More and more signs are emerging that Microsoft’s Andromeda device, which is expected to be released sometime later this year, is actually the near-mythical Surface Phone. With the release of Andromeda seemingly getting closer by the day, more information about the upcoming device continues to trickle down in a steady stream.
Take the latest information about Andromeda, for example. According to a Digital Trends report, unnamed sources from Microsoft have stated that the upcoming device will feature phone capabilities. The device is not classified as a smartphone per se, considering that it is more of a smaller, more advanced extension of the Surface Pro line, but the device would definitely have cellular capabilities. If the sources are correct, Andromeda, or the Surface Phone, for that matter, would likely be equipped with 4G LTE connectivity, as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Microsoft has been quite tight-lipped about any details surrounding Andromeda. Based on patents published about the device, it seems like Microsoft might be rolling out a unique gadget to the market. The patents, for one, suggest that Andromeda would feature two displays that can be folded in and out to enable different form factors. Patents from Microsoft have also described how the device would utilize a clever hinge that would also serve as the third display, allowing Andromeda to display information seamlessly despite the device using three separate screens.
Overall, Microsoft’s patents showcase an advanced, upcoming device that is capable of shifting between varying form factors, allowing Andromeda to be used as a smartphone, a small tablet like the iPad Mini, and a 2-in-1 with a laptop-like configuration that uses one of its displays as a keyboard. In one of the patents of the Redmond-based tech giant, the company noted that single-screen smartphones in the market today have already reached the limit in terms of size.
“Mobile phone displays have increased in size to the point where they can now consume almost an entire front surface of a phone. In some cases, further increases in display size would detract from other capabilities of the devices, such as its pocket-sized form factor,” Microsoft noted.
It seems safe to say that Microsoft would not be marketing Andromeda as a smartphone. Instead, the company would likely market the device as another component in its always-on, always-connected model for Windows 10 devices, according to a Windows Central report. Nevertheless, considering the device’s patents, as well as what could very well be confirmation of Andromeda’s phone capabilities, there is a very good chance that this year might very well be the year when Microsoft finally re-enters the mobile market with a device that stands beyond mainstream smartphones.