The Surface Phone you've always wanted is happening

Lumia 950 and Surface
Lumia 950 and Surface (Image credit: Windows Central)

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed that the rumored Intel-powered Windows 10 phone slated for May 2016 has been cancelled. Instead, an all-new flagship phone lead by Panos Panay and the team of engineers that built the Microsoft Surface and Surface Book has been given the green light. Slated for a release in the second half of 2016 this may be the long-wished-for Surface phone. Here is what we know and what we don't.

Earlier in July I noted that sources had told me that Microsoft's super-secret phone project was slated for May 2016. Almost nothing was known about the venture except that the phone was metal, and somehow Intel was involved. At the time, I was led to believe it was a Microsoft project, which never sat well with me (more on that below), but it seems it was yet another Nokia carryover.

Any details about the project, however, are now moot. The latest I hear is that this 'metal' phone has been cancelled.

Although supporters of Windows Phone probably just gasped in horror, this news is more interesting than it seems on its face. There is also flip side to the cancellation: Panos Panay and his Surface team, who are now responsible for all of Microsoft's premium device engineering, are getting their shot at Windows Mobile and making a premium flagship phone.

Surface Phone?

The most obvious question is whether this will be the shoot-to-the-moon Surface phone that has been alleged ever since the first Surface tablet was announced years ago. Unfortunately, details of what exactly this device is remain unknown.

The most I have heard is they are currently exploring different technologies. The engineering team has the ability to fabricate hardware right on Microsoft's campus, so that experimentation should not be a surprise. Indeed, a phone prototype was recently spotted at their facilities leading to more speculation about a 'Surface phone' existing someday.

My guess is they are still exploring design, hardware and features and that is something that likely won't be finalized until mid-2016. Interestingly, I keep hearing it being referred to not as "Surface phone" but just as "Panos's phone".

Intel's involvement

Intel is also involved in this project suggesting some overlap in what was planned with the now-scrapped 'metal phone' that was a Nokia design. Presumably their role is in co-developing a chipset for the phone beyond the normal Qualcomm ones found in modern smartphones today.

Intel's connection to this project is the most tantalizing. Many speculate that this will be a device that runs an x86 chipset or is something much more powerful than current Qualcomm Snapdragons. The ultimate vision some of us have is that such a device could not only run Windows Store apps but classic Win32 apps. A true computer in your pocket.

The problem with that idea is that there are a lot of technical problems to solve. For now, we will have to wait until something more definitive comes out. My hunch is this is one of the technologies they are exploring, but its ability to make the cut to the final product is not guaranteed if the experience is poor.


Multiple sources have put the planned date for this phone as sometime in the second half of 2016. I have heard as early as August but also a more general Q4 2016 suggesting a fall release.

Assuming this phone is lining up with Microsoft's other projects there are two possible scenarios:

August 2016 – This date seems to line up with Windows 10 Redstone aka the next big OS release from Microsoft. The site WinBeta recently claimed Redstone would improve on Continuum. More specifically, Redstone would let apps seamlessly transfer presence from the phone to the PC and even let you make calls from a PC through your phone. Tying that into some new phone hardware could be attention-grabbing.

However, the planned date for Redstone is still a bit of a mystery.

Fall 2016 - Putting the date forward to an October or November release for the 'Panos phone' could line it up for a fall refresh of Microsoft hardware. Nevertheless, it is not yet clear if Surface and Band are on a yearly schedule or an 18-month one. There were 18 months between Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4, but that almost entirely hinged on Intel Skylake being available for the market.

If Microsoft is on a yearly schedule then another October event for Surface Pro 5, Surface Book 2, Band 3 and the first 'Surface Phone' would also make sense. Plus, it makes the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL a one-year high-end phone, something that is common these days with Apple, HTC, Samsung and others.

Why no Surface Phone until now

For years, many fans of Microsoft have been calling for a Surface Phone to be made. However, it should be noted that as of October 2014 Microsoft was still losing money on the Surface. It was not until January 2015 that Microsoft announced one billion in revenue had been earned from a successful holiday turnaround. This was all after the infamous $900 million write-down from 2013 over the failed Surface RT.

The idea of wedding the bruised Surface brand with the struggling Windows Phone one did not make a lot of business sense before 2015.

However, now that Apple and Google are going forward with their own Surface-like devices and the Microsoft's Surface sales are doing well you could say the time is now right for such a merger.

There is another issue too. When I reported that the original Intel project was a purely a Microsoft endeavor, I had some issues with that claim. Specifically, which department was making it? Research? Surface? Xbox? None of those groups made sense. The one group that did make sense was the Devices group headed by Stephen Elop once the Nokia acquisition went through.

Panos Panay was not yet in charge of the Devices group, ergo not in charge of Windows Phone until late July 2015. This occurred after Stephen Elop and his team were let go presumably due to past failures including the cancelled McLaren smartphone and the ho-hum Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL that were in late development.

The way I see it, there was no way a "Surface phone" could have existed before July 2015. Now that I hear this cancelled Intel project was a Nokia one the bigger picture comes together. Microsoft is evidently sweeping out a lot of the old Nokia designs, people and strategy for something new.

Reading between the lines: What Panos was telegraphing about those new Lumias

I have argued that some of the Microsoft teams, especially the Surface group, are not fond of these new Lumias, and I believe there is still some in-house cleaning going on to bring on a new strategy. That strategy change is an acknowledgement that Windows Phone as an iOS and Android competitor has failed.

Instead, Microsoft may be trying to create a new category to leverage Windows 10. I wrote about this just a month ago, asking if Microsoft wanted to reboot the concept of a phone, and I still think it holds true.

And now for something different

Microsoft's Windows mobile strategy is still in many ways chaotic. Indeed, since 2007, when then-CEO Steven Ballmer laughed off the iPhone, Microsoft never quite found their way in the smartphone market. Constant reboots of the OS design and concept, and partnerships that have come and gone bought time and kept some interest, but in the end it has not worked on the scale Microsoft needs to justify long-term investment.

There are a few ways forward that I see for Microsoft:

(A) Cancel Windows 10 Mobile (B) Continue selling Lumias and trying to compete with iOS, Android (C) Do something very different

I have argued in the past that (A) is just not feasible, not yet. The whole concept of Windows 10 and the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is too dependent on the mobile branch existing. Cancelling it now would be a terrible message to developers and calls into question the entire UWP paradigm (not to mention Satya Nadella and Terry Myerson's leadership).

Going with option (B) is what Microsoft has done up to the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. Although the company stands behind those products, they are not advertising them on TV or pushing hard in retail channels. It should be clear they are pulling back as the only people will buy those phones are already converts and those with some interest in Continuum.

Nadella cancelling many models and reducing their Lumia portfolio is another blow to that route.

Solution (C) can lead to success, but is also the most difficult to achieve. Creating or redefining a product category takes major R&D and a visionary team with the chops to make it a reality.

Can Panos Panay and his group do that for the phone? I have no idea and the odds are against them. Nonetheless, the Surface Book design does inspire confidence.

So this is everything we know about this 'Panos phone' so far:

  • This is a Surface team design
  • Due in second half of 2016
  • Intel is testing something with it
  • It may or may not run x86 apps (TBD)
  • Likely timed with Windows 10 Redstone

Other than that it's a complete mystery. If I had to guess, it is also going to be an expensive phone as Panay is in charge of premium devices and experiences. The Surface Book puts into perspective how far they will go for a laptop and they even raised the Band 2 by $50 to make it higher quality.

Until Microsoft announces this phone, there is not much else that can or should be said. For now, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL stand as the high-end offering for Windows 10 Mobile, and we expect them to hold that position for several months, if not an entire year. However, like all things in tech there is always something around the next bend, and the Surface Phone could be it.

