Print 34 comment(s) - last by TakinYourPoint.. on Oct 8 at 6:31 AM

New "Sun" handset appears to be branded "Sea Ray"

Months ago Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) unveiled the "Sea Ray" in a private press conference that, of course, leaked onto the internet.  While the phone was unremarkable hardware-wise for a smartphone, the fact that it ran Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 made it kind of a big deal.

Now more secret Nokia Windows Phone 7 handset info has leaked.  Leaked documents reveal a phone branded the "Nokia Sun".  Nokia doesn't usually brand its products with real world names, so clearly this is a special event.

The Sun features a(n):
  • 1.4GHz single-core processor
  • 16GB flash storage
  • 8MP camera
  • 3.7" AMOLED screen
  • Micro SIM card
  • Polycarbonate unibody design
...according to the internal Orange France (EPA:FTE) internal document that leaked courtesy of MonWindowsPhone.

The Nokia Sun
The Nokia "Sea Ray"/"Sun" is almost to the market, but Nokia is about the last major manufacturer to launch a Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" handset. [Source: MonWindowsPhone]

These specs mean that it's likely the branded version of Sea Ray.  The document indicates that it will be available in week 46 (S46) -- the week of November 7.  

Other reports have indicated more coming Nokia WP7 handsets including the "Nokia Lumia 800" and the "Nokia 703".  Hopefully these handsets pack a bit more of a punch as a small screen single core smartphone isn't exactly keeping pace with the little monsters Google, Inc.'s (GOOG) Android hardware partners are cooking up these days.

Hopefully Nokia also speeds up its pace of deployment.  Nokia still plans to transition its entire lineup to using Windows Phone 7, but the company is moving a languid pace, being just about the last company to deploy a Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" handset.  That slow response is costing Nokia dearly as customers abandon its defunct Symbian platform and have no current option but to jump to rival handsets.

Sources: MonWindowsPhone, NeoWin

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By StraightCashHomey on 10/6/2011 6:18:33 PM , Rating: 5
Even with the superior hardware, the Evo 3D feels clunkier and choppier than my Arrive. To me, I think Microsoft is doing more with less. Scrolling and navigating through the Windows Phone OS just seems way smoother and less glitchy. Besides, what are you guys doing on your phones that blow up your dual core 1.4ghz CPUs to 100%? Super PI?

By StraightCashHomey on 10/6/2011 6:19:27 PM , Rating: 5
I should mention that before the Mango update, it was really smooth, but after Mango, it's incredible. That update was huge. Everything about the phone was improved.

By acer905 on 10/6/2011 7:36:32 PM , Rating: 5
100% Agree

I have seen the EVO3D exhibit some really interesting bugs, freezes, and general glitchiness, while my Arrive is as stable as a flat rock on solid ground. I can think of one hiccup, and that was with an App that i didn't really like anyway, and it only happened once.

Oh, and Mango is the Shiz-nit

By TakinYourPoints on 10/6/2011 10:27:33 PM , Rating: 5
You nailed it, and the issue comes down to the OS. All the hardware specs in the world don't matter when Windows Phone 7 on Snapdragon or iOS on A4 is faster and smoother than Android on the technically faster Hummingbird.

Some people pay way too much attention to bulletpoint spec marketing and then either ignore or blindly accept the poorer user experience they get, because hey, the spec sheet says more megahertz!

By Tequilasunriser on 10/7/2011 2:35:10 AM , Rating: 5
I logged into my account for the first time in a very long time to say that I completely agree.

Just yesterday I was arguing with people that it doesn't matter if the iPhone 4S doesn't have a faster processor but that the processor is fast enough because the iOS software was designed around the hardware it uses.

The performance of hardware is dictated by the software utilizing it. WP7 and iOS do this VERY well. Android, being an open platform, not so well because it is expected to run on a wide range of various and diverse hardware.

My Android experience has been a headache and I'm likely getting WP7 phone or iPhone at upgrade time.

By TakinYourPoints on 10/7/2011 3:29:34 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks. It's also important to note things like WP7 and iOS having GPU acceleration for the UI while Android still doesn't, as well as general sloppiness and lack of polish in overall UI and design compared to the others. It really does suck compared to something like the Metro UI. And we're still talking about "pure" Android, this is before we get to the custom UIs that certain carriers and hardware manufacturers put on the devices.

