It was one year ago that I reported on the cancellation of McLaren, the next Nokia flagship Windows Phone that was supposed to launch that fall. Not much was ever revealed about the device although photos did later appear.
One thing we did know about McLaren (aka Goldfinger ) is besides having a 20 MP camera the phone famously had an experimental 3D Touch navigation system. This system would let users manipulate items on the display without physically touching it. One part of this was supposed to be a hover-and-explode trick whereby hovering over a Live Tile would cause it to explode and reveal smaller tiles with bits of information. Think of it as the next stage of tile flipping.
Finally, today, a two-minute video has appeared on the site Baidu posted by a person called @szleaks. The video is short and only shows a finger hovering over the display as it manipulates scrolling without touching. The exploding tiles are not shown.
In the end, it is not very exciting until you think about it. Then again, it is unclear just how useful such a technology would be at this stage. Clearly this phone was an early prototype and we do not know the stage of development for 3D Touch system. It does seem rough, but anyone using Windows 10 as an Insider can relate.
The Nokia McLaren was later cancelled due to some of the underlying touch-nav technology being the "wrong kind" when the phone's hardware was designed. Combined with the Microsoft acquisition of the Nokia mobile team and feedback from developers using the 3D Touch SDK, the phone was killed evidently in a vote of no-confidence by Microsoft executives.
Forgetting the 3D Touch navigation system, the phone itself resembles a metal Lumia 1020 and certainly looks great. Unfortunately, only a handful of test units remain and most have fallen into private hands (although we have tried to purchase one without success).
Although now a relic, it sure is fascinating to see what could have been, even if it were only a prototype.
Bonus: There is another, unreleased phone, posted by the same leaker. Earlier this morning with only seeing one photo, we claimed it was a Lumia 830 prototype. However, after seeing more it is clear it is something else. We do not believe this is Talkman aka Lumia 950, but rather either Saana (Lumia 850) or another, cancelled Windows Phone. The ID range is old and not part of the current prototype devices, however, we cannot be 100 percent certain. It does feature a 5.2-inch 1080P display and a Snapdragon 810 processor.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
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.