More alleged photos of Microsoft's canceled 'Lumia 960' leak

More alleged images of Microsoft's canceled "Lumia 960" have leaked, giving us another look at the aluminum shell of the intended flagship device. Unlike a previous leak, these new images don't show the front of the unit, but we do get a closer look at the rear shell and sides.

Spotted by Windows Latest, the images initially popped up on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. Overall, the photos don't show much more than what we saw in a separate leak in May. As we noted at the time, the prototype device, internally known as "Northstar," would have likely packed a Snapdragon 820 SoC and QHD screen in it metallic body.

It's definitely a neat look at what could have been. While the phone still very much looks like a Lumia 950 on the front, the shift to a metal shell would have been an interesting shift.

Ultimately, as we know, Microsoft opted to retrench its mobile efforts, canceling the Lumia line altogether. That said, a potential Surface Phone has been rumored for ages, and we could see Microsoft make a return to mobile in one form or another in the future.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Sad Face
  • It's actually a really nice looking device... But, without extremely heavy marketing, and a Nokia focus on support for the device by MS, it wouldn't have paid for itself.
    But, imagine if MS did those two things to thier fullest. Certainly wouldn't have disrupted the market, but it would've kept WP on at least the snails pace upward trend it was on. And, it wasn't doing horribly bad in the WP8.1 days.. A new major app was coming in weekly. ****, I'm sure Snapchat would've came by now if MS kept pushing. Honestly, from a business standpoint, retrenchment was probably the best plan. Sucks for fans, but it might actually give MS the resources to give fans a better product in the not to distant future. So the long-term benefits of this device being canceled is what we should focus on.
  • Could not agree more rodneyej. I believe the only reason why Microsoft failed is marketing. It is like they literally forgot to advertise!
    Look at 1020, it had a decent advertise. People still know and talk about that device and it's camera. But what came after... Nobody has a clue. Samsung s8 is now boasting in ads its iris scanner which our Lumia 950 had since a couple of years. Motorola has been boasting about the camera features where you can change the focus, shutter speed and white balance, while windows phones could do that since ages! But they never advertised their features. They never showed why they were special even when they actually were. And that's where i believe they failed.
  • Your both spot on. wp offered alot more than iOS and android and still dose like the integration of saying your text messages to you when it's on Bluetooth my of g5 dose not do this. It just lacked the apps. If and. It's a big of Microsoft can restart windows mobile they need to throw the phones and features at eveyone they can. Love my g5 but I do miss alot of things my 950xl did.
  • Exactly.. When it comes to marketing Microsoft has no immediate follow up. Marketing has the be consistent, and persistent.
  • Consistent and persistent.  You got that right.  It's like raising a child.  Not rocket science.
  • Thank god this never got released then...
  • Seriously.
  • Why?
    It looks better than the 950.
  • probably to save cost and maybe use that moeny to mass market surface phone.
  • I disagree. I think it looks just like the M8, which I did not like. Much prefer the 950.
  • Yes, if you like HTC clones then it looks amazing.
  • It literally looks like MS commissioned HTC to design this.
  • I really like HTCs designs. So I guess that's why I like it.
  • Well, familiarity is one way to sell a product. Maybe that was MS's idea here.
  • Nothing wrong with that.  Am bored of typical Lumia designs.
  • With a metal back there would be no wireless charging.
  • That's not entirely true. Yes, metal backs have been a challenge for wireless charging, but I recall seeing a video years ago of a guy that milled his own metal back cover, and wireless charging worked. Qualcomm has has the technology ready since 2015. It's definitely possible, but no one has done it yet.
  • True. Depending on the composition of the metal (the formula, and additives) the correct frequency would be able to slip through.
  • True, but as you pointed out, no mainstream iteration has been produced and at the time of this model the tech was pretty new for Qualcomm. It is unlikely a metal backed 960 would have had wireless, they might have added it via a pogo pin sleeve (like the AT&T 1020)
  • Good point... But, we don't know exactly what this device was capable of, so I'd still stick it in the "it was possible" scrap heap. Lol
  • Good job it didn't launch in a way, how pissed would people be if they'd bought it in 2017 and then W10M stops getting new consumer features (Brandon has said on Twitter that they may add new enterprise focussed features but consumer additions are done for the forseeable future and probably forever)
  • HTC OnePlus 960 I get the 'premium' nature of this design, but it would have brought absolutely nothing new to the table besides metal.
