AS THE dust settles following the explosive legal case between Apple and Samsung, in which the Korean firm was ordered to pay a minimum of $1bn for patent infringement, an unlikely third party is emerging as one of the potential winners. Microsoft has invested billions in its Windows Phone software, to some critical acclaim, but has yet to establish itself as a serious force in the smartphone world.
The landmark patent case could, though, give it a real boost. While the lawsuit was between Apple and Samsung, Google’s Android is widely seen as the real target of Cupertino’s ire. The ruling could help to convince manufacturers that it is in their interests to vary the operating systems they offer on their handsets in order to spread the risk (following the reasoning that, while Android is free, Windows Phone may come with less baggage). The timing is perfect for Microsoft, with a new version of its Windows Phone operating system just weeks away from release.
If you can’t wait that long, here are some of the current crop of Windows Phone devices.
HTC 7 Mozart
The Mozart, as the name suggests, prides itself on its great sound quality, with surround-sound for video and music playback. The handset itself isn’t going to set the world on fire but it is well-built, light and comes with a decent eight megapixel camera. If you’re a fan of the Taiwanese manufacturer, this handset is worth a look.
You may not realize it, but ZTE is one of the biggest phone manufacturers in the world. It has, until now, focused on its home Chinese market but is preparing for a global push. The Tania is one of its mid-range offerings, although it comes with a decently sized 4.3 inch screen and impressive battery life. Don’t expect many hardware extras, though – the screen isn’t great quality, the camera is poor and it only has 4GB of storage.
Nokia Lumia 900
The daddy of Windows Phones, the Lumia could do very well out of the Apple/Samsung bunfight. Apple’s lawyers even used the device as evidence that phones could be created that didn’t infringe Apple’s patents. The 4.3” screen makes it one of the bigger phones on the market and, in our opinion, it’s one of the best, too.
Samsung Omnia M
Aimed at the budget end of the Windows Phone market, this Samsung handset looks slick but is let down by the measly 4GB of storage, which, like all Windows devices, is not expandable. On the upside, it comes with the Samsung badge of quality, including the industry-leading Super AMOLED touchscreen.