What's your vision for a Surface Phone? Head into our forums and this thread to post your thoughts and predictions!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I swear my pants were just on a second ago.
  • Lol. Good one..
  • Thank god i waited, pass on the 950's. 
  • Glad I kept my powder dry and picked up the 640 for cheap
  • Same here.
  • Same, but for the first time since Windows Phone 7 I am truly clamoring for apps. I used to say "who needs a separate app for each thing you want to do on a phone." However, since those days many of the baked-in features of WP have been stripped out and the OS has been more app centric. Coupled with app availability shrinking, not growing I am for the first time thinking about jumping to the loathed iCompetitor. Question is, do i do it, knowing that things are going to get worse before they get better, or are things at the worst point now and already starting to become better?
  • For all the people out there who are thinking of migrating, I'd recommend staying.
    Give windows 10 mobile a chance to prove itself to you and to others.
    If the situation doesn't change in say about an year then it's safe to say bye to windows. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The hardest part about that is us poor Verizon foks.  I want to go to 10, but Verizon isn't going to support the 950. Yes i know I can do the insider program, but i just want it to work, i don't want to have to do extra stuff.  I just wish we wern't exield.  I am considering the jump to AT&T, but I do like everything else about V.  Oh well.. keep watching and waiting is guess..
  • Feeling the same. Who needs all theses apps.... but I lost the fate during the past year. These missing apps from all the big services, it impacts me at home and work. The nail on the coffin for me was wen MS announced the OneDrive space reduction, to a point where it will be impossible to fit anything on there, not even my phone pictures. MS changes direction every seconds and I'm through with it I guess.... Too much incertitude, now I even fear loosing some features or app. It's my last wp.
  • Its been exactly 1 week since i jumped to the   icompetitor.  I do miss windows OS but having a plethora off apps has been refreshing.  I'll be back for the rumoured surface phone, make it an awesome phone surface team!! Youve got a lot of apps to compensate for!
  • Same here, but even a Surface phone wont bring me back if the app and os situation hasnt improved by then
  • VZW better fucking pick this up. I had to skip the 950 but not by my choice.
  • In the same boat.  I think Daniel is thinking too much.  All Microsoft is doing is waiting on Intel to gets its act together and release a suitable smartphone SoC that can power a premium phone.  Thus we wait for Broxton, which I think is going to be a year late and available in mid 2016.  One would assume INtel is close to completeing the design and has some chips fabricated for internal testing/analysis.  But what about memory?  What if Intel is designing a different memory structure for the phone?  3D xpoint with their 3D NAND?  How much power can you save if you "turnoff" the memory block in standbye?  What happens if you can store alot more info that is "instantly" accessible to "pass" you form desktop to phone and back as you walk from car to office and then you sit at your desk to continue conversation through your computer?
  • Expecting a mobile SoC from Intel, please.  Its CISC vs RISC, for every step Intel takes they will be behind 3.  WP and Windows are two different OSes.  Apps reside in same abstraction layer, but maintaining the two is quite different.  Does a mobile OS need all this??? People who want Intel on phones are not engineers.  
  • That's just it, Microsoft does not need Verizon to "pick it up" for them to make and sell a Verizon compatible phone. The requirements for Verizon's LTE spectrum is that it must be open to every device.  Now yes, for their CDMA side of the network, the voice side, it does need to pass certification.  However Verizon does not handle certification, they have an independent third party do it.  All Microsoft has to do is get the phone certified and Verizon can't deny it.  They then can sell a Verizon model completely unlocked through their own store.  Now of course not having it in Verizon's stores would cut out the customers who prefer to spread out the cost of the phone over 24 months with the Edge plan, but Microsoft can make it compatible with Verizon if they want to.
  • Yeah, well, this is all MISINFORMATION. FYI, the LTE spectrum must also be certified by Verizon as noted on their own website, however, only Verizon can certify the LTE as (also by their own admission on their website) they don't yet have the program ready for a 3rd party to handle that. Verizon has refused to certify the LTE bandwidth for the Lumia 950/950XL so Microsoft turned off the CDMA antennas. It's no secret that there is little love between Verizon and Microsoft, but IMO, Verizon is messing up big time. They currently have a huge contract with the government for enterprise devices on their network, however those devices are Blackberries. Blackberry is switching their devices to Android. Android is an open-source OS, so not secure enough for government use. iOS is not enterprise friendly, so iPhones are off the table. That only leave Windows 10 which is both secure and enterprise friendly. No doubt the government will be switching to Windows 10 devices and if Verizon doesn't have any, they will most likely lose their big government contract to AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint.
  • Verizon can NOT refuse to certify anyone on their LTE.  The moment they try they will get sued because of the rules the FCC attached to the 700MHz C block spectrum.  Remember all the mess about the Nexus 7 and all the complaining about Verizon that was over that?  In the end it was discovered that Google itself requested certification be ended because of a bug it found. Fact is Verizon can test a device because the open access rules do state that they must allow any device that won't harm their network, but they can not refuse to test any device simply because they want to. Agreed there is no love lost between Verizon and Microsoft and that Verizon has mistreated Microsoft in the past.  But the reality is Verizon simply just can not refuse to allow any device, Microsoft or others, from running on their network.  So if Microsoft does not offer one that is Verizon compatible, that is on Microsoft.    
  • Thats why i dumped VZW went over to AT&T much happier, i think you should do the same. See if AT&T is still offering the money for you to switch and they'll VZW you term fees you'll be happier like me, no more bill fluct AT&T billing is spot on never any fluct at all.
  • I just switched to Verizon from ATT because Verizon gave us a deal ATT couldn't beat. But I'll say this, if ATT could have matched the deal we would've stayed. My family has been with them for 20 years! And the customer service ATT has is unbeatable imo. They are one of the few companies that actually look at your history and if they see you pay on time and/or you've been with the company for a while. Really helpful and the store staff are do much more knowledgeable (at least here in New York). They even know a lot about windows phone. They don't push people away from it. I miss ATT. Posted via the Windows Central App for BlackBerry
  • Well AT&T has the most god awful,customer service I have ever experienced. I have had ATT and now Verizon . Verizon has great customer service. ATT can't begin to compare to Verizon in customer service and the most reliable network. I hate ATT
  • Deciding when to buy a smartphone reminds me of the same struggle many faced in choosing a PCs in the late 90s. Hardware and software alike was evolving at such a pace that people were torn between upgrading now or waiting for something better. There's always a new device around the corner; if you're going to wait for the next big thing you'll be waiting forever.
  • I agree,if I wanted / needed a new phone right now, I'd go for the 950XL - I'm not holding off because of future phones, bur rather that I'm just happy with the 930 still. If you really want... or more importantly need a new phone just buy now. This next phone may not even be available until very late 2016 / early 2017. The 950/XL are for those Windows Phone fans who are sick of their current phone and have been stuck with it for years.
  • + 930
    + SP3
    + W10 Both these devices are pretty awesome on W10 and I can easily wait for next October to think about an SP5 and "Surface Phone". Both devices are of such high quality and the OS just gets better that I am so happy with my choices. Those getting the SP4 and 950 should have the same experience :)
  • We switch phones like what, every ~2yrs? (judging by muself). I doubt there will be Surface Phone out before that. Anounced? Maybe. But out for sale; don't think so. So for me, 950 XL is the best thing out there IMHO. Again, for the next ~2yrs.
  • Put your pants back on, there are kids around! I swear I do not understand Microsoft some times. Why leak this information now when you are still trying to sell 950s? Why would anybody buy these now? Heck, there should be a mass rush to return them and just wait for a phone that will clearly be better.  While I am excited by this news, I will be keeping my 950XL. If history is anything to go by the Surface Phone release date will face a few push backs. It will be v.1 so it will be buggy. It will cost an arm and a leg.  Excited but following the mantra, "a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush".
  • Exactly. 950XL is a great device. This device will be a 1st Gen product and wont even see it before 2017 so I can't wait that much anymore.
