What you should expect from the new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handsets

I’ve been reading a lot of misguided comments lately following the unveiling of the HTC Radar and especially the HTC Titan. Things like “HTC should be ashamed to used a WVGA 4.7″ screen, the resolution is too low” or “It’s going to be more expensive that the Dual-Core HTC Sensation! HTC are cheap bastards for using the MSM8255 clocked @ 1.5GHZ” or “Waiting for the Mango version of the Samsung Galaxy S II”. Ring ring my beloved anonymous friends! HTC and all the other OEMs don’t have much control over what SoC is used, same for the screen resolution. You already know that if you’ve been closely following the platform since the beginning.

The MSM8255 @ 1.5GHZ is the fastest chipset you will find in the next gen of Windows Phone handset and 800×480 is the max/only resolution supported by the OS. As a matter of fact the HTC Titan is probably going to be the flagship Windows Phone product this fall alongside Samsung’s high-end handset in terms of overall specifications. So there’s no need to blame the OEMs for what some perceive as major shortcomings. I haven’t been a big fan of HTC’s offerings lately but the Titan (and also the Radar to a lesser extent) is frankly the best they could do with want Microsoft allows them to mess around with. Both are the company’s first handsets to feature brand new camera optics and sensors (28MM wide angle camera with F2.2 lens, dual LED flash, and BSI sensor), front facing cameras, DLNA, the best in terms of WVGA LCD screens (Super AMOLED Plus is so much nicer tho..) etc. Performance isn’t going to be any issue either thanks to Microsoft’s tight control of the platform.

You are now buying into an ecosystem (Android, WP7, iOS or RIM) and hardware specifications should no longer be the main decision factor when it’s time to choose what will be your best fit. As we have already seen; higher speced Android handsets can often struggle to be on par with the current Windows Phone (UX/UI performance wise) which are build for a fraction of their price. If you think about it wouldn’t surprise me if OEMs were going to make more money per WP7 device once the demand ramps up simply because they are probably cheaper to build (year old SoCs, less RAM but priced the same as high end Android handsets).

I do agree that it can somewhat be annoying to pay the same price for Dual-Core device on Android and a single-core Device on Windows Phone but this is the way it’s going to be. Similar to Apple’s products which are often not using the most powerful hardware components, you are now paying a premium for the better UX, ecosystem and tighter hardware integration. Feel free to comment, rant, cheer below.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11814278 Chris Woelfel

    I have no problem with them using old hardware as long as my experience on the platform is good, I don’t care.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget the RAM! More than 512MB isn’t possible either.

  • ag_woodward

    Seems to be a lot of constant whining about wm7 handsets and the OS.  I think it’s completely unjustified.  As far as the UI, I haven’t seen anything as slick or resilient from any of the other OS including iOS.  Yes there are features missing (which 7.5 largely addresses) but this is a new OS.  Just like when iOS was released not supporting 3g connections, MMS, copy and paste etc which everyone quickly forgets.  This platform shows great promise.  Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to have a few more apps and features but really, can anyone honestly say that MS isn’t pulling all the stops out to get the platform functional AND stable quickly?  The resources they must have working to produce the amount of stable code they are producing is outstanding.  If you can contest that, you probably don’t understand the question.

  • SGuest

    Possible!~

    http://www.mobiletechworld.com/2011/04/14/new-windows-phone-7-chassis-unveiled-msm7x30-and-msm8x55/

    Minimum RAM is >256MB
    1GB RAM would be cool, but not really necessary (although preferably) for WP7.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve also heard the “future-proof” argument that you want to get the craziest specs so that it can handle the software that comes out in the future. There are 2 problems with this argument:

    1. There is very little mobile software (even games) that even use half the power included in these newfangled multiple-core SoCs. John Carmack of Id Software, creator of Infinity Blade for iOS has said this many times.

    2. The people who care about future-proofing will not keep their phone for the duration of their contract because in 6 months there will be another super duper phone that they will not be able to resist.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Small correction.. Carmack = Rage / Epic = Infinity Blade ;)

  • Anonymous

    Whoops, I meant Rage. :p

  • Anonymous

    Choices (for the knowing user) is determined by the O.S. the user believes satisfies him/her best. As such, we can only choose devices from the range allowed within that ‘eco-system’;

    For IOS it’s what Apple releases as its device of the year, with the ‘one’ spec, on which its O.S and apps will run well.

