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Nokia McLaren: The Windows Phone That Never Was

Nokia McLaren: The Windows Phone That Never Was

today Windows Mobile is a pretty but hobbled smartphone platform ostensibly built for business but about two years ago Windows Phone was a family of trailblazing handhelds with a style you couldn’t find anywhere else I’m Michael Fisher and the phone I’m holding is a remnant of that brighter bolder time this is the Windows Phone that never was the nokia McLaren if you know anything about Windows Phones you can probably see where the inspiration for this design came from remember that phone that AT&T was pushing about three years ago the one with the bumblebee paint job and the 41 megapixel camera that was the Lumia 1020 and this well this is what Windows fans might have called the 1030 this is a prototype obtained by Windows central pardon all the tape but it’s there to hide all the serial numbers in the hand it feels like what it looks like a larger metal clad version of the 1020 with that immense camera crater around back making things a little awkward until you get used to it the specs are unremarkable for a late 2014 device which is no surprise the Windows Phone ran very well on even low-end hardware so there was no reason to speck it out and even though that massive camera suggests some intense optical stabilization the sensor within was not 41 megapixels but instead somewhere between 21 and 23 and since the camera software was never completed on this device we don’t know anything more about it the real standout feature of McLaren is its sensor package which would have made it a much more exotic Windows Phone than any we’d seen before the five and a half inch display is self capacitive which means it detects your finger based on how it changes the charge of the electrodes mounted beneath the glass that means it’s capable of sensing your finger well before it touches the glass and that would have made possible a bunch of new interface options this particular phone was programmed with only two mix view lets you hover your finger over a tile and watch it explode into sub tiles which is a neat party trick but in my opinion not terribly useful we saw similar stuff from Sony and Samsung a few years back much more impressive to me is the fact that McLaren can sense how it’s being held so if you’re gripping the phone upright and lean it onto its side it’ll prevent that accidental rotation and keep the software in portrait mode but if you hold it in another way that tells the phone you want to view things in landscape it’ll do that for you that’s the idea anyway this is pre-release software at its buggiest and that’s just a tiny taste of the intuitive capabilities Microsoft was cooking up and might still be working on as recently as two months ago it posted a video demonstrating all kinds of pre touch features on what looks like another McLaren I’ll drop the link to that video in the description some will call this empty gimmickry incapable of ever pushing Windows Phone into relevance and maybe the latter point is true to me though the McLaren stands for more than that it’s both a landmark to a once-great phone manufacturer and an echo of a Microsoft that once embraced doing things differently boldly striking out in the opposite direction of the competition not just for the sake of being different but because in some ways its design choices made more sense and it wasn’t afraid to express that it’s a shame it didn’t work out Windows 10 mobile though superior in many ways still lacks the vibrance and stability of the earlier versions but I’m glad I got to share with you what might be the last remnant of that exciting era there’s a lot more to the McLaren folks and if you’re looking for a true deep dive be sure to hit up Windows central for the full write-up and two more videos links in the description below also subscribe to mr.

mobile for more videos just like this we’ll see you next time you


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