  • The hardware/Styling? Yes, generic, absolutely.  It would have, however, brought continuation to the W10M arena.  Apple releases new phones every year.  Google release new phones every year. Samsung release new phones every year. MS released one set of phones, and then dropped it.  Whether it is good or not, buying a phone is commiting to an OS/brand. If the phones stop coming, a consumer can go to several other places that show a commitment back to them. :-(
  • Out of the ten thousand new phones released in the last few years, how many of them have "brought something new"?  It's a phone.
  • So far with lumia 930, metal frame gets hot easily while playing say asphalt 8 or 4k recording. The plastic barely feels warm.
    Metal device is a no no
  • That's because you're pushing the old chip in the 930.  An SD820 is going to run much cooler (and does in my Idol 4S) playing the same games.  Metal backs are just fine in the right combo.
  • My 950 is all plastic, so all the heat goes to the screen, which is very annoying and makes my phone lag. I usually cool it down by putting it facedown on some metal object to act as a heat sink, which means I can't use it during that time. If the phone was metal I could lay it on the back though.
  • "It's definitely a neat look at what could have been"... And sadly, like many others in the WP arena, it wasn't. Also sad when many articles pertain to the platforms past or "what could have been" rather than its progression into the future.
  • This phone looks too GENERIC. It is a me too phone. Good that it's been cut.
  • Looks like a 200$ Chinese Android phone.
  • Those look pretty good then
  • Microsoft needs to come to market with something category defining like Surface. Their mobile device needs to run full Windows 10, support all x86 Windows applications and functionality. And finally they need to allow Android emulators published in the app store.
  • An lumia 950 is a defining device. It haves a replaceable battery, double sim card reader in combination with a sd card card reader, replaceable back cover and a plastic back cover, great screen, great camera and a ok processor. Find a android phone with the same hardware and I will buy it! ;-)
  • You have to go back to 2012. Everything you mentioned is old school.
  • That camera and screen wasn't availible in 2012! I like a phone where I can replace parts without the needs of a "specialist" and also change the hardware for my needs. New school isn't always better.  
  • LG V20 seems to be the closest if you can find a dual SIM version. I don't know if you can get plastic rear housings, but that isn't a bad trade off at all.
  • Agree. I would buy your Surface Phone.
  • They need to come to market with a phone.  Any phone.
  • WP is dead.  There will never be another one. And that's okay. There are two other excellent chocies out there both of which are miles ahead of where WP ever was.
  • WP may be dead, but I don't think that's o.k.  It may not be perfect, but I'd still choose a new WP over either Android or iOS.  And really, two options are not enough.  There should always be a third option, for the consumer's benefit.
  • Good riddance! It was the right call to not release this phone. It looks bland and generic, HTC-like. In fact - Nokia designs past the 730/830/930 line were bland and uninspiring. There is absolutely nothing separating this generic slab from the Android ones, but at least the Android ones have apps.
  • Which phone did nokia release after 730/830/930?
  • Umm 950/XL
  • Hmmm, my 950XL says "Microsoft" on the faceplate, not "Nokia"...weird.  ;)
  • The 950 was made after Microsoft bought out Nokia.  I had one. It was OK but the 1520 was more true Nokia made Lumia.   I went to the dark side and got me a Samsung S8+ now. It's got apps I need but it's getting plaqued with the lag-Droid effect at just a month old now. Wow.
  • All phones look the same nowadays but people still buy them.  Ya, it looks like the M8 but that was a very popular phone so nothing wrong with that.
  • You mean northstar
  • I am... Like depressed W10M blows this much. I LOVE it... But where is it going. Will it evolve? Coz if not... Tell us... So i can jump on the droid bandwagon. Just saying it makes me want to vomit... But at least i can get used to it.
  • A Deader Phone.
  • It's a nice looking HTC phone. I kid I kid. I wish they would release another hpone just to show they still care or atleast keep updating mobile.
  • While I am not a big fan of the phone design, I think this phone would have generate momentum perhaps greater than the L950. I know I would have bought one if released.
  • Honestly for me, It's not about the phone (the hardware), but the software in this case that would have been a make or break factor had this phone been released.
