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Xiaomi Mi3 Announced As First NVIDIA Tegra 4 Powered Android Smartphone

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Android 52

MojoKid writes "NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC is destined for devices beyond NVIDIA's own SHIELD gaming handheld. In fact, ASUS stepped out with the Tegra 4-powered Transformer Pad TF701T just yesterday and today Xiaomi steps out with the 5-inch Mi3 Android smartphone, also powered by Tegra 4. Here in the US Xiaomi might not roll right off the tongue but the Chinese manufacturer is making some serious inroads as of late and attracting top talent to boot. The new Xiaomi Mi3 is based on a 5-inch IPS display with a full HD 1080p resolution, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of on-board storage and a 13MP camera. NVIDIA's Tegra 4, with its quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU and 72 GeForce GPU cores ought to make the device feel rather nimble, especially with gaming and multimedia. If the Mi3 handles anything like SHIELD did in the benchmarks, it could be the Android phone to beat on the test track in the coming weeks."

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52 comments

Ummm... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#44770297)

Didn't the NVIDIA Shield have a cooling fan and a couple of giant vents to keep the Tegra 4 happy? How much lower are the clocks going to be on a phone?

Re:Ummm... (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about 8 months ago | (#44770485)

Maybe you should choose the Snapdragon option if you don't want your phone to function as a space heater

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57601611-94/xiaomi-miphone-3-offers-choice-tegra-or-snapdragon-processor/ [cnet.com]

Re:Ummm... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#44770817)

I'm not really in the market; but I'm just surprised that they managed to get the thing into a phone chassis at all without either building the phone like a tank or gimping the hell out of the SoC. It isn't an enormous one; but the finned heatsink, fan, and intake and exhaust ports on the Shield were only slightly smaller than those on Atom or ULV-version-of-some-chip-Intel-doesn't-hate laptops. Totally possible that Nvidia just didn't give a damn, and a discrete heatsink was cheaper than a better chassis design that sinks heat into the shell; but it didn't seem like a good sign for the thermals of their platform...

Re:Ummm... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#44771987)

i can't keep up with all the jargon... tegra, snapdragon, 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 cores, now 72 cores? is that like the iCore? Mi3, i3, whatevs, man... how can anybody keep them straight!

Re:Ummm... (2)

gman003 (1693318) | about 8 months ago | (#44771347)

According to Wikipedia, this is clocked only 100MHz lower (1.8GHz, not 1.9GHz as in the Shield). I strongly suspect thermal or TDP limits will throttle that if more than one core is used. For most things, I doubt it'll even kick in the "actual" cores, preferring to run on just the low-power 800MHz "companion core".

Re: Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44771537)

The reason it has a fan is not because the chip would run too hot without it, but because the device is designed to stay constantly cool, even under intense load. This makes it comfortable to hold for long periods of time and, thus, more suitable for long gaming sessions.

Nexus 4 Alternative? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44770357)

At a supposed price of $327, and as an unlocked android phone, I'd say this is pretty stiff competition for the Nexus 4... I certainly would consider buying one if I didn't already have a N4. Curious to see how the batter holds up.

Re:Nexus 4 Alternative? (5, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 8 months ago | (#44770757)

At a supposed price of $327, and as an unlocked android phone, I'd say this is pretty stiff competition for the Nexus 4.

Xiaomi should be scaring the pants of established phone makers. Their Hongmi (Red Rice) phone has a quad-core 1.2Ghz SoC with 4.7-inch 312ppi IPS display and is selling for $130. Even at that price, it looks like they'll have healthy profit margins - TrendForce says their BOM is only $85.

http://www.slashgear.com/chinese-xiaomi-red-rice-smartphone-has-85-bom-30295442/ [slashgear.com]

Re:Nexus 4 Alternative? (4, Insightful)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 8 months ago | (#44771119)

Cortex A7 cores, though. And clocked pretty low. The four of them together amount probably to about one and a half 1.8GHz Krait cores or thereabouts.

Re:Nexus 4 Alternative? (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#44772775)

Cortex A7 is not ARM's flagship performance chip, but it's pretty respectable. It's basically a tweaked Cortex A8, with the instruction decoder updated to be compatible with the A15 extensions and the layout optimised for better power consumption. It's still in-order, but it's dual-dispatch and gets similar performance to the A8 clock-for-clock in a much lower power envelope. My current phone has a single-core 1GHz Cortex A8, and it's starting to feel a little slow for a few things, but it's not exactly crawling.