  • I have the 950... I just can't see what any of the complaints are about. The hardware is spectacular. Sure, Hello doesn't work that well on it... though there's some hope since it's beta. But the specs and design are exactly what I wanted. I love the removable back with replaceable battery, SDcard, killer camera, crazy good screen, etc. I wish ms would make colored backs, but this satisfies every major requirement I had. The app situation is still a disaster, and a Surface phone wouldn't change that. W10 still has a few bugs, but it's pretty solid... much more solid than the tech previews led me to believe would be possible. I don't understand why Windows Phone fans seem to be slamming these phones left and right... they're great!
  • Yeah well hopefully the bridge efforts will see some fruit before this phone is even announced. If the app situation doesn't change by next fall, then what's the point anyway? At least the cross-platform apps that are available on all OSs has to be improved by then(ahem, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • The bridge efforts died with Astoria.  iOS developers are better off working from scratch.  The other bridges are uninteresting.
  • iOS developers are better off working from scratch
    What makes you say that?
  • I like my 950 too.  The vocal complainers will complain about EVERYTHING.  When this "Surface phone" does come out, they'll complain that it's too expensive.  There's a certain element around here that can't be pleased.
  • Spectacular hardware? You sure about that? It's a flagship phone made out of plastic, that looks indistinguishable from a $60 Lumia 640. It has the same SoC/performance as $400 Android phones e.g. Nexus 5C, Moto X Pure. You want a QHD AMOLED display? You can buy it at a discount now for $300 or less with the Nexus 6 (was on sale for $200 shortly around Black Friday). Cobble all these antiquated specs together and BOOM you've got the 950.
  • It's funny, the 1520 was made from plastic as well, I never hear people make the same complaints.
  • The 1520 is 2 years old, the standards for flagships have been raised since then, I would hope.
  • I felt like the iPhone 6 plus was like a 1520 to be honest. I feel it's relative on a certain level. Upgrade cycles depend on user, stability of OS, and hardware. That said, Idk if I'll still have my 1520 by the time this comes out.
  • I've compared my 950xl to my buddies 6plus and the 950xl is sleeker and smaller despite having the larger screen of the both (5.7inch vs the 6plus's 5.5inch). The 6plus is one ugly clunky mess, to be honest. My white Lumia 950xl with its polycarbonate and all is looking much better then the iPhone 6plus. And comparing the 950xl to the 640xl? Think again! The screen is so much better, and the 950xl looks so much better and more premium from the back go look both phones up on Bing, you'll see!! or better! Go to your local Microsoft store and compare both side by side! There is a huge differens in look and feel with both phones! 
  • [QUOTE] My white Lumia 950xl with its polycarbonate and all is looking much better then the iPhone 6plus.[/QUOTE] Now THAT is a textbook example of seeing exactly what you WANT to see.
  • I love how people cry about metal.....then put a plastic case on it.
  • @seanpr - there are a lot of us that don't use a case at all, or use a slip-case (like I do). That ensures it's protected when not in use, but you can still appreciate the aesthetics when in use.
  • stop with this plastic-nonsense. even super cars prefer plastic body kits. tradeoff of having a metal body for phones are receptions and wireless charging. how can you call it a flagship phone when it hinders you to have a good signal and don't charge wirelessly?
  • This is all a bunch of BS.  The only thing missing is the next generaton Atom chip--Broxton.  That is all.  The new phone will ship as soon as the next gen INtel Atom processor is ready to go which will include an integrated baseband modem.  Goodbye Qualcomm.  But I would be curious about integrated 3D Xpoint memory or 3D NAND memory in the phone. So rethinking the phone has more to do about passing info seemlessly between phone and PC via cloud/wifi/bluetooth.  What happens if you put a 128 gb 3D Xpoint memory cude on die with the SoC?
  • Nope.  ARM > X86.  Less power draw, less heat, smaller, better performance.  Only reason why Intel was popular way back was because less memory consumption due to CISC arch.  Today they are prominent for desktop performance and backwards compatibility, but this is threatened with the existence of WinRT, and the rate at which ARM processors are evolving. You don't want an Intel phone on WP yet.  Will require a lot of coding to OS, big potential for a mess in development.  Can't even target a single platform on time as it is....
  • Totally agree.
  • I agree. Techniclally, I believe Broxton shipped as x3, x5 and x7. But I think it's fair to say that MS is working closely with Intel to get the new gen Atom x7 processor mated up with Intel's latest and greatest LTE modem, the 7360, as a SoC solution. The Surface 3 has the x7 and 7360 built it, I believe, but they're not a single SoC. Instead, the modem is off chip / non integrated. Put them together like Intel has to be planning to do at some point, add a few performance and power tweaks and the new chip should be a winner.
  • It's 2015, ain't nobody paying $600+ for a plastic phone these days, why would they when they can pay the same price and get a premium phone built with premium materials and with a premium design? This is exactly why Windows Phones sales suck, and also exactly why the Surface phone is going to be all metal, because they're learning from their mistakes with plastic flagships. And the specs are antiquated, deal with it, QHD and AMOLED has been around for over a year. SD 808 is found in mid-range $400 phones. SD 810 can be found in $500 phones, that are also made with QHD, AMOLED, and premium materials. The 950 and 950XL were finally released on Nov 2015, the same month the SD 820 was released, making them obsolete on arrival! Why pay $600+ for a flagship phone with yesteryear's specs?
  • "And the specs are antiquated..." That really is just a stupid statement. The specs may not be cutting edge because they've been available for a while but they are still as good as it gets at the moment.  Can you show me the phones sporting an SD820?  I don't think you actually know what "antiquated" means.
  • Yes, polycarbonate has been proven beyond doubt to be superior to metal in every way...
  • The 1520 was beautiful, you really can't compare the two.
  • Higher quality plastic and aesthetics on the 1520.  You are physically composed of the same material as Rosie O'Donnell.  Just think about that.  Let it sink in... Ok, have you drawn any parallels??
  • Yes, the 1520, 1020, 920...they were all polycarbonate plastic. Yet those phones had that peculiar designs that just got attention. The rounded edges made plastic seem premium. And that's why no one complains about the design. Even my android and ios buddies just go wow at this design. Some even considered switching platforms just for the design. This design is the only thing microsoft compromised with the 950s.
  • Agreed, but with a focus on the screen. There's certainly no mistaking the 950's for the 640's; the former look and feel much better. But that flat screen is a serious step back from the beautiful sculpted displays of the Fabula designs!
  • And he's obviously fine with that.  Why do you have a problem with it being that you already have your Android phone?
  • Antequated specs? Sure some lower cost devices can match some parts of the 950 spec but seriously, what devices have newer chips nthan the 808 and 810? More than 3 GB ram? Higher resolution (and seriously, there comes a point when it really doesn't make much difference - i'd have been fine with the 950 being 1080p and onger battery life due to pushing less pixels).  Like i said, some of these specs are also on tother devices, and it does seem clear that the fingerprint readers beat iris scanning in terms of the compromise of security & convenience, and perhaps cameras in general are mostly good enough (though my guess is the 950 / 950XL is better performing in low light than the $400 devices you mentioned). Yes, lumia may be overpriced and certainly, given the market position a lower price could ahve helped that. Yes, a higher end design (even more like the 830 which has removable battery and micro SD might have helped things sell, but i get microsofts intent to spur some 3rd party covers too. But don't give me antequted specs - spec wise the lumia are up there with the best of them on the market today.
  • The SD 820 will be out very soon and it is supposed to be much better than the 810. Camera wise, it will be surprising if the Lumias can compete with MotoX or Nexus. They are rated higher than the iPhone, which it isn't clear if the Lumia 950 is any better. There really isn't anything remarkable about these devices. Not even HDMI out or keyboard support. That has been available on other platforms for years. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Absolutely you can't begin to knock the specs on the 950s. Cameras are outstanding for a start plus everything else you mentioned. And now the price is half what it was at launch (as is expected with all high end devices).
  • You want your flagship to be light weight..removable back cover..replaceable battery..dual SIM..micro SD support..Wireless charging..Lesser than other flagships .. Everything should be achieved with a metal finish phone .. Well done you have been invited for MS's R&D team!!
  • How's the wireless charging, removable battery and expandable storage going on the metal, unibody iphone 6?  Oh yeah...
  • But Apple does the same OS across all devices.....oh yeah
  • If Snapdragon 808 and 810 perform the same as Snapdragon 400, Microsoft can't do anything..
  • Yeah.. You should totally put those together and make a cheaper phone.
