Hypotheatrically: Windows Phone 7 versus iPhone 4 versus Android

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 Resolution 960×640 800×4801 800×480
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
RAM 256MB? 256MB 512MB
Flash 16GB 8GB 4GB MicroSD
Weight 137g ? 130g
Other Front camera, gyroscope, HD Video Hardware keyboards available Open Platform,Hardware keyboards available
  1. And also 480×320, but apparently all “launch devices” will be the higher res versions.
  2. 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?

14 Replies to “Hypotheatrically: Windows Phone 7 versus iPhone 4 versus Android”

  1. Yep, iPhone 4 is a nice piece of hardware. Gorgeous screen!

    As for OS 4, I see it as evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

    I do love the marketing on the apple website!

    “Once again Apple change everything”

    Desktop Folders!
    Multitasking!
    Unified Inbox!
    Wallpaper!
    Front camera with video chat!

    Er….yeah…nobody’s done that.

    😉

  2. Theoretically iPhone 4 should be faster than the iPad (if indeed 1GHz) because A4 will have less pixels to manage.

  3. I’m hoping the iPhone 4 doesn’t make it to market in NZ too quickly. I really want to see a Windows 7 phone on the market before committing to my next handset. I’d like to see a few new android handsets too, froyo looks great. But I’m sure it’ll be hard to resist the magpie-to-shiny-thing effect of the iPhone 4 once it’s out!

  4. iPhone 4 is the first time I’ve seriously considered one as an option for my needs. I’d be all over it if I didn’t dislike Apple so much as a brand.

  5. The WP7 interface is atrocious. It looks like a poorly designed web page to me. Also, the animations are overdone and gimmicky.
    PS: I have some other good APPS from aneesoft want to recommend. Maybe someone will like it.

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