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ZTE N988 rumored to be first Android handset with Nvidia Tegra 4 inside

Rumors indicate that a new China-based ZTE handset called the ZTE N988 could be the first Android phone with Nvidia Tegra 4. It's exciting, but also a bit disappointing.
April 19, 2013
ZTE N988 with Tegra 4
It has been more than three whole months now since the Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC was first announced, and we still don’t have any clear information on what the first Tegra 4-powered smartphone will be like. Unless you count rumors circulating about a new China-based ZTE handset called the ZTE N988, that is. Its existence has been revealed — albeit unofficially — and its photos have been posted online for all the world to see.

The ZTE N988 is currently being rumored to be the world’s first Android-flavored smartphone with Nvidia Tegra 4. That in itself should come as no surprise, given that ZTE was among the first ones to commit to producing Tegra-4 based Android handsets — handsets that are equipped Nvidia’s new i500 LTE modem, as well. However, it looks quite disappointing.

One of the ZTE N988’s supposed highlight features is a 5.7-inch display with a native resolution of 1280×720 pixels. You really can’t fault ZTE for using that large a screen (they’ve done it before), but a 720p HD panel? If the ZTE N988 were a laptop, it would be like one of those atrocious 15-inch models with WXGA resolution (1280×768 pixels) screens. Not to mention it would be completely wasting the Nvidia Tegra 4’s potential. It can drive up to 2560×1600, so why waste it on such a low resolution?

With all of that said, the ZTE N988 does have a few somewhat redeeming qualities. Its other features include 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, a 6.9mm-thin profile and an overall weight of just 110g. Missing is information on its standard battery capacity, amount of internal storage, and specifics on availability. It will launch with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

There’s still hope that the ZTE N988 is not the first Nvidia Tegra 4 handset. After all, this is just a rumor. But we won’t be surprised if ZTE does end up making the first Tegra 4 phone eventually.