Windows Phone 7 Series Minimum System Requirements (Hardware)

Microsoft has officially revealed the minimum system and hardware requirements for their Windows Phone 7 Series platform at Mix10 Conference. Manufacturers will have to abide these compulsory specifications from Microsoft in order to create future handsets for Windows Phone 7 Series. In case you didn’t know, head on to the article titled “Windows Phone 7 Series Not Yet Compatible with Current Smart Phones“. Read that post to understand better why. The high demand for hardware is one reason.

Windows Phone 7 Demands High Hardware Requirements

Hardware Minimums, FYI: Windows Phone 7 Series Minimum System Requirements

  • Capacitive Touch: 4 or more contact points
  • Sensors: A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity
  • Camera: 5 megapixels or more, Camera with a flash and dedicated camera button
  • Multimedia: Common detailed specs, Codec acceleration
  • Memory: 256 MB, 8 GB Flash or more
  • GPU: DirectX 9 acceleration
  • Processor: ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion or better
  • 2 screen sizes: 480×800 WVGA, 480×320 HVGA
  • Keyboard: Optional
  • Hardware Buttons: Must be fixed on the face

As far as I can see these hardware details are comparable with other existing high-end smart phones. Scorpion refers to Qualcomm’s core in its 1 GHz Snapdragon chipset that powers the Verizon Nexus One Android phone and T-Mobile HTC HD2 smartphone. The ARMv7 Cortex implies the Armv8 Cortex which is used by the iPhone 3GS. The other specs seem to be industry standard and nothing to crow about. I am a bit surprised though that Microsoft is only requiring a minimum of 256MB memory. I supposed since they already confirmed that they won’t be allowing third-party apps to multi-task in Windows Phone 7 OS, 256MB would be enough. I would still prefer a phone with more memory to handle 3D games and HD video viewing.

The GPU DirectX 9 requirement is vague. Will manufacturers be compelled to provide a separate graphics accelerator chipset or will it be integrated with the phone’s main processor? Since Microsoft is bragging that Windows Phone 7 is going to offer serious gaming experience, I bet they will coerce their OEM partners to incorporate a dedicated GPU to future smart phone models. I hope they use the PowerVR SGX 545 graphics accelerator used by the iPod Touch and iPhone 3GS or something better.

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