This article was first published in October 2015. Since then we've been adding every whisper we hear about the possibility of a Surface Phone. First it was happening, then it wasn't, and now - two years later - maybe it is again.

Microsoft has in December 2017 filed patents for a foldable mobile tablet-like device - could this be the long-awaited Surface Phone, potentially a rival to the upcoming Galaxy Note X?

When is the Surface Phone release date?

Now there's a question. There's no guarantee that Microsoft will ever build the device for which it has filed the patent, but should it go ahead Surface launches usually take place in October. 

Surface Phone specs & features

Below you can read about some of the rumours we've heard over the years about an upcoming Surface Phone. Whatever was that device, if it was ever even a reality, it's almost certainly now been canned. 

The new patents from Microsoft point to a foldable mobile device that can act as a single-screen touch device when laid out flat, or used as a laptop when folded with the second half of the screen displaying a keyboard. The patents go into a lot of detail as to how the hinges will work, but don't give away much else. You can see some of the associated drawings below.

Surface Phone

Surface Phone

Surface Phone

Designer David Breyer has created renders based on these patents, which are used to illustrate this article. His designs look like a cross between Nintendo 3DS and Microsoft's own Surface line, and he has added notifications along the edge and both a USB-C port and a Surface Pen. 

Surface Phone render

Surface Phone render

Earlier rumours for the Surface Phone suggested it would look like a miniature version of the Surface tablet, with a squared metallic design. We were expecting 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 also reported to feature a 64-bit Intel processor and a 21Mp rear-facing camera, with 8Mp at the front. 

More recently, the Surface Phone was tipped to include 8GB of RAM, 512GB of internal storage, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, a 21Mp rear camera, and a 5.7in AMOLED screen.

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