September 08, 2011, 10:14 AM — Ever since Microsoft previewed the Windows Phone 7 Mango update back in May, we've been eager to get our hands on the next generation of smartphones running Microsoft's OS. The new phones are slated to arrive this fall, and September has brought some leaks, rumors, and actual confirmed phones. In fact, last week at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin, HTC unveiled the Titan and the Radar, the first of its Mango phones.
Windows Phone 7 sales have been slower than anticipated over the past year. According to IDC, Windows Phone 7 will account for just 3.8% of the market by the end of this year. Despite its clean user interface, Windows Phone 7 failed to win over customers due to the lackluster phones that run it, the absence of some essential features (such as multitasking of third-party apps), and a dearth of compelling apps.
So why am I excited about the Mango update and the next generation of WP7 phones? Mango includes more than 500 new features designed to improve multitasking (yes!), offer more-dynamic information, and make apps and the operating system work together more efficiently. Plus, manufacturers seem to be stepping up the power and attractiveness of their soon-to-launch phones.
Shiny, New Hardware
HTC, LG, and Samsung will most likely be responsible for the first Mango phones that reach U.S. shores. We should start seeing U.S. versions of these next-generation WP7 phones unveiled at the CTIA conference in mid-October. The leaked--and confirmed--phones I've seen look pretty exciting.
True to its name, the HTC Titan rocks an absurdly large 4.7-inch super LCD display (compared to the 3.7-inch iPhone 4 or the 4.3-inch HTC EVO 3D) with a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels. Powered by a 1.5GHz processor, it supplies 16GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, and an 8-megpaixel camera. The Radar has a 1GHz processor with 8GB of internal memory and 512MB of RAM. It also carries a super LCD screen that has the same resolution as the Titam's but measures 3.8 inches diagonally.
LG has a penchant for teaming up with fashion houses for limited-edition phones, and rumor has it that WP7 Mango will get some of that haute couture love. A Jil Sander-branded Mango phone is thought to be a dressed-up version of the LG Optimus 7, which came out last November. Another rumored phone from LG is dubbed the Fantasy. Leaked images of this model show it as having a larger-than-average display.