Back in early 2015, Microsoft introduced the Lumia 435, an entry-level Windows Phone with a blocky design. There wasn’t anything particularly remarkable about the device, but it turns out that Microsoft was originally planning something much more interesting.
Several images that show off a Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone with super slim bezels, save for a somewhat large chin. The prototype was obtained by Windows Central, who reports that the phone features a 5-inch 1280x720 display, 5-megapixel rear camera, Snapdragon 200 processor, 4GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and an 1800mAh battery.
Those specs aren’t really anything to write home about, but the super slim bezels surrounding the 5-inch display are. “All-screen” phones are all the rage right now in late 2017, but Microsoft had the feature on an entry-level Windows Phone in late 2014.
This device was reportedly code-named “Vela” and was meant to be an all-screen Windows Phone with a sub-$200 price tag, which would’ve made it even more attractive. However, Microsoft ended up canceling the Vela and releasing the Lumia 435, a phone that looks about what you’d expect from an entry-level Windows Phone in late 2014.
It’s unclear exactly why Microsoft canceled this device. It’s an attractive piece of hardware, even now in 2017, and it surely would’ve gotten quite a bit of attention as a sub-$200 offering a couple of years ago. Perhaps Microsoft didn’t think it’d be able to release enough supply, or it wouldn’t have been able to make enough on each unit to justify its release. Unfortunately, because this is a prototype leak, it seems unlikely that we’ll ever find out for sure what happened to this device.
What do you think of this leaked Windows Phone? Would you have bought it in late 2014 or early 2015 if Microsoft released it?