By B3an on 10/7/2011 4:40:42 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with you on that for every single Android phone... apart from the Galaxy S2. That phone has the hardware and polish. WP7 is the smoothest and most polished phone OS around IMO, and while Android on the Galaxy S2 dont match it, it comes very close. It certainly matches iOS on the iPhone 4, it's atleast as smooth and overall works just as good.

Samsung have implemented GPU acceleration for the UI and some default Samsung apps, and also the browser. Other Android phone manaufacturers do this too, so you're wrong saying that Android dont have GPU acceleration. It's just up to to phone maker to do it, and only Samsung have so far done it well.

I just wish Mango atleast supported 1 or 2 dual-core SoC's. Because the platform could really do well with gaming and would benefit from the extra power. MS have a lot of potential here and could really get more gamers on board, especially with more in depth 360 integration and features. This is reason one why i wont be getting a WP7 phone until better hardware is supported, regardless if the WP7 UI runs smoother/faster than other OS's on better hardware.
Reason two is display resolution, all WP7 phones including upcoming phones all seem to support the typical 800x480 res, and this is another downside. I love the OS, it's just lacking the hardware still.

By BailoutBenny on 10/7/2011 11:03:49 AM , Rating: 2
all windows phones have the same resolution to guarantee the app experience. microsoft is taking a hybrid apple/google approach. google in that they don't care who the hardware maker is, apple in that they are enforcing every device to comply with certain specs so the experience is the same across the board and not the "android" experience.

they don't need dual core support but it will come, i am sure. the os takes up very little resources and gaming on the phone works just fine.

By Da W on 10/7/2011 11:19:42 AM , Rating: 2
so you're wrong saying that Android dont have GPU acceleration. It's just up to to phone maker to do it, and only Samsung have so far done it well.

And then phone maker get sued by Microsoft or Apple because OS companies own the IP for GPU acceleration.

I think MS will make a big hardware jump every 2 years or so. The platform is too young and apps are too few to bump to dual core hardware right away and develop apps that potentially wouldn't work on first generation WP7 with 1Ghz single core. Sure, dual core Androids or 3D screens are cool, but seriously, i can live without it. I still pay games on my beefed-up PC.

What i ask for, though, is:
-good camera
-good/fast/reliable GPS
-good sound
-big enough form factor cause my eyes are getting older.

So far differenciation in hardware is on keyboard / sound features. Expect also a WP7 (or WP8?) with a Xbox-like keypad next year.

By TakinYourPoints on 10/8/2011 6:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
This article from earlier made me think of where Microsoft fits into all of this:

It is a situation where game developers can have multiple gamers on iPhones and iPads play splitscreen multiplayer games on an HDTV through an AppleTV. Super cool implementation and iOS actually has the game developers to make it happen.

The thing is that Microsoft will also eventually have the hardware ecosystem to make this happen. The XBox 360 doesn't have the ability to push video wirelessly from external sources like an AppleTV does (it is 2005 hardware after all), but you can bet that the next-gen XBox will be capable of doing this, and it will work similarly with Windows Phone 7 devices. You can also bet that Microsoft will pay developers to make the software happen since they are a game publisher as well.

Where does this leave Android? Again, there are no standards or vertical integration that exists there. Unless it involves the game host plugging into the TV via HDMI, or if Google makes it work with something like a Roku, I don't see it happening, not until some global standards are actually followed and work as well as these other vertically integrated systems.

By Da W on 10/7/2011 11:09:08 AM , Rating: 2
Megahertz is so much 1999!

By TakinYourPoints on 10/6/2011 10:27:33 PM , Rating: 3
You nailed it, and the issue comes down to the OS. All the hardware specs in the world don't matter when Windows Phone 7 on Snapdragon or iOS on A4 is faster and smoother than Android on the technically faster Hummingbird.

Some people pay way too much attention to bulletpoint spec marketing and then either ignore or blindly accept the poorer user experience they get, because hey, the spec sheet says more megahertz!

won't cut it
By kleinma on 10/6/2011 4:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
While it may be a nice piece of hardware as far as Windows Phones go, the OS really needs a peice of hardware that is better than the competition, not just equal, or in some cases worse and outdated.

Android phones with insane resolutions and dual core CPUs are emerging all over the place, and every Windows phone that gets announced is lacking very badly in the hardware area.

And I really, really want a windows phone, why is why this pisses me off. Plus I have Verizon, so that makes my chances of ever getting a good Windows phone pretty damn slim.

