Microsoft is returning to smartphones with its forthcoming Android-based Surface Duo, but Windows Phone fans may have another option in the near feature that is closer to the mobile experience Microsoft abandoned.
UK company Emperion, which says it has worked with Microsoft on its new Nebulus phone, has teased that the device runs on Windows 10 on Arm but also can also run Android apps.
Emperion has been posting images of the phone for several months, describing the Nebulus' features as "Windows 10 + Android in one" and saying the device will be available on preorder in 2020 for £549 ($713). The company at one point has also suggested it would have an Intel chip.
But this week it announced via Twitter that the device would run on Windows 10 on Arm with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)
Windows Central has posted some additional details about the Nebulus that developer Jeremy Sinclair shared with it from Emperion. Sinclair says the Nebulus is definitely a phone even though Windows 10 on Arm doesn't support phone calls.
The Nebulus is said to run an overclocked Snapdragon 845 processor. Emperion is apparently in talks with a UK mobile provider and will sell the device SIM-free from its website. It also plans to ship the device to the US.
Emperion says the device can run Android apps without an emulator or switching between Windows and Android.
It also says Microsoft had been "instrumental in helping us put the Nebulus together", but the Emperion hasn't specified what support Microsoft has provided.
The device can also apparently switch to desktop mode through USB-C or wireless.
It's not clear how Emperion plans to enable phone-calling capabilities, which raises questions about whether it can be classified a smartphone. Or perhaps, as Liliputing puts it, the Nebulus is really a full-fledged computer but with a small screen, a relatively slow processor, and no physical keyboard.
In tweets from November, Emperion claimed the Nebulus would feature two 13-megapixel cameras on the rear and a 10.5 megapixel selfie camera, a 6.9-inch display, a 6,000mAh battery and 128GB of built-in storage with SD Card support for up to an additional 2TB of storage.