Microsoft may not be due to unveil the new range of Mango handsets until the autumn but there are quite a few devices already kicking up a storm in the rumour mill. In fact, it seems one manufacturer couldn’t wait for October to come around and has already gone and made its offering official.
We wouldn’t blame you for getting lost in the sea of prospective new Windows Phone devices doing the rounds on the internet of late, so we’ve decided to dive in to sort out the codenames and specs to make sense of it all.
This is the easy one, as it’s the only handset that’s been made official. We didn’t expect the first Mango device to be announced this early, nor did we envisage it to be produced by Windows Phone newcomers, Toshiba-Fujitsu. The specs give us an indication of what to expect from the rest of the Mango line-up though, as Microsoft imposes strict hardware guidelines for Windows Phone 7 devices that manufacturers must meet.
We won’t bore you with the whole spec list but some of the IT12T’s stand-out features include a 3.7-inch display with an 800 x 480 resolution, 32GB of internal memory and an impressive 13.2 megapixel camera. It’s a CDMA phone so it won’t be heading to UK shores but if you happen to live in Japan you can pick it up sometime in Q4.
Here’s one of the better known as-yet-official Mango handsets from HTC, who released several Windows Phone 7 devices last year. If the rumoured specs turn out to be accurate the Eternity is quite an exciting prospect as is it blurs the line between smartphone and tablet
It’s said to tout a 4.7-inch WVGA Super LCD display and be powered by a 1.5GHz single-core processor. Other specs include an 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing peeper, 16GB of internal storage, DLNA plus the usual Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity options. We must admit that we’d like to have seen a dual-core processor but these specs are unconfirmed so there’s still hope! The HTC Eternity has a rumoured Q4 release date, and we expect it to land in October just as the original Windows Phone 7 line-up did in 2010.
The second rumoured Mango offering from HTC is said to be the successor of the HTC Mozart. Again, we only have internet speculation to go on when it comes to specs but there are some similarities between the Omega and its bigger brother the Eternity.
Potential specs touted include a 1.5GHz single-core processor, a 3.8-inch WVGA Super LCD display, 16GB of storage plus an 8 megapixel camera with 720p video. We haven’t seen a picture of the Omega yet, but we expect it will be announced at the same time as the Eternity in Q4.
Samsung are no strangers to the Windows Phone 7 world either after releasing a range of handsets running the OS last year. Although we haven’t got a name to put to this particular device, it’s thought to be the next-generation Samsung Omnia 7. It was uncovered in a user agent profile by Japanese site Nanapho, with the IE9 web browser giving the Mango OS away.
We only have specs of an 800 x 480 resolution display, HSPA+ and Bluetooth connectivity to go on, however, its unusual codename has led some to believe that it will be a lower-end smartphone, rather than the Omnia 7’s successor. This theory comes from the fact that i8350 is a lower number than i8700, which was the Omnia 7’s codename. Normally, you would expect the number to go up rather than down when it comes to next-generation handsets, so we could be dealing with a low-end device here or some completely new hardware altogether. All should become clear later this year.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Yes, we know this is an Android device but rumour has it that Samsung is working on a Windows Phone 7 version of the Galaxy S II as well, and there’s some evidence to back this up. Firstly, the Bluetooth SIG board recently passed a device with the codename of Samsung GSH-i937 – the Galaxy S II’s codename was SGH-i927. It’s hardly confirmation but is an interesting spot nevertheless.
Fast forward a few weeks and an unnamed Samsung Mango device was shown off by Microsoft’s Steve Guggenheimer at the company’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference. He didn’t go as far to mention any specs but it was noted that the device sported a Super AMOLED Plus display, just like its Android counterpart. There is still plenty to be uncovered about this mystery handset to determine if it is the Galaxy S II in Windows Phone 7 form, particularly whether it has a dual-core processor or not. Samsung are predicted to announce whatever Mango handsets it’s working on alongside the other manufacturers this autumn, which is when we expect to find out exactly what this mysterious smartphone is.
LG is also rumoured to be returning to the Windows Phone 7 fold for another year and the first of two handsets from the Korean firm to be outed is the LG Fantasy, of which we know nothing aside from its name . However, we can have a stab at guessing some of its possible specs based on Microsoft’s strict hardware guidelines. Realistically, it’ll have at least a 1GHz processor as well as some decent internal storage. No word on a release date has been forthcoming from neither the manufacturer nor industry speculators but we imagine that if the Fantasy does exist, it’ll make itself known in Q4.
Tthe LG E906 has also been outed but, as with the LG Fantasy, any in-depth information about it has been noticeably absent. Tech industry watchers think it could be the successor to the LG Optimus 7 due to its similar codename (the Optimus 7’s was E900). Again, we can only hazard a guess for when its launch will be, but if it’s going to show up this year, it’ll be in Q4.
Nokia Sea Ray
The last device in our line-up is none other than the Nokia Sea Ray, believed to be the first Windows Phone 7 handset from the Finnish firm. It hasn’t been shy either as we’ve already seen it appear in a leaked video, however, whilst we may have seen its N9-like body, we don’t yet know what’s under the hood. A few specs have slipped through the net though; a 480 x 800 resolution Gorilla Glass display, an 8 megapixel camera and rather oddly, a microSD card slot. We’re taking this with a pinch of salt but we may not have to wait too long to find out some official details as Nokia and Microsoft are holding a joint party on 17 August which promises “exciting actions and surprises.” We wonder what that surprise could possibly be – Sea Ray, perhaps? Nokia has made it clear that it wants to get its first Windows Phone 7 handset out by the end of the year so a launch this month would fit within that timeframe.