  • Antiquated specs... get a grip on yourself, dude. It's got the latest and greatest, no dispute about that. That the design is less than overwhelming is a different mattter.
  • And you still have lagdroid on that nexus plus all the scroogle tie ins, no thanks.
  • I just wish they had put the 950 internals into the 830 or 930 body. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Interesting. My son's 950 doesn't seem to have issues with Hello, unless you mean the fact that you have to hold the phone so close.
  • That's my biggest beef with Hello.  You have to hold it unnaturally close for it to read your iris.
  • I guess. However, in defense of retina biometric technology, it's actually not that bad. I've never known or read about any retina biometrics that did not require you to get very close to the scanner.
  • Retina differs from Iris. Iris biometrics can scan using infrared cameras which is now available on Lumia 950 and 950XL, while retina biometrics still nowhere found in any phones. Well, since it's a camera, if there's smudge in its lens, it will be harder to focus, thus will make Hello less effective.
  • Iris scanning using an infrared cameras is still biometric. The terminology is used for ANY technology that uses a person's individual physical features to identify them, ie, fingerprint, veins, facial, or retina. The only difference is the technology used. Update: I was reading this as I was walking and realized a misread what you were saying. You are correct about the differences between retina and Iris scanning.
  • Think of a movie, some fool always gets up close and personal to the scanner...
  • Actually, it doesn't have to be un naturally close. Once you do the improve iris detection a few times in different lighting it performs very well. Biggest trick.... Look at the red light, not just your screen. I've been able to unlock my 950 in a pitch black room with no problem.
  • I don't know if you are being sarcastic, joking or serious.  "I just can't see what any of the complaints are about..."  well let's see, you listed just a few in your own repsonse.  1. Hello doesn't work that well, 2. It's beta, 3. No colored backs, 4. App situation is STILL a disaster, 5. W10 STILL has a few bugs, 6 Spectacular hardware-- Man,the hardware is the same as my midrange 640.  with the exception of cameras.  I could've added a few more to the list but just wanted to go by your very own list.   
  • Few bugs to put it lightly.......
  • Hardware is same as 640..are you drunk??
  • 1: It works as advertised. Nice if you're wearing gloves.
    2: What, the phone...?
    3: You can get a red one in leather... Pretty sure they'll be popping up everywhere when people get their 3D printers firing...
    4: Would be the same no matter which phone they released.
    5: Same as 4.
    6: No. Just... No.
  • You won the lamest response on the internet contest today... 1 and 2 are the same thing and just what do you expect from something named Beta? Mozo makes really cool backs, but most will get a cover anyways. Apps are just fine, MS isn't pulling 60,000 apps off it's store in one month for malware concerns like Google had to. W10 has a few bugs... ALL software has bugs, you live in a fantasy land. You compare it to the 640?!?! Really?!?! It doesn't support Continuum, have the same processor, camera, screen etc etc etc...
  • This comment is so spot on. As a 928 -> Icon (929) -> 950 user I have been pretty darn happy with the designs. The only comment I have on the 950 it is a fabulous device, but imo the back cover is really a negative. It is really cheap looking and feeling compared to the Icon (929). I get that I can buy the Mozo cases, but still I feel like the phone would be fragile. Both my 928 and Icon were absolute tanks that survived so many drops with barely a scratch. I wonder why they could not have done a design more similar to the 830.
  • I feel the other way around...! :-D I like the sleek, minimalistic back covers, and they felt pretty solid when I handled them. A lot more than my 630 from work certainly! The front is a letdown though, missing the sculpted display as it is. The metal frame on the 830 was a scratch magnet, and like all metal is either too hot or too cold to the touch...
  • There great? The resale value on them has already dropped and It's buggy as hell. It's a nonconsistent UI across basic "apps" and basic tasks are redundant. I have an AT&T 950 and the camera is no better (actually worse) than the latest Android phones. It's sad.
  • I myself wondering if they are truly fans or undercover trolls, the 950 & 950 XL beats all competition, then they complain about design, aww cut that crap
  • My thoughts too. I think the strain of such a prolonged wait has caused some to crack. The rest are just the usual trolls posing as 950 owners and spouting off nonsensical bullshit.
  • They're trolls pretending to own a Windows phone, 950 or some other Wp, of that I have no doubt.
  • I can tell you now there are dozens of the iCabal trolling this place as 'WP/WM' fans, it's a sport for them.
    I even came across this site as a result of listening to a pair of Apple employee's celebrating their baiting on the train.
    Figures. Haters gonna hate.
  • Exactly! Well said, sir.
  • I hate that engadget team. They are visibly against anything Microsoft. Always downplaying MSFT's effort and unnecessarily hyping apple's and android instead. I think I'm gonna delete their stupid app from my device.
  • Deleted it ages ago. Long since ceased to be objective. Not quite as bad as Pocket Lint, but not far off.
  • Then again, the Windows Phone "rejects" (950/950XL) are actually better than the other guys' "flagships". I'm trading my 1520 in for a 950XL.  It should do me until the Surface Phone surfaces.
  • I myself wondering what's all the fuss about ,both 950 & 950 XL are great flagship phones and people know what it's capable of.
  • I don't think so. Because the masses' don't even know the 950/XL exists let alone know or follow new about.
  • actually this is quite the opposite, they are saying "buy 950 since the next phone will take more than a year".
  • This. Besides a year is a long time. Anything can happen...
  • Remember: McLaren....
  • That's exactly what I did. Bought a 950 as soon as I read this article. I said f that, can't wait longer for a better phone. I'll upgrade in a year.
  • Exactly, now I am now relaxed about the upgrade to the 950XL I did. Pity the 1020 stopped charging half a year ago requiring a temp. 640XL that I justified to test if I'd tolerate a biggie. Still I want an even larger full windows desktop phone as soon as it is feasible to build one. Have been since well before the iMate vaporware. And Geodude074, I want it in plastic!! Durable changeable, renewable, doesn't scratch. I want to use and live with my phone, not having to be fondling and overly gentle. This from a gentle office kind of guy that also has a life in the real world
  • Exactly. No way my old 1020 will last until this gets out.
  • Why not? There's always going to be something cool coming in the future. For now, I'll enjoy my new 950.
  • Yeah the 950 is great right now. Windows Hello has worked great for me as well.
  • I agree...will pick up 950 this week.
  • I'm amazed at all the 950 owners after so many complained about its design...
  • Owners are not complaining, it is only Rubino crying for metal.
  • Haha there are mozo covers and others if anything,phone does it all
  • Seems to me the 950s are to tide WP users over, they don't seem to be hanging on to a lot of stock, and have limited their carrier partnerships.  There hasn't been a Flagship in a while, and people tend to upgrade every couple of years, people are due, or past due for an upgrade.  These Flagships are just the thing to tide people over.  Nadella even called these phones for the fans.  My old Flagship phone is about 3 years old now and isn't doing so well, in fact I got a cheap Acer WP to hold me over, figuring I could hold onto it as a emergency back-up device.  Can't wait for my 950 to get here! This new Surface phone seems at best a year away, and maybe more, plus the first iteration of Microsoft Devices in this new system seem to require a major refinement (Surface 1, Band 1), so if you aren't an early adopter, you are now easily 18-24 months out from this device.  About the right time to upgrade again. So, if you want to keep using your already old phone for another year or more instead of getting a 950 now, have at it.  I don't think that is going to hurt Microsoft's plans in the short term, and I'll be happily enjoying my modern flagship phone for the next year+ until this new phone gets the kinks out, about the time I should be ready to upgrade again anyhow.  
  • My Lumia 950 is being delivered tomorrow. Really excited for it! My next upgrade is due Spetmber 2017 so I will hold off for V2.
  • That better phone is 1 year away. I doubt anyone will wait for it that long.
  • Exactly that's what I don't understand too... They released these phones, which in my opinion are not bad at all, and people are buying them. So what, are they trying to make these people, who also happen to be their most die hard fans for fools?
    And I don't understand WC... They release these articles from now and then. To be honest, it's actually not like MS is releasing any news, guys here are producing these articles on their own mind. The last one was some days ago, when 950 started shipping.
  • I also don't see point of releasing rumour milled articles like this when we finally have great flagship product
  • "I swear I do not understand Microsoft some times. Why leak this information now when you are still trying to sell 950s?​" You seem to think that upcoming product info is always leaked on purpose.  Leaks are rarely intentional regardless of what the conspiracy theorist say.  Leaks are usually only seen be a small percentage of customers, they steal thunder from the actual announcement, and they reduce the ability of the company to market the product on their own terms.  There is almost nothing to gain from intentional leaks. 
