Refresh your memory and this is what the hardware requirements were for Windows phones:

That was then modified to drop HVGA

And now it’s been changed again, this time to drop the necessity of a camera:

Windows Phone Hardware

Standard Hardware

  • A common set of hardware controls and buttons that include the Start, Search, and Back buttons.

  • A large WVGA (800 x 480) format display capable of rendering most web content in full-page width and displaying movies in widescreen.

  • Capacitive 4-point multi-touch screens for quick, simple control of the phone and its features.

  • Support for data connectivity using cellular networks and Wi-Fi.

  • 256 MB (or more) of RAM and 8 GB (or more) of flash storage.

  • A-GPS

  • Accelerometer

Optional Hardware

  • Compass

  • Gyro

  • Primary Camera

  • Front-facing Camera

They also modified the search button which ‘always invokes Bing Search’ so it will not be an in-app search ever. This is likely a play to move low end devices but no camera means that a lot of the elements of the phone or pretty neutered.


  1. Well it could be because some companies don’t allow employees to have any type of camera inside their facilities.  If there were Windows Phones without cameras, then they would have a new Smartphone option.  Also, the market will determine whether or not phones without cameras can succeed, the minimum RAM requirements for WP7 are 256, but all the phones except for the Dell Venue Pro have 512 mb.

  2. Yeah my Grandmother works at a strip club and they aren’t allowed to have camera phones.  Now she has a Smartphone option.  Go Go new specs!

  3. Stupid.  Just fucking stupid.  I don’t know any company that would be dumb enough to release a modern smartphone with no camera, but I did like the necessity of having a hardware button for the camera.  That’s what I don’t like.  I want every phone I own with a camera to have a dedicated hardware button for launching it.  Especially when I can’t reprogram my existing hardware buttons to do the things that I want.  Meh, no big deal, because any phone that didn’t do this would lose my interest anyway.  You’d see an option from a mickey-mouse type outfit like LG or motorola before I’d imagine Samsung or HTC doing something silly like this.

  4. That’s f@#$ing lame!!! That’s one of the reasons our WP7 arew so freaking awesome, dedicated camera button. They even made some kick ass commercials about having a dedicated camera button(you know the one, with the guy jumping from the plane, yeah the one) That is just  bonkers.

  5. Microsoft loosens hardware requirements and camera now optional - 板车网 – 关于平板电脑,ipad,iphone,wp7,android,webOS,xoom

    […] Source: MSDN, via: Mobility Digest […] test

  6. This is a great move by MS; there are sectors that don’t allow you to have a phone with a camera or recording device because of sensitive information. This opens up the market to corporate and governmental sectors that have these requirements. Consumers will still get their camera phones and also those darned FFC but don’t expect to hear much about camera-less phones.

  7. ไมโครซอฟท์ปรับสเปกฮาร์ดแวร์ขั้นต่ำ WP7: ตัดกล้อง, Compass, Gyro เป็นออปชัน | | Magento, รับทำเว็บไซต์ Ma

    […] MSDN ผ่าน MobilityDigest ผ่าน […]

  8. […] Source: MSDN, via: @manan, Mobility Digest […]

  9. David, look at where that doc puts cameras?
    Optional Hardware



    Primary Camera

    Front-facing Camera

  10. Matt – you’re an idiot. Think beyond the end of your own nose.
    Some people have to have a phone without a camera for security reasons.
    I’ve seen numerous people predicting the sky will fall just because a camera is now optional, and that – quote: “most of the features of windows phone are now neutered”. Really? Get a grip people!
    This is a fantastic move, that opens up the possibility of large commercial orders for company phones – the type of thing that provides long term business deals that provide large chunks of steady, predictable income.
    When someone releases a nice windows phone without a camera I’ll be first in line, even if Matt thinks it’s “f***ing stupd”. Do your homework before deciding which huge multinational companies are ‘mickey mouse outfits’

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