What you need to know
- Emperion teased a "phone" that runs Windows 10 on ARM.
- Windows 10 on ARM can't make phone calls, however.
- The "phone" can also run Android apps without an emulator or switching between operating systems.
- Microsoft allegedly worked with Emperion to "put the Nebulus together."
Updated February 19, 2020: We've added more details from Emperion regarding phone support and Android app support.
Windows Phone fans might have a reason to rejoice. Emperion teased a phone on Twitter that runs Windows 10 on ARM. This would be the first device of its kind and opens the doors for the mobile experience of Windows. Jeremy Sinclair reached out to Emperion and got more details about the device. He was kind enough to share those details with us for this article. Emperion refers to the phone as the Nebulus in its discussions with Sinclair.
Before diving into the device further, it's worth highlighting that this news is a single tweet and some follow up answers. Emperion did not release a press release or an official statement with the information. With that being said, let's take a look at what Emperion says about the phone.
There's plenty of information to digest with this device, but here are a few key takeaways. First, the device is running Windows 10 on ARM with Emperion's own UI. It runs on an overclocked Snapdragon 845 processor. Emperion states that "Microsoft have been instrumental in helping us put the Nebulus together and they've been a great help!"
Emperion will sell the phone SIM-free through its website and are currently in negotiations with a cellular provider in the UK. The company has plans to ship the device in the US.
The Nebulus will be able to able to switch to a desktop mode through USB-C or wireless, similarly to Continuum.
Emperion also specified that the Nebulus will be able to run Android apps, stating, "We've included the ability to use Android apps from within windows without an emulator or having to switch between operating systems.
We reached out to Emperion, which shared a bit more on how the phone runs Android apps, stating, "The Android App system will be native, we can't say much more currently..."
The device will be single SIM and carrier unlocked. It will have expandable storage up to 2TB through microSD. It also has a headphone jack.
We also asked Emperion about if the Nebulus will be able to natively make phone calls. Emperion said "It will have native calling and SMS etc." It also alluded to the fact that some people's guesses on how this will work are close to accurate. It's unclear what that means exaclty.
Emperion will offer just one model of the device. Emperion states that they "feel that a flagship should remain so for the lifetime of the product in our range."
Finally, we should note that Windows 10 on ARM does not have native telephony abilities meaning we're not sure how this can actually be a "smartphone" in the traditional sense. Perhaps they will use Skype and LTE for calls and messages, but for now there are still many more questions than answers including whether it will be any good (or if it's just all hype).