When NVIDIA announced their new Tegra 4 chip, ZTE quickly committed to being the first partner to produce smartphones with both NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 processor and i500 LTE modem. Thanks to a new leak from China, we might now have our first look at ZTE’s latest Android device.
The ZTE N988 is rumored to include a Tegra 4 chip, 5.7-inch display with 1280 x 720 pixels, 2GB of RAM, 13 megapixel rear camera, and 2 megapixel front-facing camera. The 720p display resolution is a little weird since ZTE has already moved on to 1080p displays in their flagship phones, so these specs might not be final.
ZTE originally said they expected to launch the first Tegra 4 super phones in China in the first half of 2013, but we are not sure if they will meet that deadline with only two months left. NVIDIA also said their Tegra 4-powered Project Shield would debut in Q2, but we have yet to receive the actual pricing and availability.
NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 boasts some impressive performance with it’s quad-core Cortex-A15 CPUs and 72-core GeForce GPU, but the company has said they expect mobile chip sales to remain flat this year. NVIDIA revealed that Tegra 4 is launching later than they had planned, because they pulled away some resourced to move up the launch of Tegra 4i, their first chip with integrated LTE.
We have seen ZTE make advances in the US market, so there is a chance this device could come stateside. However, NVIDIA’s i500 LTE modem does not support CDMA so you can rule out availability on Verizon or Sprint. There is a chance we could see ZTE pair the Tegra 4 chip with a Qualcomm modem (like AT&T did with their HTC One X+), but we will have to wait and see.
Virtually every high-end Android smartphone sold in the US this year will include a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, so let’s hope that NVIDIA is successful with Tegra 4 so we can see more competition in the mobile SoC market.