New Microsoft Surface Phone evidence brings us closer to a 2-in-1 smartphone reality

Microsoft Surface Phone rumors have been dormant, except for a slow drop of leaks every once in a blue moon, but today we’re getting a better idea of how the Andromeda OS-powered device may function if it does in fact launch.

The Surface Phone may feature a foldable design with five different preset positions, according to code found by PhoneArena. This isn’t all that different from speculation we’ve seen in the past, we had a hint that the Surface Phone may be able to become a tiny laptop but this is different – we could see varying functionality depending on the physical orientation of the device. This would be far more complex than the foldable Android devices we’ve seen, like the ZTE Axon M, which just extended the display.

But how would the functionality change with different configurations? Could you use Excel comfortably with a mobile device? How would a keyboard feel in the supposed laptop form factor? If it’s all screen, will Microsoft implement an under-display fingerprint reader, as we’re expecting from the Samsung Galaxy S10? Needless to say, we don’t know much about how this supposed foldable form factor is going to work.

It doesn’t end there, though. The device may be powered by the recently leaked Snapdragon 1000 chipset, according to today’s report. And, because this Qualcomm chip is meant to challenge some of the best processors by Intel, the Surface Phone could potentially outpower most other flagship smartphones, even though running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset. 

Predicting the future 

Windows Phone 8 was a failure, not because it wasn’t powerful but because it didn’t have the kind of app support that iOS or Android did. It’s going to be interesting to see how Microsoft handles the launch of another mobile OS, even if Andromeda is going to be another version of Windows 10

However, if it is rocking the Snapdragon 1000 like the rumors suggest, it could be powerful enough to run UWP apps, which could mean that app support will already be there when the OS ships. 

If it does support UWP and if it does have the rumored specs , the Surface Phone could be a new and compelling device, different from what Apple and Samsung are putting out there today. 

The make or break factor may be launching it at a reasonable enough price so that it’s not completely dead on arrival. Microsoft will have a lot to prove to the mobile phone market – especially since Samsung is reportedly planning on releasing a foldable device of its own. Could this be the big mobile trend of 2019? 

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.