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 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.

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