  • They let a tech reviewer into the same room where a prototype phone was being made. If you don't think they knew what they were doing, I have a bridge for sale you may be interested in.
  • I don't think they leaked anything beyond the obvious. Beyond that this article is mostly speculation. There are no specs here, no real feature confirmation, heck, we don't even know if the next phone will be called 'Surface'.
  • There are people like me whose phone has aged (close to 3 years) and do not want to switch to other platforms. We cannot wait another 12 months for the next flagship. With this announcement, I am actually feeling excited: Knowing in 3 years time, my replacement phone would probably be a Surface Phone 3.
  • Microsoft is clearly saying that there will not be such a thing as a "Surface Phone" for at least a year. That will actually help 950/XL sales, not harm them.
  • There will always be something better next year so I don't think anyone should be returning their 950 or XL just to wait another year or more.
  • Everybody knows the next iphone comes out half a year later and keeps buying them..
  • What you mean why? Its like asking why would anyone buy Iphone 6 when they can get Iphone 7 year later.
  • Microsoft doesn't want the 950's which is why didn't buy one.  Why buy something not even MS wants.  The advertising budget for these phones is not much more than the cost of the phone itself. 
  • Actually many enthusiasts purchase phones on a yearly basis.  Hence why the iPhone, S series and other flaghips sell a new model every year.  This article actually makes a purchase now of a 950 or 950XL seem like a safe, or at least safer, purchase as the rumours of a Surface phone was a spring release.
  • I agree with skipping the first generation. I bought the first generation Dell Venue 11 Pro and it always has had constant bugs. I bought the 950 XL immediately and it has a lot of bugs. Assuming they get things ironed out with the 950 XL I will be skipping the first generation of whatever this is. Or if they don't get teh 950 XL ironed out in my first 30 days, I may have to look elswhere :(
  • Not even sure what that means, but it had me laughing. :D
  • Hahaha
  • Not sure why so many people seem enamored with a metal phone. I like the polycarbonate of my new 950XL. The phone is great. No issues with battery life, great display, GREAT camera. Got my free display dock which is (IMO) a free charger and a cool Microsoft paper weight.
    You want to make me happy? Give me a battery I can use for extended amount of time, remote desktop in continuum mode and (keep improving the) stellar camera and I'll keep throwing money at Microsoft.
  • "Not sure why so many people seem enamored with a metal phone. I like the polycarbonate of my new 950XL. " They really aren't, it's just something new to complain about.  It's been historically proven, that no matter what is presented, people will find flaws and complain about them.  It's the way of the internet.
  • You said it
  • So true.
  • It's just backlash, because of the way Nokia/MS have gotten away from all those metal designs they have always used in most of their previous phones. You know the metal Lumia 800/900/520/530/630/640/720/730/820/930/1320/1520. They could have at least gone metal back cover, like the 925/830, and just put a plastic band around the edges... /s I'm rocking my Thanksgiving 950 XL, and waiting on my FREE Continuum Dock, which, if you even factor in, with the 10% ($65) Education Discount, I got at the MS Store, brought the cost down to around $485. A 16GB iPhone 6s (not 6S Plus) costs what? $650? Factor in I DONT CARE MUCH FOR IOS, or Android OSes, and you have the only compelling reasons for my purchase. Whine all you want about signal-killing, bendy, scratch-prone metal. I'll be here, USING the Future, of W10M, while complainers wait for it. Oh, and Hello works GREAT, even with glasses. All you have to do, is train it from many angles, both without, and with, glasses.o have squinty eyes, so when it doesn't look like it sees me, I briefly flash my eyes, and I get that trademark wink!
  • Forgive me if I am unable to help you find your pants, I need to find mine first. Good leak, well articulated, but guess what, I have be rocking my L950-XL for a little over a week now and by George, I love it, This puts me in good premium phone timetable standing, yearly refresh it will be for both of us (MSFT and I), time of the year wise is good, I can convince myself it my annual Christmas schedule to me. FOlks who have not tried this 950 or 950XL should, it is awesome. I am returning it, I am going to enjoy my entire 1 year on it before upgrading to Panos Phone..
  • Yes.
  • In a nutshell, Nadella gave up on Lumia a while ago and just isn't man enough to tell us.
  • Agreed, gets annoying to see the 950/XL be promoted as a disappointment on Windows Central. I get it, it's not the Surface Phone and it's not the "Panos Phone" but it is still the best phone on the market if you don't care about SnapChat and a few other bullshit apps. I can't wait to get my hands on the 950 XL but since my 950 was stolen and I had to switch to the 640 looks like I won't get mine until July which sucks :(
  • Hello mbrdev, I am sorry to hear your 950 was stolen.  I would be super unhappy if mine was.  I concur with your concern about the 950/950XL being labeled a disappointment.  I am quite happy with my 950.  While I am quite aware that WaaS means that you cannot expect the OS to be "complete" I am also concerned that the immediate impression people get from the current status of an OS like Windows Mobile 10 may trump their understanding (if they do), that the OS may be significantly refined over time.
  • I lol for realsies
  • I am blown with how much of attention this article is getting.
  • Tell me about it.  This ($*% is the reason I might buy the 640.  But I'm not investing too much money into WP hardware.  Services, that is a different issue; if they get the Music app right I might spring for the Music Pass for a change.  I had a feeling that the 950, though I was enthusiastic about it, would not move the needle with the public.  And I was right. 
  • Gus, don't be the American adaptation of the British Gus.
  • Aaaand I'm not buying the 950xl.
  • We probably will be able to buy this by December 2016.
  • Yeah as a fan of Windows not sure I'd be able to get thru 2016 on an older phone, but to each his own. Yearly cycles are a thing now anyway.
  • This and a new-phone-every-year program. Like Apple.
  • I'm still torn on something like that. You're basically renting a phone, indefiitely, trading it out annually. I'd rather buy it out-right, and sell it to recoup part of the cost, than to do some sort of leasing-like program. 
  • It's a lease program, I would never use it. But I hope that Microsoft can get to a place where there is the level of faith that the next phone will be here in one year, and be enough better that I want to commit to buying it a year ahead. If you really think about it, that's what people are saying when they sign up for that Apple program, and I hope the Lumia line can get there.
  • I totally get what you're say.  Me however, I'm fine with paying $200.00 and then trading it up with 1 year if something new comes out.  If nothing comes out, I will pay the other $200.00 and then own it outright, and see what comes out then.
  • As long as they start/keep producing compelling anual refreshes, that'll be the route I take (most likely). Don't get me wrong, I ejoyed my 920 over the last 3 years, but it really does show it's age. I don't think I could have gone another year with sb-par photos (the Amber update introduced a terrible yellow tent that just wont go away), not to mention the lagging performance, and decreasing battery life. When I got my 950XL a few days ago, I was amazed by the screen, battery life, and performance. But the part that really blew me away was how much the camera technology has improved over just 3 years. 
  • Bloody amber update. :)
  • This makes my 18 month AT&T Next plan for my new 950 seem like just about perfect timing for the new Panay phone in May 2017.  Its like I knew what I was doing...  
  • We all knew this was coming. I bought a 640 because it was cheaper than replacing the screen on my 1020 and I could hand it off to my little one. But carrying two devices around (simply for the camera) is 1) a nuisance and 2) showed me how long in the tooth my 1020 was. My 950XL is a much better stop gap than the 640 that I believe allows its buyers to possibly skip the 1st gen. Plus there's eBay!!
  • Yep, I wasn't willing to use my 640xl as a hold over due to the camera either.
  • Exactly. I'm not waiting a year for an upgrade to my 2 yr old phone because of a rumor.
  • It's not only the hardware.....its the OS and app eco-system.  Asus already has a phone with the Atom Prossor tell me MS could not work with Asus to lay the foundation while learning...we are still in Beta with 10586 so what's the difference.  Killer looking phone with a crapy OS and no app's is a failure.  I'm still holding on but MS is making it hard to not just put up the white flag.  I have used the MS apps on Andriod and iOS and the differences are clear...they make a better product for the others and this with the release of the "flagship" phone, what are they thinking!!
  • Well they did manufacture the concept phones for wp7
  • Dan, your methodical approach to reviews is stopping some poor phone shop person from earning some Christmas commission. I'm poised to purchase, once I get to the last full stop in your review. And man, I wish UK had some 12 or 18 month contracts. This 24 month cycle is too long.
