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From the Forums: Which US carrier will you be with for Apollo and how many cores does a smartphone need?

From the Forums

Welcome to yet another From the Forums, where we bring you the latest and most popular threads from the Windows Phone Central forums. Should you find yourself lost with all the ongoing discussions that are taking place on our forum, be sure to check up on our quick selection in this roundup to get you started.

First up we have an interesting poll, created by 12Danny123, that asks the question, "Which US carrier will you be choosing when Apollo is with us?" Of course, one can simply answer with their current carrier should they not expect to move across, but we'll have to see which Windows Phones operators stock before making a final decision.

We've had issues in the past with carriers being slow with updates, should they release them at all, which has led to consumers using tactical evaluations to work out which option is best suited for their needs. Then again, if you're after that exclusive Windows Phone, you're likely going to have to put up with whatever quirks that particular network has.

Be sure to head on over to the poll to throw your input as well as voicing your opinion on which carrier you'll most likely decide on.

How many cores does a Windows Phone need?

Battery

The number of CPU cores (and specifications in general) have continuously been centre stage in any heated debate on which platform is more advance. Google's Android generally takes the gold medal with a number of handsets sporting dual-core configurations and more. When it comes to Windows Phone we've been content with just the bog-standard single core chips, which sport good power management and enough power to run Microsoft's OS.

With the announcement of Windows Phone 8, we're set to see smartphones with two or more cores arrive on the platform, but just how many is required? a5cent has attempted to dive into some depth to attempt to ask such a question.

"The problem is that most consumer applications simply don't have the kinds of computational workloads that lend themselves to being packaged up in such a fashion. In all the realm of consumer software, twitch type games are the exception, and even for them making use of any cores beyond the second becomes increasingly difficult.

Even on the PC, were we've had quad-core CPU's for years, you will only very rarely find the occasional game that makes meaningful use of more than two cores (Battlefield3 is one such rare exception). This type of game, which would kill any smartphone's battery in a matter of seconds, simply isn't a realistic proposition for the foreseeable future."

This is definitely true regarding quad-core PC CPUs that are fully supported by a limited number of games. Would we see multi-core support for Windows Phone games? If you'd like bury your battery into an early grave each and every time, then sure why not? While advancing hardware in smartphones is good development, we should remember that they are just "mobile phones" at the end of the day.

What are your thoughts on dual-core / quad-core support for Windows Phone? Do you desire devices making use of such hardware? Head on over to the "How many cores does a smartphone need?" to voice your opinion.

Miscellaneous: AT&T (and Canada) finally rolling out the Tango update

The American carrier has been on the receiving end on flak from customers who were still anticipating the Tango update for their Windows Phones. Thankfully we reported that indeed AT&T has begun rolling out the update for customers. As we expected, readers took to the forums to express their excitement and  disbelief with Figure 8 Dash firing up a thread.

Have you received the update? Be sure to head on over to the "Tango now available for AT&T and Canada" thread to let us know how the process went.

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Reader comments

From the Forums: Which US carrier will you be with for Apollo and how many cores does a smartphone need?

77 Comments

Yeah I'll be with ATT and I'm just going to cop out and choose the best Nokia phone that's out when I'm eligible for renewal.

No the correct answer is NO CARRIER.  Buy your phones unlocked and unbranded in order to get your updates directly from microsoft.  And don't give me the line about carriers have no say in WP8 updates...JOE NEVER SAID THAT!  He said WP8 would get OTA updates, carriers are still going to be in the mix on this folks.
 
So repeat after me, I will buy my phone unlocked!

And I thought I was the only one that did that. But for an average consumer, I believe it's better to get it through their carrier so they can have the best experience and support. My dos centavos :-)

Why pay $450-500 for an unlocked phone and still have to pay for service? It begins to be a waste of money especially if you can't sell the phone when you want to get a new one. It's not that serious.

I plan on getting my next phone unlocked and going with one of the many MVNO's.  StraightTalk runs on the AT&T network and provides unlimited everything for $45.  Personally, my ultimate wish is to go with Ting, which due to its shared data/minutes/texts and low rates, would be the best for my wife and I.   Given our usage, our monthly bill would come out to $40-50 total.  But Ting is a Sprint MVNO and they don't have a Windows Phone yet :(
So you see the beauty of unlocked is to get cheaper rates which will save a LOT more money than $450-500.

Yeah I see what you're saying but if you still pay $400-500 for EACH device and you try to keep up with the hottest thing, you still end up spending more money than saving. Just saying.

