Court docs offer peek at Samsung Windows Phone 8 handsets

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Samsung has planned at least a pair of new Windows Phone 8 handsets, according to documentation the company submitted in its ongoing legal spat with Apple. The Verge picked up on the limited information that shows two devices, code-named “Odyssey” and “Marco,” both of which are step up from current Microsoft-powered phones. Currently, all Windows Phones run on a meager single-core chip, but that’s about to change.

Here are the tidbits on Odyssey, which will likely be a more expensive devices than its peer: a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip; 4.65-inch high definition Super AMOLED touchscreen; 8 megapixel rear camera; 2 megapixel front camera (hello, Skype!); NFC chip and both LTE/HSPA+ 21 radio support.

Marco is a step down from Odyssey, but uses the same Snapdragon chip. A smaller, 4-inch display with 800 x 480 resolution is planned, as is the same mobile broadband capability and front camera. No NFC chip is expected and the rear camera will use a 5 megapixel camera.┬áBoth devices have a “Q4″ next to them so Samsung does produce them, they’ll be among the first Windows Phone 8 handsets to hit the market later this year.

With Samsung succeeding on the Android platform — it’s the top seller of Android phones, which has pushed its smartphone sales well beyond those of Apple — I thought previously that Samsung would be late to the Windows Phone 8 game. The company did build prior Windows Phone devices, but HTC and Nokia seemed to invest more heavily in Microsoft’s platform.

Then again, with record profits and positive sales momentum in the overall mobile market, Samsung can likely afford to take another shot with Windows Phone. And if it’s going to make the effort, why not do so right out of the gate with a new version of the ┬ámobile platform and leverage any halo effect from Windows 8 sales, which uses the same Metro user interface?

Makes sense to me, and although many of the particulars are missing, I like the specs I see from what are likely Samsung’s first Windows Phone 8 devices. They’re competitive with Samsung’s top-selling Android phones, for example, and should perform well, given how smooth Windows Phone 7 runs on single-core chips.

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