It's been rather a long time since we heard any new rumours about the possibility of a Microsoft Surface smartphone, but now we're told that Microsoft does have a new Windows 10 Mobile device in the works. Could it be the long awaited Surface Phone?
Microsoft has its own all-in-ones, laptops, tablets and previously even smartwatches, but one product is missing: a smartphone. See also: Microsoft Surface line-up compared
When is the Surface Phone release date?
Next possible Surface Phone release date: IFA 2017 (September)
Since the first Surface Phone rumour hit the web the suggested release date was always sometime in 2016. Of course that didn't happen, and the Surface Phone was a no-show at the company's October 2016 Windows 10 Creators Update event where it unveiled the Surface Studio. It's also been a no-show at every Microsoft or Windows event since.
Following Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia it released several Lumia Windows 10 smartphones, but Android and iOS remain the dominant forces in the smartphone market. Would it even make sense for Microsoft to create another smartphone?
According to podcaster and seasoned Microsoft watcher a new "mobile-like" prototype handset is being tested and is currently "floating around corporate offices". No other information is offered, and not even whether it is a phone or a tablet.
If this is the Surface Phone we've all been waiting for, it is thought to be a completely new phone that adopts the Surface brand name and could sit alongside Lumia phones rather than replace them. You'll also like: Best phones 2017
Surface Phone specs & features
Rumours about the Surface Phone have been pretty few and far between so far, but in December 2016 the rumour mill went crazy over a new image leaked via Weibo of an unknown Windows 10 phone with Surface branding and a very blocky design (shown at the top of this article). That image has since been suggested as a fake, given that Carl Zeiss branding hasn't been used since 2013. However, looking very much like an old Lumia handset, it could very well be an older prototype.
However, there's no doubt that many analysts and tech watchers are growing more and more convinced that such device is in the works, particularly thanks to one particular alleged leak from WMPowerUser.
We've also heard from PhoneArena that Pegatron has already begun procuring production trials on Microsoft's Surface Phone. Pegatron is also responsible for the manufacturing of the Surface Studio.
Images: Brilliant mock-ups of what the Surface Pro could look like, created by Nadir Aslam.
We've also seemingly had confirmation that such a phone is in the works from a Wired article on 'The inside story of Surface Book', which suggests Microsoft Corporate VP Panos Panay has been working on a prototype of a new phone.
Originally it was thought the Surface Phone might look like a miniature version of the Surface tablet, with a squared metallic design. The leak suggests it could have a 5.5 AMOLED display with a 1440x2560-pixel Quad-HD resolution, 4GB of RAM and 64- or 128GB of storage with a microSD card slot.
It was reported to feature a 64-bit Intel processor and a 21Mp rear-facing camera, while the front-facing camera will be 8Mp. The impressive camera tech sounds likely, as it would stem from the top-spec tech Nokia used in many of its camera phones.
It could also come with a smaller version of the Surface Pen, and could have a USB-C port.
More recently, we've heard that the Surface Phone could have 8GB of RAM, 512GB of internal storage (really?), and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor (which isn't expected until early 2017, and there are rumours that no phones are allowed to use the chip until the Galaxy S8 launches in April). It could also feature a 21Mp rear camera, USB-C, and a 5.7in AMOLED screen.
PhoneArena claims the Surface Phone could be capable of emulating x86 apps on the ARM architecture in Continuum mode, which is allegedly an upcoming feature of Windows 10 scheduled for late 2017.
So, basically it could be almost anything. We'll be updating this article as more rumours, speculation and, more importantly, evidence about the Surface Phone emerges. Check back regularly to stay up to date.
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