 2 devices… tmobile plz?

  6. dagamer34Guest 5 years ago

    Speaking of which, has the Tegra 2 shipped in anything yet? The holiday’s are soon upon us so pretty much anything that’s going to sell a decent amount needs to be on shelves in the next 6 weeks or so. Anything released after that point is going to sell out too quickly with little to no time to restock.

    And where are all the Android tablets? Besides the Samsung Galaxy Tab, there’s nothing that I know of that’s shipping this year. Did everyone else come to their senses and decide that Froyo isn’t the best thing to build a tablet off of?

  7. JTHCGuest 5 years ago

    I love the idea of a Tegra 2 phone, but what is the power consumption of such a powerful processor? I feel like we’ve kind of reached a power vs. battery crossroads with all the 1ghz processors in use right now. They’ve pushed it to the very edge of where a phone’s power is detrimental because of the battery life hit. It’s great that we’re seeing mobile processing power growing so quickly, but I’m wondering if this technology is going to be very useful without some kind of complementary advance in batteries or other power efficiency measures. (I’m guessing this is why the Tegra 2 is most often thought of as a processor for tablets).

    • Hasn’t Tegra always been great with battery life? Like what about those laptops that can play HD video for hours using Tegra 1? Shouldn’t that mean Tegra 2 will have even better battery life?

  8. JohnBGuest 5 years ago

    Tegra 1 is actually a bit underwhelming by today’s standard. It was based on ARM 11 design, so it is hopeless against any Cortex A8 based processors (like Snapdragons, TI OMAP 3, Hummingbird etc).

    Tegra 2 is a different story though. NVIDIA skipped Cortex A8 and jumped to A9 directly. It will be VERY interesting how this processor performs in smartphones.

    (You can read more about Tegra 2 here: http://smartphonebenchmarks.com/forum/index.php?/topic/85-nvidia-tegra-2-tegra-250-dual-core-processor-smartphones-are-they-going-to-be-fast/ )

    Sabor is another interesting rumored phone for Sprint. Supposed to be a successor for HTC Evo, and given the timeline (well into 2011), it has to have a dual-core processor as well. Given HTC’s historic heavy use of Qualcomm’s processors, I don’t see this change anytime soon. Next Qualcomm processor to feature dual-core is the 3rd generation version, called MSM8x60:

    http://smartphonebenchmarks.com/forum/index.php?/topic/73-analysis-of-qualcomm-msm8x60-msm8260msm8660-12ghz-dual-core-snapdragon-processor/page__pid__86#entry86

    Once again, it will be very interesting to compare these two processors.

  9. PixelSlaveGuest 5 years ago

    Please, please do make the display at least 4″ — 4″ + a minimum of 720P resolution would be awesome.

  10. GeorgeGuest 5 years ago

    What I would want:

    * 3G/4G capability
    * Tegra 250
    * Android 3.0
    * 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capability
    * 8+MP autofocus camera with dual LED flash and 1.3MP front-facing camera
    * Capture and share HD-quality video @ 1080p
    * Output pictures, slides and videos in HD quality @ 1080p via HDMI cable
    * Built-in kickstand for hands-free viewing
    * Media player with 3.5mm stereo headset jack
    * FM radio
    * Bluetooth 4
    * dual WiFi @ 802.11 n
    * Digital compass
    * G-Sensor
    * proximity sensor
    * light sensor
    * GPS & AGPS
    * Accelerometer
    * Dual Sim card slot
    * Dual microsd slots
    * Micro usb and no proprietary connectors
    * Weight: less than 8 ounces
    * as little Bezel as possible
    * Main display: 5” 1024×600 amoled / pixel-qi type screen
    * Standard removable 2000+ mAh Li-on battery
    * Memory: 1+ GB ROM, 1+ GB RAM
    * Unlocked boot loader
    * 4+ row querty landscape keyboard
    * wifi/3g/4g voip calling

    and finally for god sakes: USB HOST MODE

    I’m sure I’m missing some things, but this is my short list.

    • FrankGuest 5 years ago

      You forget to add iTunes to the list LOL! ;D

    • DGuest 5 years ago

      There’s one person who will never, ever be satisfied.

    • sinni800Guest 5 years ago

      SIGNED! Everything completely appeals to me :)

      The USB Host Mode thing really would ROCK.

      Also Bluetooth should support bluetooth keyboards and all that good stuff.

  11. Why doesnt at&t ever come out with good android phones. I have a captivate….i would like a droid 2….

  12. SteveGuest 5 years ago

    I actually played with a Motorola Android phone today that was running on the AT&T network. I was told it was running a 1.5ghz processor. So it might be similar to this Verizon one?