The Half-VGA 320×480 screen resolution for low-end Windows Phone 7 handsets was very real, but it seems that at least this potential compatibility-breaking feature has been killed by the fall in prices of WVGA handsets.
PCMag quotes Andy Lees as Lees talking very enthusiastically about building legions of low-cost Windows Phones that don’t stint on user experience. Saying Windows Phone OS offloads many UI elements to a phone’s GPU, allowing manufacturers to use cheaper CPUs without imperilling performance, he continued that WVGA screens have become so cheap that there’s no need to move to lower screen resolutions.
"If you can get the same price for a screen where the resolution is consistent for end users and developers, that’s a more consistent solution â€¦ you’ll see as we go to different parts of the world at different price points, very cheap phones," he said.
While the intended solution was a scaler which automatically down-scaled WVGA to HVGA, I am sure many developer prefer optimising their apps to look good on only one screen resolution and applaud this move.
The only question which of course remains is that, if WVGA screens have become so cheap, and they are the second most expensive component in a smartphone, is it time for Microsoft to upgrade to something a bit more high-end?