Xiaomi Mi3 Is The First NVIDIA Tegra 4 Powered Android Super Phone

As if things weren't buzzing enough out in Berlin this week, the folks at NVIDIA continue the relentless barrage of announcements in the mobile arena, with a joint unveiling and some kudos by way of a design win for their new Tegra 4 SoC. Tegra 4 is destined for devices well 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 (MiPhone 3) Android smartphone.  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.

Xiaomi Mi3 with Tegra 4
Xiaomi Mi3 Smartphones with NVIDIA's Tegra 4 On Board

The new Mi3 (hat tip to Tom Cruise anyone?) 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.  Of course NVIDIA's Tegra 4, with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU and 72 GeForce GPU cores humming along in synchronicity, ought to make its Android operating system feel rather nimble with gaming and multimedia that should play like "butta."  If the Mi3 handles anything like SHIELD did for us, it could be the Android phone to beat on the test track in the coming weeks.  The device reportedly supports full 4K HD video playback as well.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun Waves The Tegra 4 Flag - Image credit: NVIDIA Corp.

NVIDIA was gracious enough to inform us that the Mi3 will retail for the equivalent of $327 USD for an unlocked phone. (Update: 9/5, 6:15PM - Unfortunately the Mi3 will not be available in the US and NVIDIA was noting this price as a US-equivalent "reference point."  Hopefully we'll see a similar offering from Sony here in the US.) With 64GB of storage, a 5-inch display and arguably one of the fastest ARM-based SoCs out there right now, that's not half bad at all.  The Mi3 reportedly also has a premium look and feel with an all metal casing and aluminum-magnesium alloy metal internal frame for rigidity.

We do of course intend to put the Mi3 through its paces here, so be sure to stay tuned for more details on features and performance as we get some quality hands-on time with Xiaomi's promising hot new Android handset.

Update: 9/5, 7:35PM - Reportedly, there will be a version of the MiPhone 3 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.3GHz, whereas the Tegra 4 version will be clocked at 1.8GHz. The performance comparisons between the two should be interesting.