resolution

Earlier in the week Bloomberg stated that HTC had scrapped plans for a 5” or higher Windows Phone due to the inability of the OS to scale up to 1080P. Sure, the device could pass muster with 720P or 768P but for a major device like that to hit now or in early 2013 would behind the competition.

Now it’s being reported that Microsoft’s Ballmer met directly with the CEO of HTC, Peter Chou, when he passed through Taiwan recently. In of itself this is not news as the two mega CEOs reportedly exchange emails and meet several times a year. But in this case, the limiting resolution of the Windows Phone 8 and presumably other areas of contention were brought up.

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Windows Phone 8 concept

In mid June, Microsoft is expected to start revealing info on the much anticipated Windows Phone 8 OS (aka Apollo) but until that day, we have just crumbs of data to work with. One of those sources comes from peeping OS builds that various developers "see" when looking at their app data usage.

Such an example is illustrated by Marios Karagiannis (aka Karios) developer of the popular (and Windows Phone Central favorite) MonsterUp. In a recent blog post on his site, the developer listed some new OS builds that apparently come from Windows Phone 8 devices:

  • 8.0.9698.0 69
  • 8.0.9697.0 35
  • 8.0.9696.0 4
  • 8.0.10101.0 4
  • 8.0.9691.0 4
  • 8.0.9695.0 2
  • 8.0.9699.0 1

Likewise, our own Rogue Code, who makes Ffffound as well as Pocket Meme, has also seen similar numbers in his apps including 8.0.9673, 8.0.9644, 8.0.9627 and 8.0.9699.

We assume by this point that Microsoft has to be testing Windows Phone 8 and seeing OS builds floating around probably should not be too surprising. Unfortunately, more info cannot be gleaned from such build numbers making this observation more entertaining than revealing.

Turning to our own Google Analytics for this site, we can discern some interesting tidbits as well. Specifically under our "mobile visits" we now have 768x1280 resolution devices running Internet Explorer 10 making rare but occasional stops to our site. Display colors were set at 24-bit (a bump from 16-bit that we usually see) and many pings originate from Redmond, WA.

Google Analytic data from WPCentral.com showing supposed WP8 devices (click to enlarge)

Furthermore, we can officially confirm with other independent sources that 768x1280 will be a supported resolution in Windows Phone 8 in addition to three others including 480x640, 480x800 (current WP7 resolution) and 720x1280.

While a WXGA resolution may seem a bit odd, in Jul 2011 Samsung were reportedly working on a mobile phone running that exact screen resolution, albeit sporting Android. To put such a resolution in perspective, as Phone Arena notes "...on a 4.5 inch screen, the pixels per inch would come in at 332, topping the 326ppi reading of the Retina Display on the Apple iPhone 4". No doubt an impressive statistic. 

Of course we'll just have to wait and see what Microsoft officially tells us in the coming months. Until then, the above info should be treated as rumor/speculation as things like emulators (versus actual hardware) may be playing a role.

Still, we think the info presented above is accurate and will be the path for Windows Phone 8.

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Have you experienced this problem? You get your new Windows Phone, you sync up your contacts and then you add a few to the Start screen, using those nifty dynamic squares. And then you notice it: the terrible, crappy resolution and blurriness. You think to yourself: "That's not how it looks on the commercial!"

Well, we think we figured it out. It's not Microsoft's fault and it's not a bug. We're going to bet you sync with our frienemy Google, right?

That's the culprit. Google. Don't believe me or think we're alone? See here and here for starters.

What happens is when you take a photo on your phone, add it to contacts and then it syncs back to Google's servers they then downsize the photo and resync it back to you. Awesome, eh?

What is the solution? There are two and we'll detail both after the break...

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One question has been bugging me ever since the Windows Phone 7 reveal back a few months ago and the revolves around screen resolution and quality.

We know that the preferred resolution is 800x480, which today is considered on the high end but within a few months will be closer to the norm in smartphones. This raises the question: what resolutions will WP7 support say in 12 months or 24 months out? Surely 800x480 won't be the bees-knees in two years from now. Heck, the 4th generation iPhone ("iPhone HD") is dropping this summer with an expected resolution of 960x640

We're pretty positive that Microsoft have some sort of upscaling plan in the works and the first hint of this may have just been found from one of the recent WP7 ROM dumps.

Specifically mention of a DPI 262 (DPI= dots per inch). Historically, Windows Mobile has supported DPI 192, 120 and 96. Windows Phone 7 supports 96, 131, 192, 262 and according to Da_G, WP7 resolution is scalable to just about anything.

Now DPI isn't resolution, but rather effects how dense the image is--the larger the screen, the less dense the pixels, you up those and your screen image is smoother looking. With DPI 262, Windows Phone 7 can (a) look better on current screens if enabled (b) work on larger screens e.g. 5" tablets and up. (c) be easier to read, think fonts/text and smoothness.

Hopefully this a positive sign of things to come.

[via XDA forums]

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