ZTE Mimosa X – The First Smartphone Completely Built on NVIDIA Silicon

February 22, 2012
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Less than a day after announcing two new ICS-running smartphones, ZTE ups the ante with the Mimosa X, a 4.3” device running on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 System-on-a-Chip . We have already seen many devices built around Nvidia’s dual-core architecture, but the Mimosa X is special in two significant ways.

First, it holds the honor of being the first smartphone completely built on Nvidia silicon, sporting the Icera radio technology, which the Santa Clara-based giant acquired last year. Second, it’s the first phone that runs on Tegra 2 to target the mid-market, or, as Nvidia calls it, the mainstream buyer.

ZTE has announced plans to expand out of its Chinese home market, and has already launched a few devices in the U.S., including a $100 tablet named Optik. Therefore, the Mimosa X may well find its way to U.S. and Europe, and here comes the interesting part. As AndroidAndMe suggests, the Mimosa X may cost less than $200, without a contract.

This would make it possible, for the first time, for customers to enjoy a superior smartphone experience, without committing to 2-year plans or shelling out big money on a contract-free device.

High-end features without the costs

Mimosa packs a surprisingly rich set of features. The most obvious is the dual-core Tegra 2 processor, but the list includes Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 4.3-inch qHD screen (960 x 540), a 5MP rear camera and a VGA front camera, and 4GB of internal storage (expandable with SD to 32GB).

The new Mimosa X fares well when it comes to multimedia capabilities too, offering Dolby sound, DLNA compatibility, HD video record and play, and dual microphones. In terms of networks, Nvidia’s new Icera 450 HSPA+ modem supports speeds of up to 21Mbps, but it won’t run on LTE, which will likely limit its reach to the carriers that run HSPA+ networks, such as AT&T and T-Mobile.

tegra 2

Overall, the Mimosa X is an ambitious device that offers reasonable specs at an affordable price. As Nvidia and ZTE boast, the Mimosa will offer the mainstream user a level of performance that is currently reserved to high-end devices, like the Droid X2. The feature set is not ground-breaking, but again, at less than $200, it doesn’t have to be.

As the tablet market has shown us, consumers are hungry for cheap gadgets that are not necessarily impressive from the technology standpoint. With the Mimosa X, ZTE has the opportunity to disrupt the carrier-dominated ecosystem, by giving the average Joe the chance to get a nice smartphone without paying the carriers for the privilege.

Of course, we can only speculate (and hope) that the ZTE Mimosa X or another similar device will be a real game changer. For now, we have no specific pricing information and only a vague Q2 release date, but, with MWC coming next week, new tidbits may come out soon. Stay tuned for coverage.

Show Press Release

First Tegra-powered Smartphone Announced with NVIDIA’s
Icera Modem Technology

New ZTE Mimosa X Brings the NVIDIA Mobile Experience to the Mainstream Market

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Feb. 20, 2012—NVIDIA and ZTE today announced the ZTE Mimosa X, the first smartphone to be powered both by the NVIDIA® Tegra® application processor and its Icera® modem, which came to NVIDIA through its Icera acquisition in mid-2011.

“The ZTE Mimosa X is exciting for a few reasons,” said Michael Rayfield, General Manager of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “The Mimosa X marks the first time NVIDIA technology powers all the major processors in a single smartphone, and also the first time a premium mobile computing experience is coming to the mainstream smartphone market.”

The Mimosa X is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor, featuring a dual-core CPU and GeForce® GPU, and the NVIDIA Icera 450 HSPA+ modem, comprising baseband and RF processors, featuring excellent throughput and low power. It will run Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), feature a 4.3-inch qHD (960 x 540) screen, rear 5 MP and front cameras, and 4 GB of storage expandable to 32 GB.

The ZTE Mimosa X will deliver super multimedia capabilities, including advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP), Dolby sound, digital living network alliance (DLNA) compatibility for easy sharing of content, HD video record and play, dual microphones, and built-in gyroscope.

The Mimosa X will be launched around Q2 2012. Positioned squarely for the mainstream market, it brings new levels of performance and connectivity to this large segment of users.

Consumers will now be able to use a mainstream smartphone to experience the same speedy web browsing, smooth multitasking, and HD video, as well as console-quality gaming with TegraZone, that was previously available only in high-end phones. TegraZone™ is NVIDIA’s free Android Market app that showcases the best games optimized for the Tegra processor.

The NVIDIA Icera 450 supports up to 21Mbps category 14 HSPA+ with fast downloads in fading channels, IceClear™ interference cancellation technology for even faster throughput at the cell edge and advanced Release 7 features for an ultra-low latency network response.

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