This.

There is little reason to buy unlocked in the US unless you are on Tmobile. You still pay the subsidized price on every other carrier so you might as well take the subsidized phone. Plus you get screwed out of LTE.

I'm with AT&T, but I usually buy my phones unlocked. And dual, quad cores, doesn't matter, with the silky smooth operation of the OS.

The way wp runs on 1 core isperfect in my perspective. My next gadget will be a win8 pro tablet and i want some juice in that

Like that's going to happen. Sounds like they're just two extra cores sitting around. Then again, the flagship phones are going to be quad-core, so I'll probably end up there anyway...

Yeah I'm with you on that.  In a pure 2vs4 core contest, I count 4 core as a negative because the extra cores wont be utilized but will still drain some extra battery.  But in reality, the quad core phones will probably be flagships with better screen, graphics, camera, and such.

I've heard that more cores on a phone can actually be beneficial to battery life, because it helps distribute tasks more efficiently. So it helps deal with the issue that battery technology isn't advancing as quickly.

Theoretically. We still have yet to see WP perform in this scenario, but if it's properly optimized, yes, it could help rather than hinder.

Perhaps theoretically.  But in practice, and this is comming from a software developer, most programmers are WAY to lazy to try and optomize usage of multiple cores.  Switching from a sequential to a parallel mindset is not easy to do.  So currently you won't find many (if any) apps that can take advantage of something like 4 cores, let alone 2.  I think 2 cores will come in handy with WP, but 4 cores, probably not.  I believe the same situation exists on my quad core PC.  The 4 cores are hardly ever utlized except for some operations, but I don't mind because my PC doesn't run on a battery and I don't need it to be able to make/recieve phone calls.

T-Mo here as well. Dual core is fine, but I have to say, my hd7 still runs buttery smooth on a single core. I think expanding to multiple cores will catch the eye of android spec-wh*res and may lead to more of them switching over possibly. Just my opinion.

I agree, I think most wp users are as happy as I am with our phones, but in order for wp to grow, it needs to have specs on par with android and iPhone

Dual or Quad / T-Mobile with that new sexy beast from Samsung. This phone will really jump start W8 phone sales BIG TIME!!!

AT&T... They've treated me good over the years. Loyalty. And I don't care how many cores it is as long as it runs smooth and fluid. Its a phone not a computer.

If a pc rarely use quad core what's the point of a phone having it? Android phones are a typical example, the majority of users will never need to use the extra cores. So all it does is slow the phone down and battery power is horrendous. Wp7.5 is optimised so only needs single, I expect dual core for wp8. Qualcomm quad core not out til 2013, is that correct?

Hell, my laptop is dual core. Dual is perfect for phones too, unless the number of cores has an effect on battery life, etc.
I'd go with a dual core just in case. And I always use unlocked phones with a prepaid plan.

No contract carrier for me - will be getting unlocked or ATT phone and using it on StraightTalk so I can save myself about $1500 over two years! Only way to go and I'm still using ATT towers! Can't lose.

I'll stick with AT&T. Except for North Carolina, I've had great call and data service since making the switch last Christmas. I don't see Sprint or T-Mobile's networks getting any better, and Verizon is too expensive. Not only that, but only AT&T and T-Mobile have really treated Windows Phone well thus far, and AT&T has better options of those.

As for the CPU cores argument, well, that's simple... we only need ONE, and I think Windows Phone has proven that's all we need for a good experience. Adding more cores only serves to suck the life out of your battery unless A) your apps and OS take advantage of that performance boost... most don't, and B) your OS and apps are designed with good Power Management optimizations. So, I'm not saying there aren't benefits to having a good set of games or Power apps to use a dual-core CPU, but this isn't like the desktop or tablet world where powerful specs are giving you huge productivity boosts.

However, I will make one positive argument for high specs... dual core CPU's and things like the Retina display. While their improvements may just be gimmicks to lure people in with bigger and flashier whatever, there is a fringe benefit to everyone in that they also serve to bring the prices down on components. So that race to the top is always a good thing.

I've been using wp7, and my first phone from ATT was the HTC Surround. I upgraded to the Nokia Lumia 900, and I've gained more love for WP. The guys from Nokia are doing an outstanding job and making WP look a lot better. With that said, im sticking to ATT with quadcore :)

I'd like to hang onto my Sprint SERO account so hoping for a nice WP8 device on the Sprint network.  If Sprint decides to pass on WP8, i might have to switch over to Android or iOS.  While I love the windows phone OS, I don't love it enough to switch carriers and pay $30+ more per month.

