Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango update is just around the corner and that means come September or October, several new Mango handsets, including ones from Nokia, will be butting heads with the Apple iPhone 5 and the myriad of Android devices. And since Nokia’s making a huge bet on the platform, we can expect the company to come out in full force to promote and support Mango, including some bashing on iOS and Android.
In an interview with Venture Beat, Nokia US exec, Chris Weber, expressed that he felt the focus on apps as the central metaphor when it comes to iOS and Android is “outdated.” This is a bit odd coming from a company that yesterday confirmed shutting down its outdated feature phone and Symbian smartphone businesses in the US. But of course, Weber is speaking in the context of promoting Windows Phone Mango. He emphasizes that Window’s cloud and syncing features are way more advanced than either of the two rivals and that Android has the worst email client.
But the bashing aside, Weber reveals some of the ways that Nokia devices with Windows Phone Mango will best both iOS and Android. Nokia will get an interface overhaul with Mango live tiles and hubs where apps are integrated into everything you do. For instance, when you select a contact from your address book, you can communicate with them through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, without having to open those apps separately.
With Mango, Nokia devices will also be able to use voice commands without having to ever touch the phone. Weber demonstrated this with VentureBeat by answering and replying to a text message completely by using voice commands.
Despite these neat features highlighted, they still don’t seem game-changing enough to really bring Nokia back in the lead. It’s also not clear yet how Nokia will differentiate itself from other Mango handset manufacturers other than through superior hardware build. But even then, its first batch of devices will be produced by contract manufacturer Compal.
Nokia’s upcoming Mango handset is expected to be an N9 look-alike codenamed the Sea Ray, although a video has leaked showing possibly some other Nokia Mango handsets. Additionally, rumors of a Windows Phone Tango update geared towards Nokia and lower-priced handsets suggest that more affordable Nokia Mango handsets may make an appearance in 2012.