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Apr 08, 2017 11:38 AM EDT

Microsoft needs to offer compelling hardware and innovation for the Surface Phone to compete with Apple and Google smartphones. The promised “ultimate mobile phone” needs more than a hinged design where the smartphone can turn into a tablet or even the full Windows 10 desktop apps. For now, the reported Qualcomm chips, 3D-capture in dual-lens camera, beefier storage are just mainstream specs.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in speaking to the Australian Financial Review admitted that the company has "missed the mobile boom." Nonetheless, the Redmond-based company is not giving up just yet with plans to bring the "ultimate mobile device" or the new Surface Phone. This will not be through specs and innovations that market leaders have already done.

Instead, Microsoft will be bringing a new category product just like it did with the Surface Pro, Surface Book, and the Surface Studio. The Surface Phone needs to have really compelling hardware and innovations to convert iOS and Android users to consider Microsoft as an option, i4u News reported. As to what these are have not been hinted or even leaked, but a patent design filed by Microsoft may offer some clues.

Microsoft has filed a patent for a triple hinged device that can be folded into a tablet or a much smaller handset. However, the said innovative design may not make it to a retail-ready device just as yet. Observers say that Microsoft may be unveiling the Surface Phone by the second quarter of the year.

Microsoft needs a mobile device to fully showcase the Windows 10 Creators Update. Now that the company has opted for a universal OS, it could easily work in multiple Surface devices.

Other reported specs on the Surface Phone include the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. The latest Snapdragon chips are the first to use the 10nm process node, which claims a 40 percent reduction in power consumption while obtaining a 27 percent increase in performance. The Surface Phone will also have a 6GB of RAM, which is becoming the standard among flagship devices.

It may also feature the dual lens camera setup and the 3D capture technology like Intel's RealSense arrangement. This will align well with Microsoft's work with the HoloLens and Windows Holographic. A smartphone that can capture and import 3D images onto Windows will be a logical feature to add, Trusted Reviews reported.

Moreover, the Redmond company hope to leverage into its full suite of Windows 10 desktop apps like Office and Windows Hello on mobile. Microsoft has announced that it will be collaborating with Qualcomm to bring ARM-based SoCs to mobiles. Microsoft is believed to be working on lightweight, power efficient, and always-connected devices that run the full Windows 10 desktop apps.

However, the Surface Phone needs more than just a radical design and an impressive software for Microsoft to finally penetrate the smartphone market. Its Windows 10 mobile devices like the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL performed dismally prompting the people at Redmond to seriously consider ending the brand.

Anticipation is actually high for a new Surface Phone despite the poor track record of Microsoft on the mobile platform. The reason behind the renewed faith is that Microsoft was able to deliver premium products like the Surface Pro, Surface Book, and Surface Studio. The Surface team working on Microsoft's next foray into mobile may just be the right people to bring the "ultimate mobile device."

Follows Surface Phone, Surface Pro 5, Surface Book, Surface Studio, Microsoft, Windows 10, Qualcomm ARM-based SoCs
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