Fujitsu is the first phone maker to announce a Windows Phone “Mango” handset, but don’t expect to lay hands on it unless you’re in Japan.
Still, the Fujitsu IS12T has some noteworthy features that will hopefully migrate to other Windows Phones, including a whopping 13.2-megapixel camera. (HTC was previously rumored to launch a Windows Phone with a 16-megapixel camera, but no word on that yet.) I’m also pleased to see 32 GB of storage in the IS12T, as all other Windows Phones to date have topped out at 16 GB or less.
The IS12T has a 3.7-inch display, a 1 GHz processor and a waterproof design. It’s being sold by Japanese carrier KDDI, with no word yet on pricing. A release date is vaguely pegged at September or later.
Mango is the code name that Microsoft has given to Windows Phone 7.5, the upcoming overhaul of its mobile operating system. While last year’s original batch of Windows Phones laid a promising foundation, the software lacked some key features that are available on competing smartphones, including copy-and-paste, multitasking for third-party apps, turn-by-turn voice navigation, podcast downloads and HTML5 support. Microsoft added copy-and-paste earlier this year, and is adding all those other features and more to Mango.
Among the most interesting new features unique to Windows Phone Mango: “Groups” lets you see e-mails, text messages and status updates from a subset of your contacts in a single view, and “Threads” allows seamless messaging across Facebook, SMS and MSN. In Mango, app developers will also be able to stick information in the tiles on the phone’s home screen, and allow users to jump directly to a specific section of an app.
It sounds promising, but some questions still remain on hardware support. There are hints that Mango will support dual-core processors and front-facing cameras, but neither are part of Fujitsu’s phone, and Microsoft hasn’t made any firm statements either way. We’ll get some answers soon enough, as other phone vendors — including Samsung, LG, HTC and Acer — are surely preparing to make their own Windows Phone Mango announcements.