As previously reported, Sprint, at some point or other, will get at least one Windows Phone 8 device. Who know what type or when it will be, but there will be at least one.

Dual core should be enough for now on AT&T but the new thing is that quad core on the upcoming newer phones.

Whichever carrier will offer me the first WP8 Nokia device in Canada (Bell is famous for hating all WP devices). Dual core is fine, but the geek in me wants Quad core.

Maybe this is like one of those times you don't realize you want something until you have it. I'll never go under a 4" screen now, 4.3" is perfect for me. Then again, I have no idea what possible reason a quad-core CPU would be needed. Maybe we should just settle and go with tri-core :P

Quad core... That way we're assured its future proof. There was a time when people thought 1ghz was fast.... That time is long gone... Just as dual cores will go the way of the dodo bird.

SPRINT is the one for me, we have 5 lines with them and no other carrier can beat the prices that I get (Company discount) or the Unlimited Data plan that SPRINT provides.
 
With that said, I hope to get a 1.5+Ghz core, I dont think we NEED 2+ cores, maybe more RAM instead? I read the SIII with DUAL CORE and more RAM ran just as good as the QUAD CORE version of the SIII which goes to show that the CORE of the matter is not as important as the RAM... Some people have stated that most apps do not even utilize the second or higher cores...
 
So... In conclusion, I am opting for a faster processor with single or dual core but would definately put my money toward more RAM... Ohh yeah, and a 4.3"+ screen, no less... jejeje

I like what you did there. You bring up a good point. RAM IS VERY IMPORTANT, more so than processors for running apps simultaneously and buttery. So, dual core with more RAM it is :-D

Dual core should be more than enough and I'm sticking with T-Mobile unless we get the short end of the stick on high-end W8 phones.(ex. no HTC Titan/2, Lumia 900, Samsung Focus S) If we get midranged this coming fall, I will embrace ATT and their higher prices.

I'm on Verizon, but since they are now making those with unlimited dataplans pay FULL retail instead of the subsidized price when renewing, I don't have nearly as much reason to stay on them.

I heard about that. Ill probably be leaving too if that's tue case. You don't have a link perhaps?

About the specs. This place is full of boring realists. I'd rather have 4 cores if they can make it happen. Hell why stop there? These aren't just "mobile phones" anymore, they're full spec computers we have in our pockets. Why not try and take advantage of state of the art tech? Its up to the consumer if they want to pay for it right?

Dual Core & 2Gb of RAM, 4.5-4.8" screen. I currently own a Lumia 900 w/ at&t and will continue with them, they have the best portfolio of Windows Phone. I wouldn't mind buying my next WP unlocked, OTA updates and eliminating the carrier bloatware sounds great as long as the unlocked phone still supports at&t's LTE bands and other 4G bands (once u go LTE you can go back, as it spoils w/ speed).

thou shall not covet thy neighbor...  Well I am with sprint and I will be looking over the fence coveting what my neighbors AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon are doing with W8.  All I need is dual-core LTE

Verizon if they support WP8, but if Verizon try's to take my unlimited data away, I my jump ship and go with either T-Mobile or AT&T.

Windows Phone is likely dead in Japan. I'll see what comes up. But the first ever Mango phone, the Fujitsu, is a bargain bin phone in KDDI AU stores surrounded by a sea of Android and iPhones. No other carriers in Japan have opted for WP7.5 and while I recently got an email listing Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, it is for developers and you can darned well bet it seems unlikely any carriers will jump aboard that ship. AU still ridiculously carries on "Smoked by" campaigns, to what end? They really think that Japanese localization is at all important to the rest of the world? We don't even have the new Bing, Maps, Location, Local Scout, etc. here. My HTC Location does not include Japan. What a croc. No Music Marketplace. Zune client for my phone must be in Japanese as the English version is a no go here, and I can only pay with a Japanese credit card. If full Paypal comes to the phones, I'll switch my Zune Card to my other Id for the English version that would finally include artists pics, etc.
So, I will likely have to do like others eventually (happy with my Titan so far and will be happy even to get the new Start Screen soon) and buy my next Windows Phone SIM free online. I  hope I am wrong. Would seem like with the certain move to Windows 8 here, that Windows Phone 8 might logically follow, but you won't see me hodling my breath.