Does Windows Phone 7.8 include performance improvements? Not really.

Ever wondered if Microsoft improved the performance in the Windows Phone 7.8 update? It has certainly been considered, but many have naturally assumed that since the company has failed to shout about optimisations present in the latest version of 7.x, that there's little difference between 7.5 and 7.8.

Windows tutorials and resource website 7tutorials has published an in-depth performance comparison between Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 7.8. The plan was to see if there were any signs of performance improvements in the latest software version for first generation hardware. Turns out, there's barely any difference between the two, but we weren't expecting much, right?

There's no advances in hardware, with all Windows Phone 7.x devices sporting just single-core chips with 512MB as the maximum amount of RAM. Microsoft didn't have to improve performance as the overall experience of Windows Phone 7 was butter smooth. Sure, app load times are shorter on Windows Phone 8, but you're packing more powerful hardware and a different breed of Windows.

The company doesn't state that performance will be improved in Windows Phone 7.8 either, with the list of new features (opens in new tab) focusing on Live Tiles, lock screen and more. Performance is always going to differ between consumers depending on what background tasks are running and more. Here's one of the charts that 7tutorials published (using MultiBench 2):

WP 78 Comparison

It's clear to see that performance gains are only experienced should a Windows Phone owner upgrade to a new smartphone running the latest version of Microsoft's mobile software. Anything new or surprising? Not at all. An easy way to look at what Microsoft has achieved with Windows Phone 7.8 would be to imagine an old car having its bodywork upgraded, but everything else remaining the same.

Be sure to head on over to 7tutorials to read the full report.