  • That's exactly why I finally gave in and bought an iPhone 6sPlus.  Technically the 950 is a competent device ...but it's pricey when you factor in the fact that the Windows 10 mobile OS is still rough and too many vital apps are not available for it...and I'm not talking about games or snapchat.  I loved Windows Phone but, at this point, Microsoft's only hope for any size able market share is to reinvent what a cell phone can do.  It's a Herculean task...but I'm rooting for them and will be following the progress of the Surface Phone with great interest.
  • It's sad to say that Verizon Windows smartphone fans who want to stay with verizon have to wait maybe a year for the new "Surface" smartphone and pray that Microsoft and Verizon bury their hatchets and Verizon does carry the "Surface" smartphone. One thing's for sure since Verizon wont carry the MS Lumia 950 if Verizon does not carry the "Surface"flagship smart phone or another MS lumia flagship smartphone then Verizon will loose most of it's current Windows smart phone fans and that includes me
  • The phone can be purchased now.
  • Nope. And I don't think we will get it by December 2017 either.
  • It will be the best phone for the next 12 months... rumors are rumors.  This is something fast you can buy today.
  • And if history repeats, it will not be out in 2016.
  • Possible 5th quarter 2016?
  • LOL! There's no 5th quarter, dude. If you mean the first quarter of 2017, then, yes. But I like to see more about Surface Phone, and right now I'm looking for 950 coming into my country.
  • You caught me! It was a joke. I have, however,  been watching MS miss self imposed deadlines since the MS-DOS days.
  • Good one... I will be using that... 5thQ... Classic.
  • LOL 5th quarter
  • Fifth trimester of 2016.
  • I wouldn't go by history here any longer in regards to Windows phone/Mobile. I understand what you're saying but over the last 5yrs MS/Nokia/Balmer/Nadella were hammered with obstacles every which way. This changed recently. Now MS have a lot of work ahead of them to clean up and move along with their new strategy... It's not going to be easy but it should be far removed from 'the past'. That is my take on a more positive, optimistic view on the future for Windows Mobile. One can only hope....
  • Considering the 950XL is perpetually stuck in "Email me when available" land, I probably am not either. Well, there's always the unlocked 640XL, I suppose...
  • If you're in North America, you can get it in an MS store right now. Or Amazon US.
  • It is possible to get it bro.
  • Just get it and wait for Surface Phone 2.  That's what I'll do.
  • Lol... I rather just wait for the SPH1..
  • Donkey, carrot. Guess which one I am.
  • I would too but my 920 won't wait.
  • Lol... It won't last another 10 months???????
  • No. Have had it almost 2 years.  USB port dying, and software issues even after complete wipe.  It's probably because I've dropped it about a dozen times.
  • They don't last forever... It'll probably materialize into dust in about 90 days from now.
  • Buy a Lumia 950/950xl I did, and it was a great choice. If and when the Surface Phone comes it wil also be there when you're 950 gets old (or you're contract is up for renewal) and in the mean time you'll have  a great phone ;-)
  • My dilemma as well!
  • The only problem with my 1520 is the camera button stopped working over a year ago, and there's a small crack near the bottom of the screen.. Not sure how it got cracked,, it was just there one day.. Other than that it is still what I consider the best WP device Money can buy.. Not the most powerful, but the best.
  • Right and iPhone users don't get a new phone every year...c'mon =/
  • Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I read this phone will officially be called the 'Pumped Phone'. Is that true?
  • Thanks lord!! Here's my list...
    1. Redstone (A real consumer ready W10, which will probably happen in a few updates from now, anyways)
    2. 6"/6.2"-6.5"/7" designs (In other words, a phone that can replace my tablet)
    3. Hybrid Surface/Lumia design (The 920, 925, 930, & 1020, were beautiful. I hope the surface team uses a bit of Lumia in the design. If not, I think things could start to get boring with too much surface cloning.))
    4. Intel processor.. ( Heck, give the damn phone an Intel processor, AND a Qualcomm chip. Think about that! A true hybrid smart enough to decide the best resource for specific task. That would be neat, and beneficial)
    5. Color options. (I know it's a Surface product, but whatever; Give us color. And, hopefully some of that color will rub off onto the rest of the Surface line)
    6. Multiple inputs. (Connectivity is a major factor that set the original surface apart from the crowd. A Surface phone should have no less than 2 USBC, and 2 MSDC slots.. Awesome!)
    7. Serious accessories.. ( ""PEN"" Keyboards, docks, music production devices, screens, mice, controllers, speakers, headphones, drives, and the like)
    8. Special Apps (Software to set the SP aside from Lumia devices.. IDK, something needs to stand out here)........
  • Without SnapChat, none of that will sell! :P
  • Well, very true.. It won't sell in huge numbers to the Average consumer... We also know the app gap will still be huge this time next year...
    Microsoft will just have to "market" to us ten fans, and enterprise, until they figure out how to sell devices......
    But, Windows 10 desktop might give us some hope... If there's any chance phone will get substantially more popular, and needed, apps it's that developers won't be able to ignore desktop market share.... The whole idea of W10, and universal apps, is something huge that MS did right..
  • I really hope they can make a push into Enterprise mobile.  I have 70k employees where I work and most drool over iPhones.
  • I think if they can be attractive in enterprise other markets will eventually catch on.... MS just needs to finally market a damn smartphone.. Hopefully with Surface on the device MS will care. We know everyone at MS hates Lumia devices.. They don't even use them themselves. But, a Surface phone we can be confident they will be proud of.. They'd probably market the he'll out of that... NFL deals.. Lol
  • Quote: We know everyone at MS hates Lumia devices..They don't even use them themselves. Who's 'we'? You and your inner self? So you think it's Nokia's fault that MS  has no vision? And even on execution they don't fare well. Their software is mediocre even compared to FOSS like Linux. I give them max 5 years before they split the company and try to salvage what's left.
  • So it's not anymore "Microsoft is dead" and "Microsoft is dying"??!!! It's now "Microsoft will split to salvage the company"??!!! LOL!
  • Huh??? What are you talking about?..... Sounds like you're the one who's got a lot of inner self beliefs about what people think... Nokias fault? What?. And, what the hell does Nokia have to do with anything?.... Are you on the right article? Lol. Weird, dude.
  • I dont see what radically different they can offer to enterprise. Specially when they are already brought office suite etc to IOS and Android. True that office on W10 is way ahead of IOS, but soon IOS version may be at par. They cant make a push into enterprise until they are able to win consumers.
  • We'll just have to wait and see.......
  •   What's snap chat?
  • Necessary.... It's necessary, that's what it is...
    And, it's not literally SC, rather what SC stand for.. SC is symbolic of the thousands of apps that people need and want... If your smartphone doesn't have them, then it will not succeed. Windows ABSOLUTELY needs these apps, or it will fail in 2016, and beyond.... There's no getting around it... That's what SC is.
  •   Never used it ;see no need for it. However, I totally understand it as a representative app.   I am still using a2 year old nexus 5 because when I borrowed a 640 LTE (planning ahead for the 950 release), I couldn't find the apps - or near equivalents - for some of the things I use daily, and certainly not for those I use slightly less often.    Now if the conjectured surface phone could run Android in a virtual machine... .  
  • Lol.. Blustacks!! Exactly. We can only dream.
  • What the hell is this Snapchat that some people seem to can`t live without ?
  • Lol.. Please don't start that....
    Just know that Windows needs every damn single app that iDroid has.. Every single one. If they got it, we need it, and it better eventually make it's way to the platform.....
    ....... That is all that matters.
  • Exactly, there should come a point where every ad you see on TV ends with, "And try our mobile app available on IOS, Android and Windows".
  • Seriously, years ago I thought we'd be there by now...... Sad, and pathetic..
  • Yep, you know what pissed me off couple weeks ago?  My wife bought me the BB-8 droid for my birthday.  Of course I couldn't use it because there's no windows app.  Had to borrow her iPad.  :O
  • Sadly, there is some truth in that.  It's clear that markets that have taken better to Windows Phone have  had more companies invest in apps for the platform ,  and the oposite is also true.  Ultimately you can have the best plaform in the world, beautiful, performant, but it it doesn't have the apps, that will be the footnote on every review and the reason they will recommend you don't buy. The one(ok, not the only one) market that MS has never been able to figure out is the US, and sadly, that's also home to a highly influential tech press community.  
  • Exactly.. Well said..
    And, it hits home! We need apps! I need the Vance&Hines FP3 tuner app for my Harley... Now, I'm a longtime (very long) fan of WP. My worst fear is having to admit I need a Android device..... Guess what.. I'm going to go get one now, just for certain apps, like this.. Sure it'll just stay in my bag, but it's necessary.... Now, if that's necessary for me to do,, how could a WP/WM fan not think that apps aren't critical?..... Do they think that the average consumer is as dumb as I am, and is gonna carry two phones?? Not likely, and that's stupid.. So, why should I have to?
