Lenovo's folding tablet hybrid strongly resembles Microsoft's 'Surface Phone' patents

The Surface Phone is the expected next step for Microsoft's Surface line, and while we have only the tiniest morsels of information thus far, it can be fun to speculate.

We expect any new "Surface" mobile device to be powered by CShell, which, in basic terms, will allow Microsoft to adapt Windows 10 itself to smaller displays. There is also a slew of foldable phone patents, which fits Surface's modus operandi of category creation. Indeed, for Microsoft to re-enter the phone market after the battering it took over the failure of both Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, Redmond would really, really need to do something special.

Perhaps a folding "phone that can replace your tablet" might be just what the doctor ordered, but Lenovo's Android-powered convertible might just beat them to the punch.

Lenovo's "Folio" concept phone has made the rounds before, but this new video posted recently on reddit gives us a better look at how it converts easily from a tablet, into a phone-like device, complete with photography and an adaptable user interface. Presumably, the "Surface Phone" will follow similar design principles, if Microsoft's folding phone patents are any indication.

From Microsoft's folding device patents.

From Microsoft's folding device patents.

Microsoft has retrenched hard in the smartphone war, conceding the market to Android and iOS. Most of Microsoft's public mobile efforts now focus on bringing their services to those aforementioned established mobile platforms, with an emphasis on Android owing to its customizable nature.

If Microsoft does eventually re-enter the phone race, the company will likely try and position any prospective Surface Phone as a pocket PC with cellular, rather than attempt to take Android and iOS head-on. Microsoft has done an incredible job of alienating UWP developers who were invested in Windows 10 Mobile, so it'll be interesting to see how Redmond hopes to muster confidence in their commitment once again, if indeed it is their intention to bring another mobile device to market.

We'll have to wait and see how this plays out, but for now, what do you think of the Lenovo folding concept phone? Is that something you could see yourself using with Windows 10? Hit the comments.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!