Print 43 comment(s) - last by leexgx.. on Jan 10 at 10:13 PM

Windows Phone goes 4G at last

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) appears to be finally preparing to "face the future" and flip the switch on fourth generation wireless technology.  Faced with a "no-LTE-no-Windows Phones" ultimatum from America's largest carrier -- Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- Microsoft appears to finally have became serious about LTE, with the first 4G Windows Phones spotted in the wild.

Windows Phone fans have long defended the platform's lack of LTE with platitudes such as "4G kills battery life; "the technology is ready for the market"; "LTE speeds aren't as good as promised"; or "the coverage isn't ready yet".  These criticisms certainly single out legitimate weaknesses of current LTE deployments, but they glaringly miss the fact that rudimentary 4G -- while a work in progress -- is the state of the art, today.  And technology sells phones; without cutting edge hardware (even if it's just a little better), a phone is less likely to succeed in the fickle consumer market.

But the drought and defensive responses may at last be near an end.  The Verge cites a source cites a source close to Samsung Electronic Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) as describing an upcoming "early 2012" Windows Phone, which packs both a larger screen that the previous Samsung Focus S Windows Phone (so likely Samsung's 4.52-inch display found in the Galaxy S II HD) and a LTE modem.

Likewise a source reveals an HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) Windows Phone handset named "Radiant", which will also feature an LTE modem.  WPCentral, a top Windows Phone rumors site, has spotted the handset in the wild.  The handset was running a post-Mango build -- Windows Phone 7.10.8004.

Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) is also reportedly cooking up an LTE-enabled variant of its slick Lumia 800 handsets, which bears a bit of a resemblance to the sleek colored metal-body iPod Nanos.  

Lumia 800
[Image Source: The Verge]

Some of the details clash with the previously leaked Windows Phone roadmap (also revealed on WPCentral).  Reportedly "Tango", the next build of Windows Phone would be aimed at budget handsets, and the late 2012 "Apollo" would be aimed at higher end (i.e. LTE, HD screen) smartphones.  

It now appears both the HD screens and LTE will be launching in early 2012.  It's possible that Apollo will launch aside Tango, or it's possible that the improvements have been merged into Tango as a single super-release, similar to Mango.

Samsung is the world's largest maker of smartphones and second largest maker of feature phones.  Nokia is the top smartphone seller in China, the world's new largest smartphone market.  And HTC was on top of the American smartphone market -- the world's second largest market -- at last count.

Sources: WPCentral, The Verge [1], [2]

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RE: get a move on
By tayb on 1/2/2012 7:14:49 PM , Rating: 5
Who cares about specs? The thing that you should be focusing on is the fact that this old outdated hardware provides a snappier response and more fluid UI than these quad core Android phones with 2+ GB RAM.

Have you ever even used a WP7 device? It doesn't need more powerful hardware. The slowest WP7 feels faster than any Android phone ever released.

RE: get a move on
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/2/2012 7:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
If there was actually quad core phones out....

RE: get a move on
By french toast on 1/2/2012 7:52:13 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares about specs??

The customers do, and its less about specs, its about being 'up to date' having the same stuff as the phone your best friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/dad has.. etc.

As you quite rightly point out, wp7 works more smoothly than android, by all accounts nokia lumia looks better as well, so why then is wp7 is selling like ice creams in antartica???

Maybe its because it is out of date and expensive for what it is? after all you dont need a 500bhp engine in your ferari to get to work and back...would you still pay 150 grand if it had a 1.6l engine instead?..even if it does the same job? of course not.

If the nokia had out of date components, yet looked good, worked just as well but crucially was HALF THE PPRICE then it might have more market share.

RE: get a move on
By TakinYourPoints on 1/2/2012 9:03:43 PM , Rating: 3
Nailed it, WP7 or iOS on slower hardware is much snappier than Android. WP7 and the ZuneHD are butter smooth and so nice to use.

The fact that a 1.5ghz Snapdragon running Android feels choppier than WP7 and delivers slower benchmarks than a 800mhz A5 speaks volumes about what a pig Android is. I guess some people like it because they can spout high but irrelevant hardware specs on forums, I dunno.

RE: get a move on
By sprockkets on 1/2/2012 11:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
Android 3.0 fixed all that with full GPU acceleration and browser stores on the browser, which apple and probably wp7 already have.

Course my ancient HTC Magic with official software on a 528mhz old arm cpu is buttery smooth too. So what?

RE: get a move on
By theapparition on 1/3/2012 11:13:36 AM , Rating: 2

Most people haven't seen Android 4.0 running on a phone, so they'd be really surprised at how fluid it is. The vanilla build on the Galaxy Nexus is also the fastest browsing phone ever, by a long shot. So tell me again about the user experience?

Secondly, even if the OS runs buttery smooth (and WinMo7 does run nice), they need the higher spec'd hardware to run the applications behind it smoothly. Smooth OS and choppy apps aren't going to help WinMo7's case.

I'd like to see Windows phone do a lot better and get this into a threeway competition for smartphones.

RE: get a move on
By leexgx on 1/6/2012 3:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
but my phone only supports 2.3.4 (officially) so i never see that..

wp7 from the start had Full GPU acceleration from the start where as android it was an afterthought (iphone not sure maybe half gpu acceleration as it can be choppy very much so on the older 3gs and older phones)

i only really want an WP7 for the business side (always preferred the way windows does it calender) only thing thats stopping me is will it Sync with google services correctly (exchange support like iPhone and WP6.5 does) if blackberry goes bump wp7 or old wp6.5 phone be my new phone (do not like Android calender at all)

RE: get a move on
By VitalyTheUnknown on 1/3/2012 6:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
I will agree with you that hardware specs are irrelevant if you point me to a windows phone that shoots full hd videos.

RE: get a move on
By korben44 on 1/6/2012 9:45:26 AM , Rating: 2
HTC Titan shoots 720P HD video.

RE: get a move on
By sprockkets on 1/2/2012 11:23:22 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, I have. And I find it ridiculously ugly and convoluted.

That's just my opinion, one that the market currently shares with me I might add.

RE: get a move on
By PrezWeezy on 1/3/2012 1:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
Ugly I can see. That is an opinion, I happen to disagree, but I can see how one might feel that way.

Convoluted, however, is ridiculous. While iOS is reasonably simple to use and understand Android is a complete mess. Things are located all over the place depending on phone and version and carrier. WP7 is as easy or easier than iOS and 10 times more user friendly than Android.

RE: get a move on
By Reclaimer77 on 1/4/2012 12:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
How is Android a mess? Give me a break. This is supposed to be a tech website. If you can't work an Android phone, how in the HELL are you using a PC?

RE: get a move on
By leexgx on 1/10/2012 10:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
Android is an mess compared to IOS and wp7 (even blakcberry to an point)

RE: get a move on
By HackSacken on 1/9/2012 5:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
Couldn't agree more. I used a Nexus One for about 1.5 years then a Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant for about 2 months. Finally moved to the "mid-range" WP7 HTC Radar and never once thought mid-range. Only short coming is the 8GB of non-expandable space.

To answer your question though, I think it is fair to say, unfortunately, those that are ignorant care about specs. I think shopping for a phone one should be more worried about what they want it to do, how well, how simple, and how quickly (if they find it important). I suppose bragging rights seem to cloud judgement?

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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