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Ultra-private Blackphone to sport Tegra 4i chipset

Swiss mobile device maker SGP Technologies announced Monday that it will be using Nvidia's Tegra 4i chipset to handle application processing and the connectivity in the privacy-geared Blackphone handset it introduced at Mobile World Congress.

SGP, a joint venture of Silent Circle and Geeksphone, began taking pre-orders for the $629 (£375 ) Blackphone on 24 Feb. The smartphone, which runs a modified version of Google's Android called PrivatOS, will be shipped to customers in Europe, North America, and South America in June, the company said.

"With Blackphone we have engineered a high-end smartphone rivaling the top devices on the market in terms of performance and user experience—and with comprehensive embedded privacy features as a crucial differentiator," SGP CEO Toby Weir-Jones said in a statement. "Nvidia's industry leadership and the compelling advantages of their Tegra 4i mobile processor make them a key partner in creating a disruptive product backed by the best components available."

SGP has updated the full spec sheet for the phone, so here's the rundown on what Blackphone purchasers will be getting.

The smartphone's Tegra 4i has a quad-core, 2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 r4-based application processor with a fifth power-saving core and graphics processing featuring 60 custom GPU cores. Also part of the Tegra 4i package is Nvidia's i500 software-defined LTE modem based on Icera technology, supporting HSPA+/WCDMA and LTE bands in Europe, North America, and other regions.

The 16GB Blackphone has a 4.7in capacitive multi-touch HD display with 1,280-by-720 resolution, and features an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. Built-in sensors include a gravity sensor, light sensor, proximity sensor, and magnetic sensor. The device, running on a 2000mA battery, has single micro-SIM slot and supports MicroSD, while sporting a 3.5mm audio jack and a micro USB port.

SGP's PrivatOS is built on the Android 4.4 "KitKat" build from Google. The selling point here is the suite of privacy-protection functions built into the phone.

"Blackphone's design offers the best features on the market, from stunning video displays and app multi-tasking to enhanced battery life—in addition to signature features such as award-winning private-encrypted voice and video calls and text messaging with attachments from Silent Circle, anonymous browsing and mobile VPN protection from Disconnect, and private-encrypted cloud storage from SpiderOak," the company said.

As its name more than hints at, the Blackphone's color scheme is pretty much black across the board.