As the sun just starts to set here on the West Coast, we’ve got a bit of news straight from the other side of the globe: Fujitsu and KDDI (Japan’s second largest wireless operator) have just confirmed that they will launch the world’s first phone running Windows Phone 7 .5 (Mango) sometime in September.
Word of the new handset comes from a Tokyo press gathering which just began moments ago. Exact details surrounding the handset are still developing, but all signs are pointing to it being the Toshiba-Fujitsu IS12T (Update: this is now confirmed) device that Microsoft gave a very brief sneak peak of at their Worldwide Partner Conference just a few weeks back.
The handful of images in this post are pulled from a video of that fleeting glimpse; we’ll update with better photos as soon as they’re available.
Here’s what we know about the device:
- 3.7″ LCD Display
- 1 Ghz Qualcomm MSM8655 CPU
- 13.2 Megapixel Camera
- Will come in multiple colors. Bright yellow and pink versions of the handset have already been caught in leaks. (Update: Looks like it’ll come in black, too.)
- 32GB of internal memory
Windows Phone 7.5 (otherwise known as “Mango”, since all the cool kids give their updates fun nicknames now) is the first major update to the platform. I’ve spent a good amount of time with it on a pre-release device, and to sum up my experience: call it what you will, but this is version 1.0. This is the first version of Windows Phone 7 that feels competitive thrown up against the likes of Android and iOS and, while it’s still lacking a trick or two, is the first version that feels complete.
For those of you who don’t gobble up every bit of Mango news, a quick recap of the bigger new stuff:
- Multitasking support: Quick app switching, with certain apps (music, GPS) allowed to run in the background
- Internet Explorer 9 with HTML 5 support
- Turn-by-turn, Voice Guided Navigation
- Social Networking:Integrated Twitter support, plus the addition of Facebook check-ins.
- Dynamic Live Tiles: Tiles for third-party apps on the homescreen can show live updated information
- Unified Threaded Messages: Support for text/facebook chat/Windows Live Messenger all pulled into one conversation window
- Unified Inbox: Shows all of your email inboxes in one view, with threaded e-mail support
- Custom Groups: You can bundle contacts into “group” tiles on the homescreen for quick access to just that group’s status updates, or to quickly text the entire group at once
- Voice-to-text text messaging
- Bing Stuff: Music Search (think Shazam), Vision (scan a book cover or barcode to search for that product)
Alas, chances are pretty slim that this thing will ever come stateside. Don’t fret though, Windows Phone fans (hey, they exist!): there should be plenty of Mango to go around by years end, with the likes of Samsung, Acer, and plenty of others throwing their goods into the ring.