Fujitsu launches Windows 7-powered smartphone

Fujitsu has announced a smartphone that goes beyond the capabilities of most by including a fully-fledged copy of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.

That's not a typo, by the way. We haven't missed the word 'Phone' from between 'Windows' and '7.' Fujitsu's latest creation, the F-07C, is a fully Windows-capable PC masquerading as a smartphone. Powered by an Intel Atom processor, it's the most ambitious smartphone we've seen for a while.

The specifications of the device are nothing special for a netbook but something else in the world of smartphones: featuring a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z600 processor underclocked to 600MHz, 1GB of LPDDR400 memory, and a 32GB eMMC solid-state storage device, the smartphone runs a full installation of Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit.

Thanks to the x86 processor and desktop operating system, the F-07C can run any software that a standard Windows PC can run. Internet Explorer 9 is included by default, along with plugins for both Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, and a two-year personal licence for Microsoft Office 2010 is bundled as standard.

To make the smartphone easier to control, the four-inch 1024x600 LCD display slides upwards in landscape mode to reveal a QWERTY keyboard alongside a trackball for mouse operation. If that's not enough, a USB port allows any Windows-compatible accessory to be added to the phone and an HDMI port gives it big-screen capabilities.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that a device with these capabilities would be the size of a netbook, but Fujitsu seems to have achieved the impossible: despite packing an Intel Atom processor rather than the more usual low-power ARM chip, the device measures just 125mm x 61mm x 19.8mm and weighs 218g with the battery pack installed.

The power does come at a cost, however: switching the phone from its standard operating mode into Windows 7 drops the battery life to a mere two hours. While that's poor for a phone, it's about average for a cheap netbook.

The F-07C is to launch in Japan later this month in partnership with NTT DOCOMO, and thus far Fujitsu hasn't indicated any plans for a UK release.