Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 Chassis Requirements uncovered

With Windows Phone 8.1 starting to roll out to devices, it's probably no surprise that Microsoft is already working on the next update to its mobile operating system. Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 hasn't remained completely hidden from the world, but it has only popped up here and there without a definitive release date. Today, it looks like the chassis requirements for GDR1 have been uncovered on the OEM Developers site, showing some changes for the upcoming release.

While some of the changes are standard fare, others seem to remove the more stringent requirements, increasing the possibility of seeing lower-end devices with Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1. Although a majority of the specifications remain unchanged, there are a couple of new tweaks to the requirements that are surprising.

According to WMPoweruser, upcoming devices will now have support for qHD (960 x 540 pixels) resolution and will require proximity sensors. The have also made the favorable dedicated camera button an option on upcoming devices. Lastly, it looks like future devices will be restricted to 1080p, as higher resolutions displays will most likely not supported in GDR1.

With the upcoming changes in GDR1, it seems like the hardware requirements are becoming more lenient, opening up the possibility of allowing manufacturers to create devices that may be cheaper than the Lumia 520 or Lumia 630

Source: Microsoft via WMPoweruser | Image via Microsoft

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17 Comments

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Proximity sensor is required? The Lumia 530 and 630 don't have one. Of that's true, its a welcomed change. My Lumia 630 did turn on sometimes in my pocket.

babyHacker said,
They are really doing their best to fragment the market. Pretty soon Windows phone will be no better than android.

Where is this fragmentation you keep talking about? Different screen resolutions isn't fragmentation when Windows Phone hides that behind a convenient abstraction for developers.

Having a camera button isn't fragmentation... that's just a differentiating feature, just like resolution.

As far as Windows Phone app development is concerned, fragmentation isn't an issue.

babyHacker said,
They are really doing their best to fragment the market. Pretty soon Windows phone will be no better than android.

Your view of fragmentation is wrong. It doesn't mean different hardware it supposed to mean software (OS) versioning and more to the point loads of different versions out there at the same time due to manufacturers not updating devices.

With wp there has been 1 major jump which left devices stuck (7x) but with 8 all devices support the 8.1 update.

This is nothing like fragmentation, the bar is currently set by android and is ridiculous.

God, I hope that the hardware requirements don't drop too much or we're gonna end up with a bunch of crappy phones. For the $50 I paid for my Lumia 520 it's a pretty good deal, but if the specs were any worse it wouldn't really be usable.

Darrian said,
God, I hope that the hardware requirements don't drop too much or we're gonna end up with a bunch of crappy phones. For the $50 I paid for my Lumia 520 it's a pretty good deal, but if the specs were any worse it wouldn't really be usable.

thats the point of low end phones - cheap and little, most fundamental use

if you got lumia 520 for $50, you should be proud, for that price, it gives you a lot of oppurtunity - you get a touch screen, and stuff... do i really have to explain it?

people are getting really spoiled, i got lumia 630 for 290 BGN and i already knew what i was getting beforehand, so now im only happy with it, no regrets, no remorse

I'm not spoiled, and I knew what I was getting too. My 928 has a broken screen. The 520 typically retails for $60. I saved a whopping $10 by buying it from Microsoft instead of AT&T. What I'm saying is the 520 is already the bottom of the barrel and yes, for the price you get a great deal, but I can't imagine a WP with lower specs. I already have what is considered a "burner" phone. The next tier down in price range gets you old flip phones/camera phones that run a very minimalistic OS that is practically useless. MS shouldn't compromise too much on specs, I think their bottom bar currently is more than reasonable, and if they do lower it we're going to get flooded with really pretty looking bricks because worse phones aren't going to be able to handle the OS.

No need for higher res to be added with GDR1 since, if the rumors are true, GDR2 is coming before the end of the year, for the rest of 2014 I think 1080p is a good place to max out with on phones.

Now with the next version, 8.2 or 9 or w/e it's called for 2015 they'll bump the resolution for sure, 1440p probably being the next step up.

George P said,
No need for higher res to be added with GDR1 since, if the rumors are true, GDR2 is coming before the end of the year, for the rest of 2014 I think 1080p is a good place to max out with on phones.

Now with the next version, 8.2 or 9 or w/e it's called for 2015 they'll bump the resolution for sure, 1440p probably being the next step up.

Windows Phone already supports 1440p since Windows Phone 8.1.

Studio384 said,
Windows Phone already supports 1440p since Windows Phone 8.1.

It probably does, I just forget since no one has bothered to release anything with that resolution. One of the big phablets at 1440p would be interesting, specially if they can go up to 7" now.

Although I understand the need to have consistency and standards I think equally what Microsoft need to do is get Windows Phone 8.1 to the point where vendors can create a single hardware line then at the factory choose to either load Android or Windows Phone onto it - then maybe at a later date Microsoft could offer free upgrades to Android phone users to upgrade their operating system to Windows Phone. At this point they also need to fix up some pretty basic features; gapless playback needs to come next along with getting the big names to support Windows Phone - the number of applications don't matter, what matters is making sure you get the big names like Instagram, FaceBook, Google and others to ship stable versions then the smaller players will jump onboard.

Truth be known, I'd move to Windows Phone if they actually updated their line up (Lumia 1020 has an ancient CPU and even more ancient GPU) and finally added gapless playback.

Geoffrey B. said,
odd that they would remove the requirement for the camera button as it has been a staple for Windows phones.

That requirement was removed in both Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 GDR2, so it hasn't been necessary for a while. In fact, the Lumia 630 doesn't have a camera button.