A Surface Phone? This is probably a patent for a Microsoft mobile hotspot

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It looks like a Pokédex from that show with monsters come out of pockets that’s getting an original reboot right about now. What it really is is a “wireless communications device” from Microsoft that’s in contention for a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Microsoft’s description of the device makes no bones in that it provides users with connection to the World Wide Web with LTE, 3G and Wi-Fi technologies. It goes into deep, theoretical detail on the thermal dissipation of the housing of the device. The phon-uh, device “may” have a 1,500mAh, “may” support only 5GHz Wi-Fi and not 2.4GHz, Dimensions of the antennas, batteries and other critical structures are proposed, suggesting a device not hugging the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio — it would have a surface area of 90 x 57 mm. The one thing we should stress in this is that this is not a foldable device, but a device with a hinge — effectively a flip phone or “clamshell.”

Actually, we take the word “phone” back.

Much ado is made about the placement of the LTE modem, the connection to the antennas and the battery to the circuit board. A minimal screen would appear on a raised and immovable “lip”, prefacing the clapping shell at the bottom of the device’s face. And it’s what that small, purpose-made display will show that essentially makes this a mobile hotspot and not a phone — it can signify connection type, signal strength, network name and speed.

This is a mobile hotspot with a “lid” of antennas that can flipped into an optimal position for signal reception. There’s space for two SIMs or a SIM and flash storage — potentially to double the device’s function as an external storage disk. The device has no other screens. And there’s no hint of it being a modular piece to a phone puzzle — though we could go patent poaching for a proprietary port or something like that.

It is so odd for Microsoft to even consider small pieces of hardware with cellular capabilities these days, and yet, it is all here to be described (emphasis ours):

Personal computing devices including laptops and tablets may not have onboard wireless data capabilities, such as 3G or LTE transceivers and antennas, and are therefore connected to the Internet when the devices have access to Local Area Networks (LANs), such as via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet. To extend the range of network connectivity for these devices, a user may connect the device to a mobile data network using a wireless communications device, also known as a wireless hotspot […]

It’s described well. It’s just not what we had hoped. This cannot be a Surface Phone.

Microsoft has clearly wanted to shift focus away from its smartphones in favor of businesses that can financially succeed like the very unsexy cloud computing space and console gaming. If it ever wants to play in the sandbox of phones again, though, it’ll let us know.

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About The Author
Jules Wang

Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.