The one area Microsoft hasn't touched while upgrading Windows Phone has been the SoC requirements. The platform launched with 65nm Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs featuring the quite-slow Adreno 200 GPU.  Despite the age of the hardware, Microsoft has done wonders to make Windows Phone feel very responsive but as Qualcomm gets ready for the ramp to 28nm it's going to be increasingly difficult to ship 65nm hardware on a high-end device. The next wave of Windows Phones (while we wait for the presumably Krait based major upgrade in 2012) makes the jump to 45nm with Qualcomm's Snapdragon S2. You get better power consumption characteristics, higher clocks and a much faster (nearly 2x) Adreno 205 GPU. 

Samsung will be among the first to ship this second wave of Windows Phone devices (running WP7.5, codename Mango) with its Focus S and Focus Flash. Both feature a 1.4GHz Snapdragon S2 SoC. The Focus S has a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus display, while the Flash uses a 3.7" Super AMOLED (non-Plus) screen. The devices have 8MP and 5MP rear facing cameras, respectively. The Focus S is 8.55mm at its thinnest point, but no word on the rest of the dimensions.

We can expect to see both devices this fall, although I'm guessing it'll be worth waiting for Krait versions in about a year.

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  • sprockkets - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Hopefully a decent phone, one that doesn't look cookie cutter. Reply
  • sleepeeg3 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    ^Basically. Different processor, same body. Will be interesting to see a head-to-head comparison. The WP interface does not look attractive to me and Windows Mobile 6.5 was a mega power hog. Reply
  • doubledeej - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    And Windows Mobile's power usage is relevant because... Reply
  • Spivonious - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    You have to see WP7 in person to appreciate the UI. The tiles are alive instead of just being static icons. And why compare it to WinMo 6.5? WP7 was essentially written from scratch and Mango improves on the efficiency. Reply
  • sleepyweasel - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I have the Samsung Focus, and the body is different, unless you meant they are both black.
    Im not sure if you realized, but this is Windows Phone 7. Not the same OS as Windows Mobile 6.5
    Reply
  • dcollins - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    The Focus S seems like a pretty cool phone and I am dying to try Mango. I am really tempted to make the jump now even though I know I should wait for Krait. Reply
  • Thermalzeal - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I play games, run the occasional powerpoint and watch netflix on my Focus. I have yet to feel it "strain" in any of these tasks. While I'm sure an increase in power always helps improve experiences, I would say that it is a small change that it would take a very discerning person to identify.

    On my previous iPhone 4, I would visibly see slowdowns and crashes, that would lead me to believe that the 4S would be an improvement. here, only the 8mp camera and front facing camera would be the big improvements.

    The one big difference that I have yet to find out about on the Focus S and Flash is the inclusion of a memory card slot.

    On the Focus, I've installed a 32GB card to give me 40GB total for all my Zune pass content. I wonder what sizes, or whether a memory card slow will be provided in these new models.
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    It has been shown in the past that adding a memory card like that actually significantly slows down the phone, making apps takes literally an order of magnitude longer to load since the memory card you install is going to be much slower than the built in flash memory. Regardless of whether or not these phones have support for a memory card, I would highly recommend against adding in a memory card unless you absolutely need the space. Reply
  • trivor - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Actually ,some of the early designs (Verizon trophy) went with a reference design that already includes a Micro SD card so it can't get slower. If WP7 wants to compete it needs some phones with higher storage (8/16 GB) is not going to hack it given that Data is being capped by the carriers - we can debate whether it needs dual core or not. Reply
  • tayb - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Microsoft has done a wonderful job with WP7. It's buttery smooth even on inferior hardware. The newer hardware will lead to better battery life, however.

    In my opinion the three things holding WP7 back are...

    1. Lack of hardware options or inferior hardware options.
    2. Lack of advertising.
    3. Too much association with "Windows Mobile" which has an extremely strong negative response in most people.

    Microsoft is not doing NEARLY enough to distance itself from Windows Mobile and advertise the new platform. The hardware aspect looks to be improving with a bevy of handsets being released within the new few weeks.
    Reply

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