1080p, quad-core Windows Phones coming this year
Before we begin, a note for Microsoft / Windows Phone fans: no, most people can’t tell the difference between a 720p and a 1080p screen on a mobile phone, especially at under or around 5″ sizes. Also, pure hardware specs indeed aren’t everything, with the overall experience of using a mobile device being more important. Finally, yes, current Windows Phones can be as ‘smooth’ as Android phones that are much higher-specced.
But – and this will blow their minds away – none of this really matters. If people compare specsheets, a quad-core Android with a 1080p screen feels like a better choice than a dual-core Windows Phone with a 720p screen. And people do compare specsheets, it seems, judging by sales numbers for Android smartphones compared to Windows Phones.
So Microsoft needs to do what it actually hates doing – move faster. This isn’t true only in the mobile space, but it’s especially true there. Microsoft’s pace of releasing OS updates and generally approving new hardware for use on WP is incredibly slow compared to, yes, Android. Partly to ‘blame’ is Microsoft’s closed approach to hardware on the WP platform, but it’s this approach that makes many be fans of WP. So that’s probably going to stay. However, 1080p screens were clearly in the pipeline for many months now, maybe even more than a year. Plenty of time, then, for Microsoft to build in support for those into WP.
But it chose not to. It chose to stick to this rhetoric of ‘higher-res screens don’t really matter, people can’t tell the difference anyway’. That’s a dangerous thing to say even when you’re the No.1 in a field (because people might simply disagree and move to a competitor), but it’s incredibly stupid to cling to this theory when your market share is as low as Windows Phone’s is right now.
This isn’t the first time this has happened with Microsoft and WP. Dual-core processors were once deemed ‘unnecessary’ for the platform. Guess what chipsets now power all high-end Windows Phones? That’s right, dual-core parts. Quad-core CPUs are still a no-no in Microsoft land, though.
So thankfully word is out today that WP will finally support 1080p screens by the end of the year. An update to Windows Phone 8, codenamed GDR3, will bring this feature and will only make Windows Phones be around 9 months behind the competition in this regard. That may be called progress.
But wait, there’s more! More than a year after their Android-powered competitors, Windows Phones will also get the ability to use quad-core chipsets with this update.
This will be an otherwise pretty minor update of the WP platform, it seems, and it should arrive in time for the famed ‘holiday season’. So don’t expect any quad-core 1080p Windows Phones before October at the earliest.
The next version of Windows Phone, codenamed Blue, is only expected in ‘early 2014′ apparently, solidifying the perception that Microsoft is moving at a snail’s pace in a mobile world in which others are innovating a lot quicker. For the sake of competition, then, let’s hope that this report is wrong and whatever version of WP comes before the end of 2013 will bring with it some new features as well.
Via The Verge