More on Microsoft's expected new 'premium' Windows Phones

Microsoft is expected to field two new 'premium' Windows Phones later this year, codenamed Cityman and Talkman. Here's the latest report on those handsets.

Microsoft officials reconfirmed last week at the Worldwide Partner Conference that the company is planning to release at least a couple of new "premium" Windows Phone handsets before this year is over.

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Reports have been circulating for a while now that the coming Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile handsets are codenamed "Cityman" and "Talkman." I've heard from my sources that CEO Satya Nadella himself has told employees he plans to start using Talkman in the coming weeks and months. (Nadella wouldn't confirm that when I asked.)

Windows Central's Daniel Rubino rounded up all the details he's heard from his sources about these two handsets -- along with additional information about a number of other Lumia phones that were in the pipeline but have been cancelled, according to his contacts.

The 5.2-inch Talkman, which may be christened the Lumia 950, will come with a 20 MP PureView rear camera, Qi wireless charging, a Snapdragon 808 64-bit Hexa core processor and more. Cityman, which may be named Lumia 950 XL, will be a 5.7-inch phone with a 20 MP PureView rear camera, Qi wireless charging, and a Snapdragon 810, 64-bit Octa core processor, Rubino says.

Both phones will include iris scanning technology for support of Windows Hello, Rubino says. The Cityman phone will also have optional Surface Pen and smart cover accessories, priced separately, he says.

Though Microsoft execs called these phones "premium," rather than "flagship" phones when acknowledging their existence last week, if and when they come to market, they will be the most flagship-like Windows Phone devices Microsoft has fielded in a long while.I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft launch these new phones some time this fall -- maybe October, given we keep hearing "October" as a rumored launch date for a number of new Microsoft devices.

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There's one more thing, and it's a downer for those of us Windows Phone users on Verizon. Microsoft management has said that the company is planning to trim the number of carriers and regions where it offers Windows Phone devices, going forward. That's all part of Microsoft's plan to maker fewer, but more differentiated Windows Phones in fewer categories.

If Rubino's sources are right, Verizon may fall off the list of Microsoft carrier partners, which will create a dilemma for those of us who have stuck with Verizon despite the company's weak Windows Phone support....

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