12 hardware features for my dream Windows Phone 7
Whilst jealously watching the what seems daily release of Android handsets I have been looking at the new hardware features being announced as manufacturers try to distinguish themselves from each other. All this new mobile technology inspired me to write an article on what my dream Windows Phone 7 handset would look like and hopefully one day it might appear (not in my dreams)
Here are my Top 12 hardware features I would love to see in the dream Windows Phone 7 handset:
1) An LED notification indicator
A fixture on BlackBerry phones and such a simple feature. I am wondering why manufacturers have removed this from handsets as this surely extends battery life. When I receive a text or have missed a call the indicator flashes red otherwise it flashes green to show you have network coverage. This saves having to switch the full phone screen on to check your texts etc. and wasting precious battery.
2) NFC enabled
NFC, or near-field communications, is a way for two devices to communicate small amounts of data when they’re placed about four inches apart. This technology is already beginning to appear on handsets namely the Samsung Nexus S, upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9900 and rumours that it may appear on the next iPhone. This would allow you to buy items by hovering your mobile phone over a NFC enabled terminal. Emerging NFC applications include mCommerce, P2P payments and electronic keys. This technology would allow transactions between merchants to happen faster and the reduction of queues at stores and events. NFC requires adoption by manufacturers on their handsets so the potential of the technology can be utilised.
The camera technology that can be found on mobile handsets has come a long way in terms of quality. I am hoping that one of the new Nokia Windows Phone 7s has a camera that is better than the one found on the Nokia N8. This unit has an outstanding camera boasting 12 megapixels, xenon flash and a Carl Zeiss lens (here are some pictures taken using the N8 http://bit.ly/lvd8EF). My dream Windows Phone 7 should also be able to take 1080p HD video too (maybe even in 3D). I want to take great photos and videos as my phone is always with me.
Having been initially wow’ed by the brightness of the AMOLED screen on the Samsung Omnia 7, I thought I want this display? But the the awesome Retina display in the iPhone 4 and more recently I have seen the Super AMOLED Plus on the Samsung Galaxy II are far superior. My dream Windows Phone 7 has to have something equivalent to the Retina and Super AMOLED Plus displays. Here is a great link to compare these screen technologies: http://bit.ly/keRrdr The screen should naturally be protected by Gorilla Glass http://bit.ly/kzN4OR which most handsets appear to have now.
5) A Dual Core processor
Whilst Quad Core is all the rage on desktops, Dual Core seems to be the answer on mobile phones. There is NO dual core Windows Phone 7 handset available at present and I have not heard any murmurings of upcoming models either. The upcoming hardware acceleration support in Mango will benefit from faster and multi-core processors.
The iPhone 4’s thickness of 9.3mm is really impressive and it sets the standard in terms of its compact design. The Samsung Galaxy II is thinner still but I prefer the robust and heavier feel of the iPhone 4.
7) External microSD socket
External removable storage through a microSD expansion slot is something that with faster networks, the ability to create documents, record HD video and play music should be compulsory. You cannot save and retrieve everything to/from the cloud over your 3G connection, think of your data costs!
8) Front facing cameras
With Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Skype, I am hoping that it should be almost guaranteed that we see front facing cameras to allow video calls on Windows Phone 7.
9) Wifi Hot Spot
Both iOS and Android allow you to turn your phone into a WiFi hot spot so your friends can surf the net or you can get your laptop / tablet online. This would be a great and very simple feature; although no charge for tethering is most likely only going to happen in my dreams.
10) HDMI out
Many of the handsets out there now are able to record video in HD and stream HD content. The LG Optimus 2X already has the ability to connect to your HDTV to play games and drive 1080p HD videos. The gaming element is really important here as Xbox Live gamers could play higher quality games that are more immersive with their friends without the need for a console.
11) Dolby Sound
The sound element of mobile tends to have been neglected falling behind many if not all new features. Dolby are looking to get 5.1 channel HD audio into the mobile world with their “Dolby Mobile” technology http://bit.ly/kA4A9U This will add richer sound to mobile gaming experiences and coupled with HDMI will mean the sound matches up to the picture quality on your phone and HDTV.
12) Battery Life
All of my dream features are going to require power. The handset should aim to not require a charge every 12 hours. I would like to make 2-3 phone calls a day and play some Angry Birds and still have at least 50% left.
I was very tempted to add 3D capability as a feature I wanted to the AMOLED screen but having seen the Nintendo 3DS and the Optimus 3D http://bbc.in/iq3Xv8 I am not yet convinced by 3D on smaller devices. 3D may be more suited to next-gen tablets due to their larger screens?
Come on Microsoft, HTC, Nokia, LG and Samsung et al. I want to see some new Windows Phone 7 handsets so I don’t look so green with envy at all my friends with their iPhone 4s and in particular the amazing Samsung Galaxy II.