The Krait is an A15, which does have a much higher IPC than the A7, but at the expense of power consumption. Four A7 cores, at the same clock speed, will draw slightly less power than one A15 core. For a tablet, I'd definitely be more interested in an A15 (or a big.LITTLE with both), but for a phone the A7 is probably a better choice.

Re:Nexus 4 Alternative? (1)

satuon (1822492) | about 8 months ago | (#44772701)

But is anyone buying them? I personally wouldn't invest $325, I buy Chinese only when the price is so low that I won't get angry if it breaks after one week.

Re:Nexus 4 Alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44781445)

There were 30 million if them pre-ordered by Chinese telcos.

But is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44770405)

...fully open source, free, patent-unecumbered and unlocked? Sure we could hack it but geeks these days are more interested in the legal aspects of these things than the technical details or actually doing any hacking.

Re: But is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44770469)

Don't think it is going to launch in US or UK in next couple of months !

Re:But is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44770875)

Geeks these days are deeply concerned about the legal aspects of these things as they have been a source of rather serious trouble for people who try to flout them. Lawyers of large corporations have been known to cause trouble for people who try to hack devices to do things they weren't originally intended to do.

Re:But is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44771143)

Lawyers of large corporations have been known to cause trouble for people who try to hack devices to do things they weren't originally intended to do.

Like when? I can hack my device however the hell I want, who's going to come and stop me and how are they even going to know?

Re:But is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44772753)

Do it by yourself if you like, alone and unaided, and without telling anyone that your device can do what it can. The moment you try to share your knowledge with anyone and a community starts to form is when the trouble begins.

1080p on a 5 inch display.. (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 8 months ago | (#44770493)

Why?

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (3, Informative)

BronsCon (927697) | about 8 months ago | (#44770577)

As someone with a 4.7" 1080p display, I can tell you exactly why. It's friggin' beautiful, even without anti-aliasing. And skipping anti-aliasing means more performance with less power from your GPU. While a 5" display won't look quite as nice, slightly fewer dots per inch and all, I'm betting it'll still be damn beautiful.

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (2)

dfghjk (711126) | about 8 months ago | (#44770719)

720p at 5" is "friggin' beautiful" as well and takes far less processing to fill meaning a REAL savings in GPU power over 1080p.

People who claim to see a difference between 440 dpi and 470 dpi in a phone are liars.

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 8 months ago | (#44771701)

or have 20/8 vision...

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 8 months ago | (#44772265)

I'm 20/13 vision in both eyes and can already spot pixellation in the iPhone 4S display, at arms length.

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (1, Funny)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 8 months ago | (#44772291)

I'm 20/13 vision in both eyes and can already spot pixellation in the iPhone 4S display, at arms length.

The Iphone 4s has retina display. For a retina display to work its' magic, you need to hold it at a typical viewing angle. In short, you're holding it wrong

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44772479)

Uh, no. Completely wrong. Antialiasing is vastly, _vastly_ cheaper than increasing the resolution, so skipping anti-aliasing and going for more pixels means less performance and due to increase memory bandwidth significantly higher energy usage of your GPU. At least for mobile designs, Tegra isn't a mobile design, so it probably sucks energy either way.

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44778751)

This isn't true at all with native antialiasing. Regular anti aliasing renders a larger multiple of the image and scales it down to the device resolution.

So.. maybe FXAA or MXAA are cheaper, but standard multisample antialiasing is as expensive as a resolution increase because technically it IS one.

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 7 months ago | (#44795343)

The res increase is still cheaper, since it's not followed by a subsequent scale operation. Also, once the pixels shrink enough so as to be imperceptibly small at typical viewing distance, the perceived color resolution of the display increases exponentially for every pixel that "combines" in the user's field of view.

