Microsoft Surface Phone: Project Andromeda, foldable dual-screen design and more

The elusive Microsoft Surface Phone is back in the news. This time the device is touted as ‘disruptive’ and could blur the line between PC and mobile experience. Here’s how Microsoft Surface Phone is going to be different from the rest.

| Updated on: Aug 19 2022, 23:43 IST
Surface Phone will retain the core design philosophy of existing Surface devices.
Surface Phone will retain the core design philosophy of existing Surface devices. (Microsoft)
Surface Phone will retain the core design philosophy of existing Surface devices.
Surface Phone will retain the core design philosophy of existing Surface devices. (Microsoft)

Microsoft may not be done with smartphones yet. Despite wrapping up its phone business in 2016, rumours about the elusive Surface Phone have kept floating on the internet. In fact, Microsoft Surface Phone has been rumoured for over four years, but evidently has never seen the light of the day. But is 2018 going to be the year Surface Phone really goes official?

Project Andromeda
This is the name of the secret project under which Microsoft engineers are building the new phone, which will have a foldable screen. According to a report in TheVerge, Microsoft is working on a phone that fits to your pocket and is promised to be a "new and disruptive category". The report also claims the Surface Phone will bridge the gap between mobile and PC experience.

Andromeda is also rumoured to be a tweaked version of Windows 10 OS. The new software is expected to retain core Windows 10 features. It is also likely to come with some unique features that leverage Microsoft's existing features. For instance, it will reportedly support Continuum mode to bring the desktop-like experience on the device. It will have CShell, a new UI that adapts itself according to the position of the device.

A closer look at the design
The highlight of Microsoft's Surface Phone is that it's not going to be your conventional phone, at least in terms of the design. Featuring a dual-display, Surface Phone can be folded inwards — similar to the concept of Samsung's foldable Galaxy X. It will also come with a stylus support.

"The prototype models of Microsoft Surface Phone have support for styluses and notepad-like apps to take quick notes," reports TheVerge.

"It will blur the lines between mobile and stationary computing," Microsoft said in a leaked internal document.

The website also points to 3D concept renders published by popular designer David Breyer way back in 2017. It says the early models look quite similar to the concept art.

Looking closer at the 3D concept renders, Microsoft Surface Phone looks like a compact Surface tablet with hinges at the bottom to fold. The overall look and feel is also quite similar to the Surface tablets. For instance, it has a metal body with USB Type-C port on the side and Windows branding on the front. ALSO READ: New Microsoft patent reveals Surface Phone

Chipset Conundrum
Microsoft and Intel have been long-time partners. But of late, Microsoft has shown affection towards other chipset companies like Qualcomm as well. While there are a number of Intel-Microsoft devices, Microsoft has also a partnership with Qualcomm to launch high-end Windows laptops.

Microsoft hasn't yet decided on whether to go for Qualcomm, already a popular mobile chipset company, or Intel, its long-term partner.

"That's an important distinction, because Windows 10 is an awful experience on Qualcomm's ARM chips, since it doesn't support every Windows app. If Microsoft picks Qualcomm, it would be making the same mistakes it made with Windows Phone and the ARM-powered Surface RT — many customers wouldn't get the apps they want," opined Todd Haselton on CNBC.

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First Published Date: 02 Jul, 15:48 IST