An Intel-powered Windows 10 phone form factor that can be used with UWP apps for a phone experience and a full Windows desktop when docked is a dream for many users. However, it appears it may not have been a complete fantasy, as Thurrott.com’s Brad Sams disclosed that such a device was an early Dell prototype of full Windows 10 running on a phone form factor with cellular connectivity. However, it was canceled later.
Intel to blame for cancellation of the phone
Trusted tipster Evan Blass was the first to talk about the device. It would have used an early version of Continuum for the phone experience and a lap dock to allow for full functionality. Brad Sams noted that when Intel dropped its low-end Atom range, the device was killed, but we may see the notion resurrected with the much-flaunted Surface Phone.
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“The company has yet to release a Windows Phone with the Surface brand but when they do, it was hoped that they would use an Intel chip to help differentiate its device from other smartphones,” says Sams.
The photo leaked by Blass shows what looks to be the smartphone that Dell was reportedly planning to equip with an Intel processor. When Blass first posted the picture, many falsely assumed that it was Microsoft’s much-anticipated Surface Phone, but apparently it was not.
Could have been a great phone
The specs of the canceled smartphone are not known, but the processor‘s x86 architecture speaks a lot of what could have been possible. We could have seen a phone possibly packing the most powerful processor in a smartphone ever, if this development by Dell had come through. Since Windows 10 Mobile readily supports Intel’s x86 processors, Dell was wise to partner with Windows on this smartphone.
However, Sams noted that the device “would have been a thermal nightmare,” as “Intel has issues building lower-power processors that run cool enough without a fan and when you put a chip like that inside a very small compartment..”
Also Microsoft’s Continuum feature could have taken advantage of the great specs on the canceled device. Continuum running on a smartphone via a powerful processor would provide a seamless and truly non-disruptive desktop experience. The HP Elite x3, which the company promotes as being capable of supporting a full desktop experience, owes this functionality largely to Continuum.
The phone remains a dream though, even with the device renders. But Blass is expected to share more information about it soon.
In his tweet, he teased, “More than just a concept. Stay tuned.”