That latter bit is a trick I've been exploiting for years now to make the file sizes of my full-HD wallpapers smaller; I actually make them 3840x2160 8-bit and let the OS make use of, essentially, 32 bits of color information per rendered pixel (with an effective 4-or-32-bit alpha channel, if present, depending on whether the image is saved with a 1-bit or 8-bit alpha channel). Of course, that method requires that the source image be a multiple of the screen resolution; when you move the color blending from the GPU to the user's native hardware (the user's eyes when viewing a higher-than-viewable-resolution display), you can achieve the same trick with a native-resolution image and no processing overhead on the display device. On your typical 6-or-8-bit-per-subpixel LCD, obviously, you don't get the full effect and, instead, only get 18-or-24-bits per pixel; but, on a higher-than-viewable-resolution display, the effective bit-depth is a function of the bit-depth of the available color palette and the number of pixels the users sees as one.

Nifty, eh?

Re:1080p on a 5 inch display.. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#44770787)

Not being able to see the pixels, without really working at it, is easy on the eyes(assuming all the art assets/widget sets are in a row and there isn't any ghastly malscaling going on). It's a luxury feature, in the sense that (precisely by virtue of throwing enough pixels at you that they blend together) more resolution doesn't mean more area to work, unlike increases in resolution at lower DPI where you can meaningfully fit more stuff into the same space if only things were packed a bit tighter.

Probably doesn't hurt that it makes 1 to 1 mirroring on common HDTVs trivial, though that isn't a wildly common use case.

Just the *Android* phone to beat? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 8 months ago | (#44770533)

How does the iPhone stack up? It's not like most people will carry both.

Re: Just the *Android* phone to beat? (0)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#44770707)

Knowing apple, new iPhone will kill it in real world performance since nvidia has to pay devs to code for its platform

Re: Just the *Android* phone to beat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44771001)

Knowing apple, new iPhone will kill it in real world performance since nvidia has to pay devs to code for its platform

Iphones don't count - they're already beaten. Yah yah AC. I don't have an account and don't want one. Also I've been drinking.

Re: Just the *Android* phone to beat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44771015)

Seriously, what are they going to do? Put in a tegra 5????

Re:Just the *Android* phone to beat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44770777)

How does the iPhone stack up?

It doesn't. That's why they're rapidly sliding to less than 10% of market.

Not at all difficult to pronounce (3, Informative)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44771181)

The 'X' is pronounced more or less like English 'sh', and 'ao' is the same as the 'ow' in English 'how'. So it's 'shyow-mee'. First syllable's a high rising tone, second is low rising. For an English speaker, if you simply stress the first syllable, that's close enough.

It means 'millet' (a type of grain--nothing to do with the French painter).

Re:Not at all difficult to pronounce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44771327)

Well, I like to clean off my counters with Xam Wao.

Re:Not at all difficult to pronounce (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 8 months ago | (#44774157)

No it doesn't. *sigh* So many people, including a lot of people who should know better, still insist on pronouncing pinyin X as "sh". Chinese already has an sh sound. X is pronounced in a way that native English speakers cannot replicate. You have to learn an entirely new way to move your mouth. I cringe whenever I hear people saying "shay shay" instead of "xie xie" for thank you.

Xiaomi should have chosen a new name for overseas export. Lots of unpronounceable Chinese brands do this. Gome instead of Guomei is one that springs to mind.

Re:Not at all difficult to pronounce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44774915)

But 'sh' is still the closest rendition of the sound with English phonetics and, when pronounced cleanly, would be an allophone of 'x' in Mandarin. There's simply no way to specify if the tongue should be curled or not or how mouth muscles are supposed to move to produce the correct tone in English orthography, just like Chinese orthography cannot represent consonant clusters at the beginning and certainly at the end of syllables or all of the vowels in English. Plus as far as foreign sounds go, this one is really easy for English speakers to replicate; it would simply be a cross between 'sh' in sheet and 'hu' in human.

I cringe when I hear foreign languages spoken with an American accent period.

Re:Not at all difficult to pronounce (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#44776121)

well, guys, why don't you type out the phonetic way??

right now I can't even say how english speakers spell "sh", except in the case of shit. is xi more like xenon? surely you don't spell xenon as shenon?

finnish speaker here, you should all switch to the finnish way of just writing like it's spoken. much simpler.

Re:Not at all difficult to pronounce (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44776909)

First of all, I said "more or less like", not "[exactly] the same as".

Second, the difference between X and SH depends largely on the part of the country you're talking about. In the Beijing area, they're quite distinct. In Guangdong, not so much. And yes, I'm talking about different regional varieties of Mandarin, not about differences between Mandarin and Cantonese.

