Future Windows Phone specifications announced

Microsoft has finally announced its new set of Windows Phone hardware specifications at the MIX11 conference today.

According to Mobile Tech World Microsoft engineer Istvan Cseri set out the new set of hardware specs for future Windows Phone devices during one of the conference speeches. The new specification details include news that a new Gyro sensor will be built into the hardware, although this feature will be optional and up to OEMs to decide whether they make use of it or not.

Microsoft also stated that they have been working on support for Qualcomm's brand new system-on-a-chip MSM7X30 chipset, which runs at 800MHz while running an improved Adreno 205 GPU. The company also now support Qualcomm's faster second generation MSM8X55 running at 1GHz, which also contains the much more powerful Adreno 205 GPU, which is already available on some new Android based handsets.

Microsoft has also decided to drop the specification for HVGA chassis, leaving only support for WVGA as the screen resolution.

Yesterday at MIX11, Microsoft showed off the next big software update for Windows Phone OS 7, dubbed ‘Mango”. The update will bring a number of bug fixes, features, stability improvements and overall a better user-friendly experience.

Image Source: Engadget

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So I finally got some questions answered.

The first generation WP7 devices uses QSD8X50 because WP7 only supported Adreno 200. Microsoft manage to sneak the GPU driver for Adreno 205 into NoDo which allows the MSM7X30 and MSM8X55 to be use.

Newer Snapdragon uses Adreno 220 which the current driver doesn't support and will actually cause a drop in performance. This driver may be added in Mango

Windows Phone 7 is based on a pre-release version of Windows CE 7 which does support dual-core, but is not optimize for it yet.

@MS Pandya

Any ideas which carriers are going to get these new phones? AT&T and T mobile has carried many, but I am more interested in another phone for sprint.

.Neo said,
Would be nice if they actually released some new phones...

There's a Dell WP7 device codenamed Wrigley slated for a Q3 release around July-August, if my roadmap is accurate. I'm sure other OEMs are also working on devices against this new minimum spec. They've likely had it for a while.

.Neo said,
Would be nice if they actually released some new phones...

Yeah, like maybe something for Verizon... All I can say is there phones had better be awesome.

.Neo said,
Would be nice if they actually released some new phones...

sales are poor, htc is talking about ditching it altogether. I think they're waiting to see how it goes it.

sweatshopking said,

sales are poor, htc is talking about ditching it altogether. I think they're waiting to see how it goes it.

No they're not. ATT just lined up the HD7s with a large order commitment. HtC isn't walking away from WP7

MS Pandya said,

There's a Dell WP7 device codenamed Wrigley slated for a Q3 release around July-August, if my roadmap is accurate. I'm sure other OEMs are also working on devices against this new minimum spec. They've likely had it for a while.


I've never seen a DELL phone on sale here in the Netherlands. The current WP7 phones being sold here are nothing special really and don't even support Dutch.

It's amazing how a company like Microsoft is still able to **** up a product launch like this.

I m sure Microsoft will use dual core processors as soon as they start developings apps to use it, people forget that an idle core still uses power and that almost all apps are only designed to be used for one core, however with multitasking it will be interesting to see how the operating sytem will distribute the work between the cores. Maybe in the future, but as of right now they need to design the software to use the power from the battery as efficiently as possible, it matters a lot in my opinion of mobile phones and I m glad microsoft is putting this into the equation as well. Hopefully battery technology improves by leaps and strides soon, but its just wishful thinking.

carson2255 said,
I m sure Microsoft will use dual core processors as soon as they start developings apps to use it, people forget that an idle core still uses power and that almost all apps are only designed to be used for one core, however with multitasking it will be interesting to see how the operating sytem will distribute the work between the cores. Maybe in the future, but as of right now they need to design the software to use the power from the battery as efficiently as possible, it matters a lot in my opinion of mobile phones and I m glad microsoft is putting this into the equation as well. Hopefully battery technology improves by leaps and strides soon, but its just wishful thinking.

FYI, on desktop processors such as the Core 2010/2011 series, they include something called Core Parking, whereby inactive cores can be powered down. Core Parking and Turbo Mode were introduced because of the prevalence of devices not designed for SMT processors.

On mobile SoC like the Snapdragon, the functionality is split into lots of seperate cores. The 'Application Processing Core' is the the one most analogous to a desktop processor and does the general heavy lifting. In multicore designs, these APs can usually be shut down independently. Additionally, stuff like audio processing, video decoders, bluetooth, security chips are all seperate, and can (and are) powered down when not in use to maximise battery life.

