Microsoft only confirmed it has plans to introduce a new flagship iPhone rival a few weeks ago, but already leaks are giving us a better idea of just how aggressively Microsoft plans to pursue the high-end smartphone market. This week Microsoft outright confirmed it has plans to introduce a new iPhone rival with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset. That’s the same chipset that’ll be inside powerhouses like the LG G Flex 2.
Microsoft’s explicit admission that it has an iPhone rival coming that’ll include a Snapdragon 810 processor came in the middle of a press release about the upcoming chipset from Qualcomm itself.
“We look forward to continuing this relationship to deliver best in class Lumia smartphones, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processors,” the quote from Microsoft’s Juha Kokkonen reads. Kokkonen is the general manager for portfolio and product management at Microsoft. The reason for creating a high-end Lumia iPhone rival is pretty clear from Microsoft’s point of view, “processing power, rich multimedia, high-performance graphics and wireless connectivity” are all things Microsoft points out in its quote.
To date, Microsoft hardly has anything in its portfolio that can rival the iPhone on each and every feature. It’s one of the reasons the Windows Phone ecosystem has become less interesting over the last year. The company selling more devices, but hardly any of them are particularly noteworthy when compared with what’s out there running Google’s Android operating system. Again, Microsoft isn’t getting the new Snapdragon 810 processor to itself, Oppo, Sony, LG and Motorola Mobility all have quotes included in this statement. In short, iPhone rivals with the Snapdragon 810 in them is a sure bet from all of these companies too.
Microsoft confirming that it’s using a Snapdragon 810 processor doesn’t tell us everything we need to know about their upcoming device. That being said, it does give us a better idea at what features could make it into the device.
Qualcomm is promising upgraded LTE connectivity for devices powered by the Snapdragon 810. In fact, it’s promising speeds of around 450 MBPs on networks that support. That’s a long way of saying that the next Lumia smartphone could support LTE A. LTE is the technology smartphones use to talk to a carrier’s data network. More MPS per second translates to less time real users spend waiting for pages to load, songs to start and videos to play.
One of the most identifiable and well-received Windows phones was the Lumia 1020. Inside was only dual-core processor, but its claim to fame was a 41 megapixel rear-facing camera that allowed users to take shots that could be reframed and cropped for a completely different picture. It’s one of the only Windows Phones to have been heavily promoted in television ads in the United States. In 2013 that Lumia 1020 was all photography lovers could talk about, but today it’s been passed over for accolades as faster smartphones with better camera lens have made their way to store shelves. Qualcomm’s breakdown of what users can expect from the Snapdragon 810 processor notes that the chipset will support 55 megapixel cameras. Also included in the list of features is support for 4k video recording.
Qualcomm is even promising “console quality gaming,” something that past Lumia Windows Phones haven’t necessarily been able to deliver.
Unfortunately, this week’s announcement doesn’t do much to narrow down a potential release date for the iPhone rival running Windows 10. Qualcomm says that users can expect these devices to launch in 2015, but doesn’t go any further than that. Microsoft confirmed that it has plans to announce new devices his year, including a flagship, but didn’t get into specifics either. Microsoft could have plans to announce new Windows phones at next month’s Mobile World Congress event. Even if it does, it’s entirely possible the company will simply roll out more mid-range and low-end Lumia smartphones designed to help it grow sales in developing countries and abroad.