Third, your complaint about people pronouncing "xiexie" as if it were spelt "sheishei" is conflating this with an entirely different issue. I've never heard it pronounced this way--and I certainly did not suggest doing so, which is what you seem to be implying.

Fourth, how the hell is Guomei "unpronounceable" by English speakers?

Finally, I received quite a few compliments on my pronunciation last time I was in China, even when I was staying in Beijing, and while I'm sure it's far from perfect, I didn't have very much trouble making myself understood except in cases where I just plain didn't know the word for something. To be fair, I also freely admit that I had my pronunciation corrected a few times, but even so, I don't think I did too badly. Most people guessed wrongly that I was European and seemed genuinely surprised to find out that I'm originally from the US.

BTW, I do know quite a bit about languages and phonetics, and I'd've been happy to use IPA to represent the sounds correctly, but Slashcode strips out a lot of the symbols required.

And just so nobody thinks I'm trying to portray myself as a know-it-all, I'll be the first to admit (as I've said in some of my previous posts) that my Swedish is fairly horrid and I'm still embarrassed to speak it much, despite having lived here for years.

Re:Not at all difficult to pronounce (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44774241)

Xiaomi should outsource the manufacturing of these things to Missouri. For a dollar or two, the state legislature might change the nickname to "The Xiaomi State". Hell, manufacturing jobs in Missouri probably pay less than in various parts of China now.

Bait and Switch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44771321)

Xiaomi's advertised prices are always a kind of bait-and-switch; they're notorious for having seriously limited production runs for their directly-sold models. If you want to buy the unlocked model at the advertised price, you'd better order within 5 minutes of the announcement or they'll be out of stock. This isn't an exaggeration - their previous model sold out in 3 minutes 39 seconds [gizchina.com]

Fortunately for those that didn't manage to get hold of one, the mobile operators have plenty of Xiaomi phones; all you need to do is sign this new 2-year contract and pay the full list price of the phone. What, you expect a subsidy? Not unless the contract you sign up for is absurdly expensive. So the real price is actually significantly higher than the advertised one.

After a few months the unlocked models can eventually be found in shops and the operators start offering similar subsidies to other similarly-priced phones, but by that time the price/spec advantage isn't so great compared with other competitors.

Also, the Tegra 4 model mentioned in the article is exclusive to China Mobile; it's not a China/International difference as some people said above. Other Chinese operators China Unicom and China Telecom also get the version with the Snapdragon 800 chip.

Re:Bait and Switch (2)

Clsid (564627) | about 8 months ago | (#44771743)

I was able to find a Xioami phone without all the trouble you are mentioning. When they just came out, of course it was hard to find even if they create an artificial outage, but the same is true of the new HTC One. Samsung is the only company that I have seen that has this massive availability for their products after they are announced.

In any case, pretty cool phone and even though I hated Android mods (unless it is Cyanogenmod), this is one to look for since it is very well done. Btw, even if you sign up for a 1 year contract, I feel like in China that is a better deal, since you pay say, 1000 yuan, they give you the phone and then you don't have to pay monthly fees for the whole year. Oh and they also gave me a sim card for my iPad for free the first 3 months, and after that it is 5 yuan per month. I honestly believe you cannot find such a deal in the States.

Re:Bait and Switch (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#44772031)

I honestly believe you cannot find such a deal in the States.

it depends on how many yuan are in a dollar.

Re: Bait and Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44773213)

1 dollar is 6,1 yuan.

Disappointed (1)

MacDork (560499) | about 8 months ago | (#44771705)

I was happy to hear it had a Tegra 4 until I read that it did not have the i500 software defined radio. The radio was one of the major selling points and might have allowed it to be used outside China.

Tongue Rolling... (0)

XiaoMing (1574363) | about 8 months ago | (#44772551)

Here in the US Xiaomi might not roll right off the tongue

I feel oddly compelled to help with the pronunciation of the company name... Anyway, should be:

"shao mee"

not

"ziao me" as many will probably be predisposed towards.

Re:Tongue Rolling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44774977)

ziao mi... I'm pretty sure I hear that all the time in Beijing.

Battery Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44783005)

I'll bet the battery lasts for at least 34 minutes.

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