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Microsoft cancelled a bezel-less Windows Phone, three years ago

Microsoft's bezel-less Lumia 435 prototype from 2014. (Source: Windows Central)
Microsoft's bezel-less Lumia 435 prototype from 2014. (Source: Windows Central)
Microsoft would have been first to market with a bezel-less smartphone in 2014 if this Lumia prototype had made it out the door. Instead, we are left wondering how on earth it didn't.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

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If you were already scratching your head as to how Microsoft managed to sentence Windows 10 Mobile to die an inglorious death, the inexplicable axing of this unreleased Windows Phone Lumia 435 prototype might help to explain it. The device was a clear precursor to the design of current bezel-less flagship devices that are in vogue right now. Except Microsoft could have released this device in 2014. That’s right. 2014.

Windows Central has managed to get their hands on the prototype Lumia 435. It was intended as an entry-level device priced under US$200, which perhaps could go some way to explaining its demise. Although no explanation for its axing has been made public, it undoubtedly would have taken some keen engineering to bring to market that may not have justified its planned low price point. However, how this design did not then emerge in some other form, perhaps as a high-end device (if cost was indeed the reason) is unfathomable. Instead, it was replaced by an entirely unremarkable design with large bezels.

The specs of this would-be Lumia 435 are relatively modest by today’s standards:

  • OS – Windows Phone 8.1
  • Display – 5-inches (1280 x 720 pixels)
  • Rear camera – 5MP
  • Front camera – 720p
  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 200
  • RAM – 1 GB
  • Storage – 4 GB (expandable to 200 GB)
  • Battery – 1800 mAh
  • Dimensions – 126.72mm x 67.78mm x 9.25mm

While the specs might be quite modest, the design is an absolute standout. It is so far ahead of its time that it could easily have been released this year. If you’re wondering where the front camera is located on the device, it is fitted to the bottom bezel as the top and sides of the Lumia 435 prototype are virtually bezel-less. Even then, however, the bottom bezel of the device is even narrower than Google’s just-released flagship Pixel 2.

Notch it up as yet another in a series of colossal missteps by Microsoft in the mobile space.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1291 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 10 > Microsoft cancelled a bezel-less Windows Phone, three years ago
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-10-10 (Update: 2017-10-10)