    For Android it’s whatever the OEM can cram into it and claim as a hardware first, irrespective of whether the O.S./device is optimised to work together well or if any apps running on the device recognise and take advantage of it (apart from raw power that is, anyone see a PC correlation? More Power Captain!!). And don’t forget the developers, how many can actually tout that they developed their app/game to take advantage of the superior power/design of “..fill in device model”? We all know, before you can blink another device has come out with different internal hardware components and a new O.S update that promises ever greater features, which invariably leads early adopters to call any app/game developed to run on the previous OS version as “outdated” So the question is (raw power aside), is the consumer benefiting from this, or is it the O.S/OEM benefiting, as it convinces its followers that their O.S will finally get closer to running as it possibly should/could if only they obtain the latest greates hardware?

    And then there is WP7, which has mandated ‘Core’ components for which the O.S is optimised. And whilst it may be behind the ‘curve’ it does provide for a wide variety of device choice, whilst also enabling a stable eco-system that benefits all who choose it.

    So what I believe we have here is that MS is toeing a fine line between locked down ‘Core’ hardware in order to offer optimised stability, whilst offering as a wide latitude in hardware choice; the best possible world out of the above three eco-systems!

  • Anonymous

    Many have already said what’s important.  Most consumers don’t even look to see if something is dual core or not.  They simply pick up the phone, try out the UI and judge the experience.  Cramming new components into the phone just to say you are first is both expensive and wasteful.  I’d much prefer OEMs concentrate on optimizing every device they release to their platform(s) of choice.

    This gives the OEM a higher brand loyalty.  If a phone has a dual core processor, 3D screen and a ffc that ends up being a major pain and pretty useless the user will return it quick fast and in a hurry.

  • Anonymous

    Good call – agree with you. Sometimes I really wonder if some people are fanboys or just trolls :)

    I think OEMs should not be blamed (beside they update issues!!!) – they are offering devices which currently (sadly) do not sell well.

    However, I think you forgot our so beloved carriers. IMHO, they are a much bigger concern to WP then OEMs. Why?
    - (almost) No WP related ads (atleast where I live)

    - WPs priced higher then they should
    For instance, when the first WP7 handsets came out, on all major
    carriers they were priced above (sorry to mention again) the iphone or
    high-end Android phones ALTHOUGH the contract-free price of WP7 devices
    were below that (-> huge margins for carriers.). Current example, the
    HTC 7 Pro is priced higher then the iPhone 4 at T-Mobile(on same contract). Personally, I
    bought my phone off-contract but I think many people who buy carrier
    blessed phones, don’t see Windows Phones as a attractive alternative (pricing matters – look at all those android phones).

    - slow update (seems like it is not a high priority to them)

    - yes, I really hate carriers :(

  • Chemeng

    I don’t mind a platform using lower-spec hardware than the competition as long as it is (the hardware) capable of providing a smooth and eye-candy user interface… which even the 1st generation Snapdragon SoC was delivering. Now the 2nd generation Snapdragon based on 45nm lithography offer better clock-4-clock cpu performance, about 2.5x better gpu performance and all that in a lower power envelope… BUT what about if this hardware hinders some advanced functionality that the competition offers? I’m speaking mostly about 1080p video capturing/decoding.

  • Anonymous

    Bottom line => $850 for a phone is unjustified, regardless of the hardware.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    1080P video encoding/decoding is essentially the only major thing that competing Dual-Core Android handsets offer that high-end WP7.5 won’t have. And this is mainly a software restriction because in terms of raw power an MSM8255 @ 1.5ghz should have much problem to at least decode 1080P mp4 content. As an example: Apple’s iOS device have the raw power to do so since the iPhone 3GS but Apple limit’s its codec support similar to certain bitrates and resolutions just like Microsoft.

  • http://netnate.net Matthieu Nate

    Well I disagree.
    If people are considering buying a windows phone this fall, some of them will wonder whether they will be able to jump to Windows Phone 8 a year after or not.
    They would know that they would be able to do that if they bought an iPhone or an Android phone of the Nexus flavour.

    With Windows Phone, we do not have enough perspective to foretell what will Microsoft and the OEMs do with this .5 generation of devices when Windows Phone 8 comes out.

    It is still possible that Windows Phone 8 will be based on MinWin and not Windows CE anymore. So the buyers just don’t know if 8Gb, 512Mb of ram, single core 1Ghz will be enough.

    We’ll have to wait for Build or the Mango release to learn more I guess.

    To get back to the article, these devices are not appealing to me. I am impressed by the Titan but I can’t even consider buying it (it’s just too big!).
    I really don’t like the aesthetics of the Radar.

    I would have hoped the OEM included some NFC love to be feature-future proof ;)
    Plus, Super Amoled would be nice too.
    I’m also very excited about reading (and viewing) some photo testing in various conditions and see if HTC can finally change what really lacks every single HTC phone: a more-than-decent camera.
    Finally, I want hardware buttons!