At the risk of furious fanboy vengeance, let me lay this out. A while back, Microsoft decreed a minimum hardware standard for all Windows Phone 7 devices. How does that minimum base compare to the just-announced iPhone 4?
To avoid being eaten alive by open source drop bears, we also need to throw Android into the mix. This comparison is more fraught, with Android device specs all over the map. For argument’s sake, lets pick a flagship device promoted by the mothership: the Nexus One.
|iPhone 4||Windows Phone 7||Nexus One|
|Screen||3.5” ‘Better than OLED’||?||3.7” AMOLED|
|Processor||Apple A4 (1GHz?)||ARMv7 Cortex or Scorpion2||Scorpion|
|Camera||5MP with flash||5MP with flash||5MP with flash|
|Other||Front camera, gyroscope, HD Video||Hardware keyboards available||Open Platform,Hardware keyboards available|
- And also 480×320, but apparently all “launch devices” will be the higher res versions.
- Effectively the same chips as the iPhone 3GS or Nexus One
On the face of it, the iPhone 4 takes away the crown on raw spec numbers. Anyone who has played with an iPad can attest to just how stonking fast that A4 silicone is, regardless of clock speed. And the screen is frankly unbelievable. It reminds me of playing “spot the pixel” on the tiny 352×416 screen of my peculiar Nokia E70.
In defence of the other platforms, consider this: both Android and WP7 phone hardware manufacturers are free to iterate as fast as they want. There’s already talk of a 1.5GHz Scorpion processor behind HTC’s latest Android handsets (and planned WP7 devices). So while you’re waiting for His Steveness to present the next iPhone iteration for your pleasure, your mate’s Android phone might have a 2GHz processor and a 8 megapixel camera.
The stickiest problem of all? Android and Windows Phone 7 restrictions on screen resolutions. As far as I’m aware, both platforms limit the screen resolutions available to developers, with the maximum being 800×480. Ten bucks says the next major release of each platform will support 960×640, because history tells us that Apple drives niche components very quickly into commodity territory.
I’ll say one thing: it’s fantastic to have some choice back in the smartphone market, and great to see that Apple aren’t resting on their laurels. Your thoughts?