RE: won't cut it
By Alexvrb on 10/6/2011 8:15:27 PM , Rating: 5
If the latest Android flavor requires a 1.2Ghz+ dual core just to be fast and responsive, but they can pull this off with Mango on a 1.4Ghz single core, what does it matter? If it is lightning fast and runs everything built for it beautifully, who cares? Hardware is only half the equation.

With that said, yes, I really wish Verizon would branch out a bit and offer more choices. It doesn't help that their salespeople are brainwashed to just push the latest Android phones, even when customers express interest in taking something else for a test drive. I don't even have a WP7 phone but I've been impressed with WP7, especially Mango. I don't get why people bash it when they don't even really give it a chance. I haven't bought one, but I can certainly recognize that MS has done a pretty good job so far with WP7.

RE: won't cut it
By TakinYourPoints on 10/6/2011 11:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
If the latest Android flavor requires a 1.2Ghz+ dual core just to be fast and responsive, but they can pull this off with Mango on a 1.4Ghz single core, what does it matter? If it is lightning fast and runs everything built for it beautifully, who cares? Hardware is only half the equation.

Nailed it. A substandard OS on fast hardware is still a substandard experience. Focus on practical real-life experience rather than what the spec sheet tells you. If the OS is holding things back then fast hardware is beside the point.

RE: won't cut it
By sprockkets on 10/7/2011 11:19:14 AM , Rating: 2
I have the old HTC magic, the second android phone ever made. It's a responsive, slick, fast as can be, on stock firmware from google/htc. In other words, its the HTC ION version, and that thing has a measly 192MB of ram.

It just goes to show you, you are right, but it isn't so much android, it's the crap they put on it. And they do not mandate that you have the right to remove it, so the user experience suffers.

RE: won't cut it
By Alexvrb on 10/7/2011 9:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
OK but some of the Android updates have vastly improved the OS in terms of bug fixes and features. So its like you're stuck. My dad's original Droid (due for an upgrade) had all sorts of issues, that were fixed over time by updates. Unfortunetely, they also slowed the phone down. So he doesn't want to roll back, but he isn't happy with the poor responsiveness compared to the stock software. Anyway, he'll be replacing it with something several times faster, not sure if it will be an Android device or not.

Regarding manufacturer- and carrier-installed software, WP7 is much better about that sort of thing. Hmm, maybe that's why Verizon and others push the Android devices so much? They can install whatever they want on the devices, and it isn't easy for the average user to remove.

RE: won't cut it
By inighthawki on 10/7/2011 9:28:30 AM , Rating: 2
If you tried a WP7, you would easily see that it is a smoother and faster experience than just about ANY android phone. You can boast about a dual core 1.5GHz chip all you want, but when the OS is sloppy and wastes a lot of that speed, the 1.4GHz single core chip will actually perform better.

And yeah, sure WP7 doesnt have 1280x720 resolution on screen, but what it has is plenty for what it does. I have never once picked up my phone and thought to myself "I wish this had a higher resolution" because I've never even noticed it as being too LOW resolution.

RE: won't cut it
By BailoutBenny on 10/7/2011 10:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
microsoft will be updating the spec sheet anyway to include 720p and higher resolutions instead of the standard 800x480

Budget Smartphone?
By lightfoot on 10/6/2011 4:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
With those specs, I hope this is a budget smartphone.

That is only marginally better than the HTC HD7.

Maybe they are emphasizing battery life? Maybe?

RE: Budget Smartphone?
By koenshaku on 10/7/2011 11:22:39 AM , Rating: 2
Camera is far better and so is the display. You're thinking about iOS and android who releases software updates that slow down on your hardware. MS is a software company and always has been and with every update they have improved proformance of the OS with current hardware.
If something runs flawlessly and smooth currently why add more hardware, if it does nothing but kill battery life? there should be a two year refresh for new hardware, instead of making people under a two year contract feel left out as they watch their devices slow to a crawl with every update...

RE: Budget Smartphone?
By sprockkets on 10/7/2011 1:11:46 PM , Rating: 1
MS is a software company and always has been and with every update they have improved proformance of the OS with current hardware.

Uh, that hasn't been the case, ever, mobile or desktop. And Win7 became faster because of them removing some of vista's features.

RE: Budget Smartphone?
By Alexvrb on 10/7/2011 10:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
Bullocks. Win7 was faster because they rewrote huge chunks of code and streamlined it. What features did they yank to magically enable gains across the board? Go ahead and try to get a Vista install running as fast and reliable as Win7, remove whatever components you want, it still isn't going to be as good. You have no idea how much effort they put into their software. Look at all the software teams full of talented people that they have working on Win8, and you might get a clue.

