You need a lot more than a zippy processor and powerful graphics to win the smartphone wars. You also need an integrated modem to woo device makers, which Nvidia has done with the ZTE Mimosa X. Expected to be available in Q2, the mainstream handset packs both a Tegra 2 processor and a modem made by Icera, a company Nvidia acquired in May to be more competitive with Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.
The Mimosa X will feature a dual-core CPU, GeForce GPU and Icera 450 HSPA+ modem. Unfortunately, the modem is rated for only 21 Mbps and doesn't tap into 4G LTE networks, unlike such low-cost devices as the Pantech Burst. However, Nvidia promises IceClear interference cancellation technology "for even faster throughput at the cell edge." The Mimosa X will run Android Ice Cream Sandwich (OS 4.0) and sport a qHD 4.3-inch screen and 5-MP camera.
With Mobile World Congress on tap for next week, we expect to hear a lot more from Nvidia, including phones powered by its quad-core Tegra 3 chip. Nvidia has all but confirmed that the rumored HTC One X (aka HTC Edge) will have its powerhouse inside. Assuming Nvidia can soon pair Tegra 3 with an LTE modem, Qualcomm and TI will have even more reasons to look over their shoulders.