Nvidia’s Tegra line of chipsets may not be as popular as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon range or the low-cost MediaTek SoCs, but there’s real reason to be excited for the next-gen Tegra 4i chips. Phones running on this chipset will benefit from the integrated LTE, which also helps in keeping the price low.

The company showed its first reference design “Brand” phone featuring Tegra 4i innards. According to AnandTech, the “Brand” label on the phone would be replaced by the carried branding or OEM name, when the device is ready for retail. NVIDIA reportedly showed the phone making voice calls at Computex recently; it even hooked up to Category 4 LTE (150 Mbps download speed) network to deliver high-speed surfing. In terms of hardware, the Brand phone is not very different from the Phoenix reference design phone that the company had showed earlier.

Nvidia's Tegra 4i reference design 'Brand' phone (Image credit: AnandTech)

Nvidia's Tegra 4i reference design “Brand” phone (Image credit: AnandTech)

The Brand phone is quite slim with a thickness of 7.9 mm, and with a width of 72 mm and height of 138 mm, it’s quite compact too. It has a 4.8-inch 720p display with on-screen buttons. In addition to the Tegra 4i processor, it has 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM, with options for 8, 16 and 32 GB of internal storage. No word yet on whether there’s a microSD card slot included in the package. The 4i is based on ARM's Cortex A9 processor, which lets it have a smaller chip size and low power requirement. It also boasts Nvidia's new Computational Photography Architecture, dubbed Chimera. The Brand phone has a 13 megapixel camera on the back.

The phone is expected to be out along with other 4i-based devices in Q1 of next year , but Nvidia said that some operators will be announcing SKUs earlier than that. The company said the phones will be priced in the $300-400 price band, which could make them highly attractive indeed. And Nvidia also expects to have a $200 Tegra 4i-based phone at some point.

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