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To help celebrate the upcoming launch of Windows Phone 7.5 (which we announced today is rolling out as an update for all current Windows Phone customers), several of our hardware partners around the world – HTC, Samsung and ZTE – unveiled brand new, cutting-edge devices running the latest version of Windows Phone. I was lucky enough to get a chance to play with preview versions of the hardware (well, two out of the three at least!) and I’m pretty impressed with what I saw; these new phones are light, sleek, and fast.
T-Mobile’s upcoming HTC Radar 4G was the first phone I had a chance to use. It’s a joy to work with as HTC did an excellent job of making a medium sized phone (it has a 3.8 LCD display) feel balanced and substantial. I suspect that’s largely due to the really well constructed unibody aluminum chassis, which by definition has more “heft” than polycarbonate. When you hold it in your hand, it feels almost like a polished stone – really good stuff.
Under the hood is a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor that delivers really snappy performance (especially coupled with T-Mobile’s 4G network, which is super-fast), and a 5MP camera with LED flash that performed well for me in office light, daylight, and in low-light conditions.
If you’re a T-Mobile customer, you’ll be able to get your hands on this one in time for the holidays.
Next I got a chance to work with the Samsung Omnia W, which is launches around the world, starting in Italy, later this October. This phone is smaller than the Radar, but just by a hair – it has a 3.7” display vs. the Radar’s 3.8” display. Even though it’s small, the display is beautiful. It’s SuperAMOLED so colors are clear and bright, and there is zero lag when flicking things around the screen even at high speed.
Where the Radar is smooth and rounded, the Omnia W has harder edges and a more squared off corners. It’s a very different feel than the Radar, but it works. I found the Omnia W to fit really well in my hand and my pocket, and I’m absolutely addicted to the screen. The combination of a wicked fast 1.4GHz processor and HSPA+ connectivity makes it speedy, too, and like the Radar the Omnia W sports a 5MP camera.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to handle the ZTE Tania, which was unveiled today at a trade show in Asia. The Tania has a 4.3” display, meaning it’s a bit bigger than the Radar and the Omnia W, but has similar specs – 1Ghz processor and 5MP camera. Since I didn’t get my hands on a device in time, you’ll have to make due with ZTE’s house pictures:
The Tania will be sold in several European countries later this year.
This is just a sneak preview of a few of the great new Windows Phone 7.5 devices that will hit the market around the globe in the next few months. Keep an eye on the blog for more first looks!
Have a Windows Phone or Windows PC question? Find me on Twitter or Ask Ben Anything via e-mail!
I love Windows Phone, but I have been without any phone at all for a week or two now since my Blackberry died. And the sad thing is, it seems there will be no new devices to get for months on AT&T.
I was considering the Omnia W, but as it has only a SuperAMOLED and not a SuperAMOLED-PLUS screen I don't think I'll get it. As much as I love the colors, the lack of sub-pixels is a real down turner... :(
I don't observe any real difference. You'd have to be in a completely dark room and looking very closely to tell any difference at all and, to be honest, that's not the normal environment people use the devices. My Focus looks only the slightest bit less sharp than my wife's iPhone 4 (which arguably has the best screen out there) and because of the contrast and saturation I actually like the SuperAMOLED better. So, the Plus version is not worth me holding off or choosing other more important aspects....like FFC or larger storage. In fact, if none of the upcoming phones has either LARGE storage or the capability of adding an SD card, I'm sticking with my Focus, which has a 32GB card in it.
I love the design,color and screen size of the Tania,but I've had bad experience with ZTE phones about 6yrs back
Omnia W looks nice but I will probably go with Titan for now :)
even I had a bad experience with ZTE years back, but now they are doing a good job. I got the ZTE blade as a backup phone and it was very good.
I suggest that you give it a try.
How does the speed of a phone's processor impact the user experience with a Windows Phone? I would love to see a blog post about Windows Phone hardware; a guide for consumers so we can know which stats and figures really move the performance needle.
These new phones look great, but what about those of us on CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint?
Very nice to see Windows Phone growing so fast. I am so waiting for my Nokia Windows Phone. Been using Nokia phones for the past 8 yrs, love the Hardware and with my fav WindowsPhone 7 it will be a great combination..cant wait for Nokia World.