WP 7.5 "Mango" runs faster and better than previous versions, on the same hardware. With MORE features, not less. I still might end up getting a new Android phone, I don't know yet, but you're blind if you can't see how much MS has improved their situation through software optimization alone.

RE: Budget Smartphone?
By sprockkets on 10/8/2011 12:56:03 AM , Rating: 2
Read anand's review and you will see what they did to make it faster. That and even before win7 they made vista faster with service packs. Winxp was slower than 2k, 98 wasn't so bad from 95, and of course vista sucked. Sure, hardware speeds increased too so that isn't so bad.

I run 2.2 on my htc magic, but it runs quicker due to a radio edit giving it more free ram (that took a lot of work to get on there). The G2 wasn't bad either in the speed department. It isn't just resources, but priority settings and how much you want running in the background.

I want WP7 to succeed but it just doesn't look like it will. Nokia never bothered to be successful here either with high end smartphones, so I doubt they will change anything.

And by the way, it's "bollocks".

By stburke on 10/6/2011 4:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
I've been waiting for something other than the HTC Trophy to hit Verizon, since it launched in May 2011 it was already a bit dated. Preferably something with a larger screen. But with the "Galaxy Nexus" inbound within the next few weeks, they're making that a bit hard. Also, Nokia has had a hell of a time recently penetrating the U.S. market, hopefully this will change that.

By Aloonatic on 10/8/2011 4:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
Specs are only part of the story, as pointed out in the plethora of comments elsewhere. A good interface is needed too, and I think that MS have something that is at least smooth and different, but perhaps not to everyone's taste. Finally, phones also need to look good as well. This is where Windows Phones really seem to suffer.

They're already on the back foot on the stands in the mobile phone shop as people compare processors, cores, speeds, screen sizes.

How they look needs to stand out.

If Nokia can produce a good looking WP7 phone, then they might do well. Just look at the uninspired offerings that are out there already. HTC seem to have have just recycled unsold, cheap, Android handsets and styling, while Samsung (or anyone else, who are making WP7 phones?) haven't made much that looks too great from what I've seen either.

The WP7 interface could be the greatest that the world has ever seen, but if they go around with:

- Poor spcs (because people do go by those, rightly or wrongly).
- Dull, uninspired looks.
- And still try to charge top dollar.

Then Windows Phone 7 is going to go bye bye. There may be plenty of gadget lovers out there willing to put up with this for the love of tech, but the masses wont when they can get a better spec'ed, bigger, prettier Android phone for a similar price or an iPhone.

I actually want a WP7 phone, but there's nothing out there inspiring me and all I see and hear are better or more exciting things going on elsewhere with Android and iOS.

By seamonkey79 on 10/6/2011 5:52:27 PM , Rating: 1
...that closely monitoring what is able to run your OS is a recipe for less than stellar hardware for your OS to run on. One of the best things (and sometimes worst things) about the Android OS is that it can be made to run on just about any combination of hardware. That makes each phone company able and want to compete with each other. Larger screen, better resolution, better graphics, etc.

It's ironic, to me, that Android has become the Windows OS in the phone world because of the openness surrounding it, whereas Microsoft has decided they want to be Apple, and are showing up to the game with phones that are outdated before they're even available.

By name99 on 10/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: memory?
By aeronb on 10/6/2011 6:59:29 PM , Rating: 1
Well, it may not be random access memory. But it is storage "memory", is it not?

RE: memory?
By shane.carroll on 10/6/2011 8:29:11 PM , Rating: 1
...and that 16 GB of information is stored in flash m_m_ry. pick a vowel, you'll be surprised

RE: memory?
By inighthawki on 10/6/2011 11:13:17 PM , Rating: 2

RE: memory?
By name99 on 10/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: memory?
By TakinYourPoints on 10/6/2011 11:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
I guess not caring about the difference between flash and RAM pretty much sums up the intelligence and knowledge of your average DailyTech reader: "I don't have a clue how to write a compiler, or what rate-distortion theory is, or how trellis modulation works, or what the Viterbi algorithm does --- but I damn well do have an opinion, and I'm not interested in having a contradicted by anyone who DOES know what they're talking about".

You beat me to it

RE: memory?
By Flunk on 10/7/2011 7:50:26 AM , Rating: 3
You've got half of it right, they are making fun of you because you don't know that flash memory and random access memory are just as vallidly referred to as memory.

In addition cell phones are often marketed by their storage memory, the random access memory us referred to by the acronym RAM.

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