  • Play games in xbox360 more info
  • You have tour all over the world so which place you like very beautiful.
    Survive In Bed Book
  • Then there’s 6snap, the unofficial snapchat app for wp
  • Looking from a realistic app gap standpoint, and thinking of what the average consumers expectations are, 6Snap doesn't exist;; no third party apps do........
    Yes, we know about 6snap. SMDH.. Lol
  • Cool ideas! I'll jump to the Surface phone bandwagon in 2017 since I uograded to a Lumia 950 and my next uograde is due in September 2017!
  • That's even better.. Look forward the the SPH2❕❕❕❕❕❕❕
  • I think it would be a joke to have full windows on a phone.
  • It won't look like full Windows when it's functioning as a phone.
  • I'm not sure you get Continuum. When used as a phone the phone OS is just that. It only becomes a desktop OS when connected to a monitor. The issue today is Continuum can only run Store apps. The paradigm is only half complete and the natural progression is to take it further.
  • Getting win32 apps to run in the store environment needs to happen even if the PC phone never materializes, but a true pc phone would be a game changer. With so many people going away from traditional pc's. This phone would be a contender even to die hard apple and droid fans. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android because I am unfortunately with Sprint
  • I still wouldn't want to run native windows application from my phone.  The OS would balloon in size to handle the phone and desktop let the storage requirements for the desktop apps.  Would i need to carry an external drive for those apps?  Plus managing the desktop OS apps from the phone would be a nightmare being we all know uninstalling software is always a clean process and every file and registry settings for said software are removed properly.  Doing this raises questions: Would the phone and desktop OS be sandboxed?
    Would viruses for the desktop OS be able to get to the phone OS; breaking through the sandbox?
    Would the OS partition the micro-sd for phone vs desktop OS apps? If I want to run desktop apps I'll take my Surface Pro....
  • Thing is, we have no idea how they are going to execute this. Maybe the phone plugs into a Surface to become a computer acting as the display dock on-the-go. There. New computer.
  • Maybe a second x86 processor that only spins up when running an x86 application? The only way I could see them "reinventing" the phone category would be to have x86 support and the x86 support obviously means intel. So far battery life/perfomance per wat for intel powered chips is not remotely close to ARM, so unless they pull out some sort of magicbetween now and next year it's going to have to be something separate from normal phone operation.
  • YOu mean like the Atrix?  Hope not, besides, that's not very extensible -  a bit Surface 3 Dock rather than Surface 4 dock.
  • I wonder if the testing Intel is doing is to find out a way to give the next version of the Surface pro workstation class graphics and processing power? Maybe by using the Surface Phone as a "booster" of sorts.
  • Yeah, like you couldn't use programs that are 2 years old, or older, that use fewer resources! -_-
  • I personally don't believe MS will allow legacy Win32-type applications to run on the phone, but would only allow those that have been updated/developed using the Win32 bridge to be used on the phone. IIRC from keynotes/sessions at Build or Ignite, when using the bridge for Win32 apps, they would be placed in containers that basically have all the files needed to run the app so you wouldn't have dll's scattered all over the drive. Everything would be self-contained and (hopefully) since it would be made available in the Windows Store, it would be free of malicious code and all traces of the app removed when you decide to delete it from your phone just like regular phone apps. As far as drive space, since these phones would hopefully have SDXC like the 950s, you could theoretically have 2TB of storage available for your apps and data in addition to internal storage.
  • You can fit your Surface Pro in your pocket?  SOME of us want this.  But hey, primortal doesn't want it, so let's scrap it.
  • Continuum is just a fancy name for WinRT. :D
  • I bet in the first phase the crazy bastards will do a phone with two CPUs built on two different architectures (ARM and x86, a REAL x86, not Atom) just so you will be able to run REAL Win32 apps when in Continuum. :D This is the bare minimum they HAVE to do to make a big splash.
  • It wouldn't be a joke, think of some of the apps that we don't have now like HBOGo and SiriusXM, we could simply go to the website using the browser and they would work. No app required. 
  • Eh... Flash/HTML5 video eat a ton of CPU cycles handling streaming video which in turns eats up battery life. I don't really see that as a great alternative to native apps.
  • So, you thought remote desktop apps were a joke?....
    Having full Windows run right on my phone, and being able to actually view it on my device, would be the ultimate evolution of Remote Desktop... That's what I always dreamed of. If the phone has that level of continuum then MS better give us the options to view W10 remotely, and locally...
  • Let's think outside the box, afterall MS is the "mobile first, cloud first" company right? Could Microsoft pull off a performant VDI session hosted in their cloud ("OnePC") and bundle it with every W10M handset along with the killer OnePC universal app and now your PC is part of your phone/ecosystem. Follows you wherever you've got access to W10 devices!!!??!!! I'm sure not feasible, but thought I'd provoke some thoughts.... ;-)
  • I've always thought along those lines....
  • NO.  This would be a return to Origami and we all know what happened there.
  • I'm seeing a fine line between reinvention and toaster fridge...
  • Always thought that, "surface phone" was just a nickname refering to that upcoming Panos phone :D
  • On another note.. We can't say "SP1" for Surface Phone 1,, because that's what's used for Surface Pro..... It'll have to be called the SPH1, or something similar,, around here... Just saying
  • SM1
    Surface mobile
  • Sounds like a carrier... Lol
  • why not PP1?
  • Explain.. Lol
  • PP - Panos Phone?
  • Surface isn't a worldwide brand ...
  • Neither is Lumia... Lol. Nobody in the US, or China knows what it is.
  • Lol what? The world does not consist of US and China only. In countries where Nokia phones were a large presence, Lumia will be there. At least where I live, we get to see Lumias on large ad boards across the nation. Surface? It's already SP4 and none ever arrived here.
  • SPh1! Just saying!
  • it used to mear service pack 1 and Sueface used to be a table top computer names bet repurposed all the time
  • battery life is going to be a huge hurdle for them
  • There are a ton of hurdles including being a gen 1 device (cough, buggy Surface Book, cough). So yeah, this i one of those "it may be awesome on the second or third version" situations. We'll see.
  • Although the tablets running Intel Atom processors seem to cope ok on battery life. Personally, I would guess we'll see an Atom CPU in this phone, which will be fine and give us the continuum experience we're all hoping for. Then of course.... Mobile i3/i5/i7 processors will hopefully follow in the lead upto 2020
  • Exactly.  We already have PCs-on-a-stick, so the hardware isn't really the issue, the software is.
  • Regulatory issues in other countries with running Windows as a full blown OS on a phone... Think about it.
    Probably an old issue, though
  • Maybe they will test it "inhouse", get some (most?) of the bugs out, push back the release date and surprise us all with a v2 or v3 that has less bugs, more secure and looks/works better than iPhone or Android (like that would be hard to do)?
  • Superb, my 930 still works and is 100% OK. So this means for that I can wait ans get this phone.
  • Agreed, my 920 is still going strong. But if they can't get the app store bigger it won't matter
  • The end of 2016 is too late. Heck, the Lumia 950 & XL are too late.
  • If true, your comment is too late.
  • They said that about the 920, the 1020, and 930/Icon.  It'll be ok.
  • You're saying it was Ok??? Lol. 3% market share?
    Ummmm. No.
  • Wow man, you continue to say/post so much yet offer nothing. WTF does 3% mean to YOU? What does it represent to YOU? Are you just another flapping head reading and regurjitating what some other misinformed nay-sayers write? Because I'm *assuming* you still use a WP device. And if that's the case, then "3%" means nothing to you because you still have it, and have not replaced it... yet. Get the hell over it... 3% means nothing to you until or unless you decide to go with something else. Fire back, post back, whatever. People like you are and continue to be a bigger problem to WP than "3%".
  • Windows Phone fans are never happy. I saw people complaining that the 950/XL isn't being released with the Snapdragon 820... a part that doesn't even exist yet.
  • That's not necessarily a true statement.  My wife and I were VERY happy with the 920.  When the 1020 came we bought those and have been ever MORE happy with them.  Then Microsoft started its downhill slide.  Nothing that's come out since has been worth it.  We broke down and bought a pair of the 950 devices.  Talk about disappointment.  I had low expectations to begin with, but some people INSISTED the camera was the best.  What a bunch of bull.  So, there has yet to be a real successor to the 1020, as far as we are concerned.  So, yes, some Windows fans have been and COULD have been happy.  But lacklustre devices and Windows 10 have all but turned us off.
