Microsoft relaxes WP7 hardware requirements, enable camera-less phones

Windows Phone Hardware

Standard Hardware

  • A common set of hardware controls and buttons that include the Start, Search, and Back buttons.
  • A large WVGA (800 x 480) format display capable of rendering most web content in full-page width and displaying movies in widescreen.
  • Capacitive 4-point multi-touch screens for quick, simple control of the phone and its features.
  • Support for data connectivity using cellular networks and Wi-Fi.
  • 256 MB (or more) of RAM and 8 GB (or more) of flash storage.
  • A-GPS
  • Accelerometer

Optional Hardware

  • Compass
  • Gyro
  • Primary Camera
  • Front-facing Camera



MobilityDigest have noticed this page of hardware requirements for Windows Phone 7 on Microsoft’s MSDN site which are very much at odds with what we have believed before are the minimum hardware set for Windows Phone 7.

The page, which dates from the 23rd September 2011 now makes both the front and rear-facing camera optional, and also makes the compass, an under-used minimum feature of Windows Phone 7 up to now, also an optional feature.

If widely adopted by OEMs this mean a whole class of apps, Augmented Reality Apps, will not work reliably over the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem, and GPS navigation apps will likely not bother including compass support.

Of course the lack of camera support will likely enable enterprise scenarios where cameras on phones are not welcome, but overall the changes represent a relaxation of the minimum requirements that means cheaper devices with lower specs can be produced. 

Do we detect a whiff of Nokia’s influence?

At the time when many of us are asking for the minimum specs to be increased, what do our readers think of these changes? Let us know below.

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