Microsoft has its own all-in-ones, laptops, tablets and previously even smartwatches, but one product is missing: a smartphone. Could it be working on its own Windows 10 phone to join the line-up? We explore the Surface Phone rumours here, including the Microsoft Surface Phone release date, features and specs.
We're not forgetting that since Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia it has released several Lumia Windows 10 smartphones, but the Surface Phone would 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
Microsoft Surface Phone release date: When is the Surface Phone coming out?
Microsoft Surface Phone UK release date: October 2017 (TBC)
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 event. However, MWC is coming up at the end of February, which is the best place to host a phone launch. Microsoft has already confirmed its attendance at MWC 2017, and it's not yet clear what it will announce.
While we're all waiting for it to announce updated Kaby Lake versions of its Surface Pro tablet line-up, it's possible that Microsoft will wait until Spring 2017 to do this when its latest Windows 10 update, the Creators Update, is also ready for primetime.
The Surface Phone is certainly a subject that is in discussion at Microsoft, as CEO Satya Nadella in December told fans a Surface Phone could be "the ultimate mobile device". But was he merely teasing us, or does he know something we don't?
Honestly, we think the Surface Phone is still be a little while off, given how few genuine leaks have appeared online, and in which case it's more likely to arrive during Microsoft's annual October event. Fingers crossed for February, though.
Microsoft Surface Phone rumours: 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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