  • Me coming from a Lumia 1020 ,I find Lumia 950 pics to be great
  • ^This! Like what reality are we living in?
  • Count it to 2017
  • Agreed.
  • I have to agree. WP is going nowhere fast currently and the hardware choices just narrowed to too-expensive 950 or effectively a downgrade even from a 3 year old phone. I need an 850, and it's not going to happen. And the app gap is doing the rest. So frustrating because I like WP a lot. Meanwhile MS seems to be dreaming about tomorrow and has forgotten to sell today.
  • Lol.. Yep. You're right...
    Don't speak the reality around here though... That's called trolling by the delusional.
  • I think I hear Android Central and a Moto X calling your name.
  • Why go from bad to worse?  At this point it's gotten so bad that now Windows phones are simply the lesser of three evils.
  • Unfortuanetly it will be too late by that time!
  • Too late for what? People have been "predicting" WP's failure and death since it's inception... in 2010.
  • And don't forget that people have also been intoning their mantra "Microsoft is dead" "Microsoft is dying" since forever.
  • I came
  • Lol
  • the party. I think you left out that One picture at a time -- LG V10
  • Might be too little too late. The x86 chipset is intresting though.
  • Great article!
  • ahem. I mentioned that Microsoft would be working on an intel phone about 2 years ago. that aside, what remains to be seen is if an intel powered phone can match or exceed a Qualcomm based phone in hardware features/functionality
  • I've been telling everyone that indieimprint revealed this two years ago, but no one believes me!!
  • Would you provide a list of winning lottery tickets for the next two years?  Please?    
  • To be clear, the Universal Windows Platform is what Microsoft is pushing as Windows now, so I don't see that going anywhere.
  • Personally, I hope they don't include an Intel chip or X86. I feel like a crappy phone with a built in crappy PC would just be a crappy experience. Qualcomm's next-gen CPU will be ahead of Intel's mobile efforts, and adding x86 apps to a phone will hurt the experience, kill storage, etc. I hope MS just works on making a phone that's even better. And most importantly, I hope they get 10 stable and fully featured for phones, fast.
  • Personally, I hope they DO include an Intel chip for x86 support.  MS's only chance in mobile is something drastic like this, literally any other strategy will fail.  Would love to be able to travel light, use my phone as a phone 90% of the time, then hook it up to a monitor/TV to do some large-format stuff.  Just because your imagination sucks doesn't mean the rest of us should suffer.
  • Oh, come ON.  Be honest, seriously.  Do you, in your heart of hearts, actually believe a significant number of people will ditch their iPhones or Android phones to get an intel-based Windows phone?  Really?  Even when I was the biggest cheerleader for Windows Phones I would never have been so deluded into thinking that would happen.  I travel frequently and even I would not find it useful to hook my phone up to a tv.  I find it much easier to carry my Surface Pro 3.  I don't have carry any dongles/adapters, either.
  • I'm reading a lot of "I" in your post; other people (including myself) don't give two shits what your limited point of view holds for future offerings.  And neither myself nor MS expect a significant number of people to switch from Android or iPhone at this point, but the smartphone market is huge, and worth being in, especially focusing on enterprise.  If they really can put x86 support in your pocket, and it still works well enough as a phone, it would work better than any other strategy (especially in the enterprise), all I'm saying.  
  • This guy gets it.  
  • Exactly!!!!! It is the opposite way .. It is universal apps now... Not win32or whatever apss
  • This, ^^^^^ The UWP is game changing. People have to stop thinking only about the phone. Write an app for the 100 million and counting Win 10 users and get the phone app for almost nothing. Devs will support Win 10 as it allows them to share a lot of the pieces from other OSs and use them in Windows. This is significant.
  • I will probably wait to see what this phone is all about and keep my current 640/iPhone 6 Plus combination for my two lines.  However, it does provide more incentive to get the 950 XL to replace the 640 as I would be able to use it for a year without having to consider upgrading.
  • What guarantee is there that this will also not get cancelled?
  • That's what came to my mind also. The 950 seems like a great replacement for my 1020 except for the zoom not being as powerful. If it evers gets down to a penny on contract sale I will have a tough decision to make. I wish HTC, LG, Sony, and Samsung would bring a WP to market for more choices.
  • x86 chip in a smartphone? This may actually be a game changer. Bring it on Microsoft.
  • Exactly! :)
  • I think "Surface Lumia" makes more sense than calling it "Surface Phone". Just my opinion.
  • Personally, I'd rather see the names diverge. Asha for budget smartphones, Lumia for business, and Surface for premium. I think a lot of people would argue that the Surface name should be geared towards business users, as the Surface devices generally have been more of a business-focused device. But, looking at devices like the Surface Pro and (especially) the Surface Book, I think premium is a much better fit. 
  • Business premium!
  • The simpler the product portfolio the better.. Since Lumia has already been around quite some time, using that base as a continuum of products, ordinary consumers won't be alienated much to the concept. Since "Surface" has been used by Microsoft on products that mean premium quality and putting them together by using the word surface as an adjective would set it above all other lumia lines and would translate to Premium Microsoft Windows Mobile.. Just my idea, I guess.
  • I'd call it... Surface Mobile  
  • Surfone. ^_^
  • Lumia is dead, no need to keep it around. 
  • *Insert thank you gif here*
  • It isn't.. Microsoft just recently launched 950 and 950 XL, didn't they?
  • It will release in 2017 second prediction.
  • I predict they will totally have changed direction and come out with some new pancake making device.
  • Trust me, with Surface being a premium brand and releasing a phone under it, it's going to be expensive and unfortunately, people will still complain. *BEING A 1ST GEN DEVICE* (Biggest complain)
    And can't wait that much either. If it's October event (which I am placing my bets on), release date would be in 2017 and I don't even know whether I'll live that much or no.
    Sorry but I am going to enjoy what life has to offer today. Lumia 950XL ain't a joke as well. It's the best MS and Nokia has to offer. Whether the x86 functionality MIGHT COME and what shall it do is yet to be seen and the funny thing is how the experience will be on a 5-6 inch screen.
    E.g. PhotoShop on a 5/6 inch, yeah like that will save the market.
  • Nokia's not involved. Assuming that Photoshop is available, you wouldn't be doing it on the phone. That's what Continuum is all about.
  • What Nokia has to do with it?
    So what's the point then if at the end your going to run on PC?
    You didn't get what I wrote. The people are dreaming for a surface phone mainly because of running x86 programs ON A PHONE, NOT THROUGH CONTINUUM. By your logic, we simply need an app for PhotoShop and even the 950's would be able to run it. But then again, you need to read my comment again :D
  • Yup, it's always advisable to go with the NOW.
  • Exactly. Tomorrow is yet to be seen
  • Surface may be a premium brand, but you also have to remember they have awesome mid-range Surface products too (i.e. Surface 3, which I LOVE and use daily).  Surface is their 'convertible' product category, everything under the Surface brand transforms to fit your life.  I can see this new reinvented category Phone to have the same innovative design.  Should be interesting, and hey it may be expensive, but it works for the Surface brand.  It's one of their most successful brands, so the cost point is obviously a non-issue, especially since you get a LOT more value from the Surface products than you do from the more expensive Apple products.
  • Daniel, waited for this article since it was hinted at before thanksgiving :) Great article, with some thought provoking ideas in there... What if... they shoe horned an Intel processor with a Qualcomm processor set into a combined SOC? Could they use windows 10 mobile apps and the power sipping Qualcomm when on battery and when connected to the display dock and using Continuum (and being powered through that dock also), then use the Intel processor and subsequently also be able to use x86 apps? Interesting - cant wait to find out - but in the mean time i will be using the 950XL in the meantime:)  
  • Windows 10 doesn't require an ARM chip to run regardless of platform. It's not RT.
  • you're missing my point... this would give instant access to x86 apps when needed and all other apps and battery efficiency when not needed.
  • That's an excellent idea. If you look at the actual SOC part it is tiny. I wonder if it could share RAM between CPUs though. Stoarge would be no issue, but I don't know how that would work with RAM. They could use the cooling tech from the 950xl. Having a desktop class CPU only when docked would be way cool.
  • Exactly! :)
  • The x86 chip in my Asus Zenfone 2 has no problem at all with battery life. It is every bit as good as my Qualcomm-based Nexus 4 was. This efficiency myth needs to die.
  • I think you'd have to have some sort of insane liquid cooling mechanism and very expensive heat resistant materials to pull a dual processor SOC off, not to mention the space with the battery, ports and other things. The phone would end up around 6" with all of that where I think 5.7 at this point is PUSHING it.