We had a chance this evening to take a closer look at NVIDIA's Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i chips, and with Tegra 4, a chance to run some benchmarks. We also took a quick look at NVIDIA's reference design phone for Tegra 4i, the Phoenix (though we were only allowed to look - not touch).
Left to right: Phoenix, Tegra 4 board, Tegra 4i board
We'll start with the Phoenix reference phone, because there isn't much to say.
While NVIDIA may have just announced the Tegra 4 at CES back in January, that isn't stopping ZTE from promising to deliver the first "superphone" to use the powerhouse chip by the end of Q2 2013. Although the company is being scant on exact device specifications, we do know that it will not only use the T4 chip, but also NVIDIA's new i500 LTE modem.
For those who may have missed everything the T4 has to offer, here's a quick rundown:
4-PLUS-1 architecture, just like the Tegra 3
72 GPU Cores
Optional LTE modem via the i500
Judging by the wording in the press release, ZTE isn't working on just one Tegra 4-powered phone, either.
NVIDIA has officially unveiled its smartphone strategy with Tegra 4 this morning, and the star of the show is undoubtedly the new Tegra 4i platform - a low-cost, slightly down-market version of NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chip that was announced at CES in January. And don't worry - the standard Tegra 4 platform will be featured in 'superphones' as well, T4i is all about the low to middle range of the market.
Handy volume control app Silence got a nice update today to version 2.0. The update, besides introducing a new (holo) interface, adds a ton of new functionality. So much, in fact, that the app's functionality now overshadows its simple name.
For starters, the update adds Google Calendar integration (for Android 4.0+), and support for recurring events, each with their own volume profile. Users can configure the events to repeat until a given date, and the app can control notification, media, and alarm volumes with individual levels for each.
There isn't a lot to say about the newest update to the Yelp app for Android, but that doesn't matter - the one notable change is a biggie. Yelp has finally integrated Google Maps API v2 released back in the beginning of December, which rids Yelpers of the terrible WebView Maps API. The new maps API is hardware accelerated and vector-based, drastically increasing performance and level of detail. You get pan, zoom, tilt, and rotate, along with 3D buildings, indoor building maps, landmark labels, and terrain shading.
NVIDIA's Shield portable gaming system is easily the most anticipated product to come out of CES. Today, we finally got a chance to go hands-on with an early build of the device, and got a few hands-on videos in the process. Let's break down the videos first.
Did you miss NVIDIA's Tegra 4 unveiling last night? No worries, friends – you can now watch the whole event in its entirety right here. That's all sorts of babble about video cards, video games, the Tegra 4, Dead Trigger 2, and, of course, Project SHIELD in all of its handheld glory.
NVIDIA slipped a surprise into their CES press conference this evening: a short and sweet look at Dead Trigger 2. As the only technical demo for the screaming Tegra 4 platform, it looked mighty impressive - based on the streaming video, the graphics look just a little behind the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 level. The short demo video showed live game video of the player wielding an M4 machine gun to dispatch an enormous building-sized zombie.
If you like Nexus tablets, Vizio is gunning for your wallet. Today, the company announced a duo of tablets running stock Android. The first is most similar to the Nexus 10: a 10" display with the same retina-melting 2560x1600 resolution, only this one is powered by a Tegra 4 processor. Kal-El may not be a slouch, but let's be real. It's hard to not envy the 72 GPU cores that Wayne is packing.
After about 45 minutes of casual sexism and awkward pauses, NVIDIA's Jen-Hsun Huang dropped the bomb. Project Shield is a handheld gaming console running pure, unmodified Android (Jelly Bean). At its core is the newly-announced Tegra 4 ARM chip, but that's not all.
Update: Official video of Project Shield:
The device looks like a standard wireless controller with a flip-up screen. Around the back are I/O ports, and there's no proprietary nonsense here.