In recent news there has been an unprecedented interest towards Microsoft’s smartphones, thanks to Windows 10 their new OS. Although the flagship smartphones, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, are already official, the team behind the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 are working on a Surface Phone. But what does that have to do with the Lumia 1030 McLaren, the proposed successor to the camera phone of 2013, the Lumia 1020.
The Lumia 1030 code-named McLaren was canceled last year, or so it appeared at the time. Microsoft had hinted at the phone not becoming a viable product they could find an audience for, and as such the project was canceled. Since then, rumors about a possible Lumia 1030 or Lumia 1050 being released have taken hold on the community. This time, however, the code-name for the new device is the Surface Phone, otherwise why would new prototype images be leaked online after more than a year? Aside from the news value, that is.
We can’t answer that question with certainty, but it’s certainly interesting how just now these prototypes of the alleged Lumia 1030 McLaren have surfaced, stirring spirits online. Is there a possibility of the canceled McLaren being remodeled or refined into the upcoming Surface Phone? There is, especially since the Surface team is the one working on high-end flagships at Microsoft. Seeing as hybrids seem to be the devices the Redmond giant is going for this year, it’s possible that a hybrid smartphone like the McLaren could fulfill the purpose of being a Surface Phone.
The development team, leaded by Panos Panay, has already hinted at the fact that the Surface Phone won’t be an ordinary smartphone – it might not even resemble an ordinary smartphone. They are apparently working towards re-imagining the way in which we use our smartphones, and the Lumia 1030 McLaren could very well be a source of inspiration, if not the model they’re actually building upon. Although it sounds plausible, most people upon seeing renders and prototypes of the Lumia 1030 over the past year have expressed their distaste of the design.
However, the McLaren still holds significant importance in terms of hardware, upon which the team could build a design that is more familiar to users and not as blocky and cumbersome as with the Lumia 1020 in 2013. Creating a smartphone-camera hybrid is not novelty, but if Microsoft manages to perfect the design and turn the supposed McLaren into a real product, they might create some serious hold on a niche market – that might just be the market of the future. With social media slowly taking over every role in our lives, being able to take high-quality photos with a smartphone will become (it already is) an important feature people will be looking for. The Lumia 1030 could satisfy these needs with Carl Zeiss optics and 50 MP PureView sensors, as predicted more than a year ago.
If the Surface Phone, Microsoft Lumia 1030 and McLaren turn out to be connected to each other, I’d be surprised. But it’s not something we should brush off, because the fact that just now prototypes of this McLaren device were leaked to the public cannot be a coincidence. Or can it? What do you think? Microsoft today launched the Lumia 550, but wouldn’t a McLaren be more interesting?