Marvell have an Armada ARM SoC design that in addition to including seperate chips for each function as per normal, includes two (or four) fast Cortex A9 cores, and a single, far slower ARMv7 core. The idea is that in standby with minimal services running, devices can use the low power ARMv7 core, and the extra high power cores can be used in general use as needed.

You're right about effective use of multiple cores being the main limitation though!

gxsaurav said,
@ms Pandya Qualcomm MSM7230 is what ARM core?

MSM7230 is an 800MHz ARMv7 part with an Adreno 205 GPU on the 45nm process.

To clarify, it's designed off the ARMv7 instruction set, but is significantly faster at multimedia related operations, similar to Cortex A8. There's more information about the Snapdragon SoC lineup on QC's website (http://www.qualcomm.com/snapdragon/specs)

Ok, so I found that it is basically a Cortex A8 CPU running at 800 MHz with ARM Neon.

Sounds nice on paper. I am really waiting for Nokia W8 now.

I was expecting a lower end 800Mhz spec, good to see it came true. With the mango performance updates plus the faster GPU on the chipset the difference between current 1Ghz WP and any future lower end 800Mhz ones will probably be hard to notice.

GP007 said,
I was expecting a lower end 800Mhz spec, good to see it came true. With the mango performance updates plus the faster GPU on the chipset the difference between current 1Ghz WP and any future lower end 800Mhz ones will probably be hard to notice.

That 800Mhz CPU is actually faster than the 1Ghz found on today's phones.

Kushan said,

That 800Mhz CPU is actually faster than the 1Ghz found on today's phones.

Hmm maybe on a operation per clock comparison, the big thing is the faster GPU though. Either way it's fine and will help push the price down and boost WP7 sales.

Kushan said,

That 800Mhz CPU is actually faster than the 1Ghz found on today's phones.

That is most definitely not true. A 1GHz second gen snapdragon has the exact same performance of a 1GHz first gen. It's just built using a smaller manufacturing process and uses a little bit less energy.

The benchmarks that showed a second gen 800MHz chip beat a first gen 1GHz chip are affected by more than just processing power. So improvements in RAM, ROM and GPU were the reason it scored better than the first.

they should up the screen resolution...i think the retina looks miles better then a lot of whats out there right now

Co_Co said,
they should up the screen resolution...i think the retina looks miles better then a lot of whats out there right now
AMOLED is better at ANY resolution. Lower resolution uses less battery life. Much better than underclocking the CPU to get better batterylife. Which is what Apple does.

TechieXP said,
AMOLED is better at ANY resolution. Lower resolution uses less battery life. Much better than underclocking the CPU to get better batterylife. Which is what Apple does.

Agreed. What I would give for an AMOLED.

Now, is AMOLED a step above OLED? Because I have a Zune HD and I absolutely love the blacks. I can be in the dark and the only thing that shows is the text, not the black background. My phone unfortunately (HTC Arrive) is not that way. I would LOVE the look of WinPho on AMOLED.

Co_Co said,
they should up the screen resolution...i think the retina looks miles better then a lot of whats out there right now

This is where people get confused between 'base required' specifications, and technical capabilities.

Microsoft says the devices must have X,Y,X featuers, like the screen resolution must meet the minimum levell (which they did increase by doing away with the sub 800x450 displays.)

However, this does not mean that if the hardware MFR wants to drop in one of the new 1200x600 displays that are the same size as the Retina display, there is nothing to stop them.

thenetavenger said,

This is where people get confused between 'base required' specifications, and technical capabilities.

Microsoft says the devices must have X,Y,X featuers, like the screen resolution must meet the minimum levell (which they did increase by doing away with the sub 800x450 displays.)

However, this does not mean that if the hardware MFR wants to drop in one of the new 1200x600 displays that are the same size as the Retina display, there is nothing to stop them.


screen resolution is an absolute requirement and not base.

LukeEmery said,

Agreed. What I would give for an AMOLED.

Now, is AMOLED a step above OLED? Because I have a Zune HD and I absolutely love the blacks. I can be in the dark and the only thing that shows is the text, not the black background. My phone unfortunately (HTC Arrive) is not that way. I would LOVE the look of WinPho on AMOLED.

AMOLED is simply active matrix OLED. It is better than the POLED on the ZuneHD for the same reasons a TFT LCD is better than a non TFT LCD (TFT and Active Matrix mean the same thing)

Nice. The new chassis requirements for WinPhone 7 fits beautifully with Nokia as it give powerful enough phones yet low cost for mass consumption in markets like India, while providing quite good battery life. I am talking about sub $250 phones which are unlocked.