    MS lack luster attitude towards windows 10 mobile is what killed the platform (not lack of apps). MS couldn't (or didn't want to) create something that just effing works flawlessly...gets the job done efficiently. From notifications to the app store to Cortana to email 📧 to live tiles ( that work all the time)...MS dropped the ball big time 😐
    Summary: If Jonathan Ive drops an eye popping design, slap windows 10 mobile on it and polish it with MS present attitude, you can push all you want but nothing ain't gonna happen
  • Honestly for me, It's not about the phone (the hardware), but the software in this case that would have been a make or break factor had this phone been released. MS lack luster attitude towards windows mobile 10 is what killed the platform (not lack of apps). MS couldn't (or didn't want to) create something that just effing works flawlessly...gets the job done efficiently. From notifications to the app store to Cortana to email 📧 to live tiles ( that work all the time)...MS dropped the ball big time 😐 Summary: If Jonathan Ive drops an eye popping design, slap windows 10 mobile on it and polish it with MS present attitude, you can push all you want but nothing ain't gonna happen
  • Having switched to Android, I still feel windows mobile was ages ahead of Android. Android reminded me of my days with Symbian. But then when you talk about apps, it's hard to take windows mobile seriously. The way I see it, the app developers let windows down. They decided not to care about a third economy system. MS did all it could do, but was let down developers. 
  • They not only killed that phone, they first killed the company making them. That Nadella guy is a genius. I hope they pay him enough.
  • This has been your regularly scheduled reminder that Microsoft does not care about your interest in their mobile platform.
  • Why would Microsoft care that much about a handful of fans? Can you really blame them? Windows phones never reached any sort of popularity worth mentioning let alone supporting.
  • Can I blame them for not caring about a dying market? No. What I came blame them for is being the ones to kill the market through 6+ years of horrendous decisions, bad marketing, stupid acqusitions, and atrocious hardware efforts.
  • This!!! You summed it up perfectly mate.
  • Well said.
  • They should have released a place holder phone, like they once promised, since no one else is making any. They should have when it was the time. Being totally out of sight hasn't been good for them, some form of continuity was necessary. Now feels like the partners aren't making any phones because, even though they could have captured some form of market share for users who had reached the end of their WP8/8.1 phones, I think the other companies know something about the future plans of W10M and hence are either waiting for the next step or aren't interested. The way Microsoft launched Windows 10 S with partner announcements, they could announce a newer mobile OS with Surface hardware simultaneously with other vendors joining in.. Who knows, I could be too optimistic or they could make us happy
  • I don't care about looks, I jus want a 950XL equivalent or better that works on Verizon. I had to jump ship and go with the LG V20
  • Any idea when this would have been released? If true, I love the fact MS was thinking about it and actually moving on it.  A little feel good. Btw, I still want one.
  • I like Very Much the Design and the Metal Quality.
    If it was for sale I were buying it.
  • When it comes to mobile Microsoft has become nothing but the alleged and speculation company. We've seen more cancelled devices than actual released ones and Microsoft is so kind to leave its small band of loyal consumers in the dark with no concrete roadmap about the future. Just a bunch of hopes and dreams and I say that with no pleasure as I've been waiting for the acclaimed Surface Phone since I left for Android and it just hasn't happened. Actually not much has happened since I left and I'm saddened by it. Even more so for the ones hanging in there waiting for Microsoft to do something.
  • This this phone would have been a good replacement and upgrade from the 950. It might gave been a game changer if MS would have optimized like Apple would have had it been their product.
  • It could have kept at least some of the momentum going forward. And kept alive further phone development
  • But the plug was pulled and im moving to an iPhone. Never expect this!
  • It was going to be an amazing phone...
  • I wouldn't buy it anyway -- aluminium body means no wireless charging and I have couple of these chargers around my home.
  • That's not going to save the OS. That chamfered unibody design looks like every low end Android phone today.
  • Anything would save the OS.  It's dying because there are no options.  Simple.
  • Looks like a HTC M8 One
  • I totally would've bought that.
  • Looks like insert any current offbrand Chinese Android OEM, no NOKIA DNA, not that the 950 had much either but this goes even further.
  • I feel for you, WC. How sad that you're reduced to writing articles on canceled phones.