Source: 7tutorials

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Its a dead end OS...That's why I switched to NL 920.....but still an amazing buttery OS!
  • Maybe, but it seems like my 920 has more problems than my 900. I had to call AT&T this afternoon so they could send me a replacement for my 920.
  • Hopefully its a 920 used to freeze when connecting to charger but now have JBL powerup and not had a problem since.
  • Well the only sound I can get is through the headphone jack. If I try to make a call, I need to use headphones or have it on speaker...
  • I'm on my 3rd 920..... :/
  • You did see the article about wp8 in 2014, right? Still using my hd7 with 7.8 flashed on it. For some reason today, its been running better than last week...
  • "If it ain't broken, don't fix it"
    As a Lumia 710 user, I can't imagine how they could have improved performance, I mean, just grab an Android phone with 512mb RAM and a single-core processor, it will even struggle to pick up a call. Microsoft did an amazing job putting Windows Phone 7.5 together.
  • Yes they certainly did. With those 'lower' specs the phones where smoother then every other smartphone back than.
  • It had much less functions and APIs than Android for the matter... Common...
  • "back then", eh? That's amusing.
  • Yeah-2 1/2 years ago. WAY back when lol.
  • And no fuckin app support.
  • Watch the language!
  • The phone pictured above has 74 updates waiting to be
  • I'm surprised anyone thought it could have performance improvements... The sluggishness (delay between clicking app and anything happening) on the homescreen only introduced in 7.8 made me think there was an overall performance hit.
  • Yeah, mine is noticeably slower to launch the built-in apps -- even with the latest build (8862).  I'll reassess WP8 after GDR2, but for now I will stick with WP7.8.
  • I thought my NL900 was faster after flashing it but that's because it's a clean install, so that explains that.
  • I just got the update last week on my Lumia 800 (on contract and still pretty expensive to pay off at this point - would love a 920) and so far have not seen much of a performance boost. But having the 3 sizes of tiles is pretty huge for me, it makes the phone so much quicker to use. I also didnt realize how much of my home screen the gutter took up!
  • I noticed that... 
  • Actually I find the speed and fluidity has improved on my LG Optimus Quantum. For example, Angry Birds was slow and jerky on 7.5. Now smooth on 7.8
  • most may not like it, but 7.8 shouldnt even exist. its because they were late releasing the Titan II and 900 Lumina, that they felt they couldnt abandon those who just went into a 2 yr contract. it would have been painful but it should never exist. I would have allowed ppl to unlock their phones and let them load windows 8 on those devices, if they work great. if not then its time to upgrade.
  • 7.8 I thought it was cancelled
  • Then you been under a couple of rocks...
  • Still haven't gotten 7.8 for my kids 900's, thought we would have it by now.
  • I really wish I could just update my Lumia 710 without a flash thingy... =/
  • I have a buddy who uses a Lumia 900 on Straight Talk, but he's still on 7.5, and has no idea if or when he gets an update. Anybody got any info on that? Is there a way he can trick his phone into updating?
  • You could try the seveneighter app from windowsphonehacker here. I used it to upgrade my locked AT&T Focus S all the way to 7.8 build 8662 with no issues whatsover.
  • my brother's L800 on Vodafone in Australia just got the update. He's having no issues.
  • Performace improvements?? The 7.8 update introduced LAG to a perfectly smooth, buttery OS (7.5), Microsoft should provide another bug fix update like 8662 to eliminate the annoying LAG which we encounter after clicking  app tiles.
  • And not to forget the battery life worsened for 7.8
  • Hmm, why does this oddly sound like a strategy Apple would use?
  • The build 8862 still hasn't fixed the live tiles not updating bug for me.
    Anybody else facing this issue too?
  • I'm having the same issue. Was all excited for the update and tiles still don't update :-(
  • The only live tile that STILL doesn't work for me is the WPCentral live tile. Besides that, all my notifications have been coming in.
  • Same here. Getting notifications but still no counts or story updates on tile. I have told Jay about it..
  • The sad thing is, if Microsoft keeps on giving us users their half-assed efforts to "satisfy" customers, the WP platform will collapse. Seriously, I love Windows Phone, but all this lack of developer support (hell, even Microsoft appears to have lost all faith in their mobile platform) is making the other mobile OS' look better.
  • Well I have a lumia 7.8 and its working pretty smooth and is more than a year old phone now and we guys should accept or that we were the beta testers here which eventually set the platform for wp8 and I agree its got a bit slow and support is dying but when you look at other junk phones in market and compare it to lumia, I feel proud to be under Nokia support as Nokia have done hell lot for lumia and 7.x devices. I don't know what you all complaining for, just be thankful for it :)
  • #Lumia 800 on wp7.8
  • My 8x is running smoothly with wp8. Still have my old Arrive and there is actual improvement.
  • WP 7.8 is no further os update. But wp8 have os update which will updating with wp9. So 7.8 users going to IOS and android platform. Microsoft sucks
  • Why would they do that? Why not just wait their contracts out and upgrade to WP8. That's what I will be doing.
  • I was not expecting performance improvements but was expecting some non-hardware features from WP8. But might as well talk to the wall..
    BTW-has ATT released 7.8 yet?
  • I have an ATT Titan, haven't seen any updates through Zune yet.  I've tried to use seveneighter a couple of times with no luck either.  It says I'm up to date with 7720.
  • I also have a Titan on AT&T and have used 78er to update to 7.8 2x. It worked perfect both times.
  • Jesus, what a bunch of moany bitches. "Microsoft didn't deliver on things they never said they would! What a bunch of bastards. Because they didn't get my hopes up I just assumed they would add all the features I wanted!" This attitude about performance improvements is the same issue as with features in 7.8. Microsoft never said that there would be performance improvements, why would anyone expect any? Microsoft never said that there would be anything beyond the list of features they put out for 7.8, why did people expect more? The way I look at it is this, with every iOS update all but the newest iPhone is virtually crippled. With every android update... Well, good luck getting one. With 7.8 new features added, some changes made, performance not noticeably worse, indeed as another commented said, the new home screen is so much better it makes the phone feel faster. Maybe in future, read the news and take it at face value. Stop believing your own fantasies for the platform.
  • My 7.8 update works great.  No problems.  It's a bit slower, but manageable.  As to your Apple and Android comparison, Apple does push it's newest OS to thier existing customers.  When you buy an iphone, you can pretty much bank on getting the newest OS on your phone when it comes out.  Apple supports at least a full generation back, which will get most people to the end of their contract.  The iphone 3G was still getting new OS updates being several generations old.  Android users can almost alway get the latest OS if their on the previous generation.  Several generations back, probably not.  Even smaller Android players like the Sony Xperia got the newest jellybean update.  So to reiterate, I like WP and my 7.8 update is fine.  But you have to realize that people are complaining because no one expected their phone to be obsolete less than a year later and unable to get the latest OS.  MS really needs to start supporting phones a full generation back so that people can at least count on updates until their contract is up.  If Android and Apple can do it, than so can MS.
  • My Titan 2 is considerably slower with 7.8. There's a 2 second delay when opening the media player app. My podcast list takes a few more seconds to load. It was lightening fast before the update. I'm okay with it, I'm running new software on old hardware. It's to be expected. The update is still worth it and it's manageable until my contract is up. Single core is starting to show its age.
  • Love the new start screen and bigger choice of colors on WP 7.8. Don't like the fact that now there are issues with live tiles not updating properly. Also, upset that Battleship game that I love stopped connecting to Xbox Live, so I can't play it with other users. BTW, WP Central's own live tile does not show how many new posts have been added. Is the fix on the way?
  • seriously though.. does anyone out there really care about 7.8? No, right? So let's cut the crap and just focus on the 920..  let us 7.8 users just die a natural death.. .. 
  • That's an unfortunate attitude.  Some people aren't willing to pay $500 for an off contract phone or $325 to break contract just to upgrade to a Windows Phone 8.  Microsoft never guaranteed WP7 users a Windows 8 update.  Many of us hoped they would take the same line as Apple and Android where the newest OS makes it's way to exhisting customers.  I really like Windows Phone, but MS comes off negligent to their fan base.  There's no financial gain for MS to push out a high quality update to me... other than it would make me happy.  And happy customers are repeat customers.  MS should have pushed WP8 to all W7.5 phones.  Why would I want to buy a WP8 when Microsoft's track record is that they can't even put their latest OS on even 1 generation back?
    I still like the 7.8 update and I am considering a WP8 when the time comes... still not happy about the situation though.
  • What the fuck ! WP 7 processors and 512 Mb ram good to operat os well .here MS not dot doing any thing company only support for WP 8 and forgot about WP 7.8 all the apps support is available for this shows that MS solvely remove support.