Foldable Microsoft Andromeda device could see daylight next year with not-so-pocketable design
Microsoft Andromeda concept render by David Breyer
Will 2019 be the year of foldable smartphones? It’s certainly starting to look that way, as almost every major mobile device vendor out there seems to be at least considering following Samsung’s (and Royole’s) suit in the not-so-distant future.
The list of companies taking an active interest in such a revolutionary handset design has long included Microsoft, more recently adding the likes of Sony, Oppo, LG, Huawei, and Lenovo, but the Redmond-based tech giant never seemed quite sure what to do with the so-called “Andromeda” project.
According to tech journalist and author Brad Sams, the current plan is to release this mysterious Andromeda device towards the end of 2019. That’s pretty exciting, even though it means several hardware manufacturers will probably beat Microsoft to the commercial foldable punch.
What’s not that great for mobile enthusiasts is that inside sources tell Sams the “visionary” product could be quite “a bit larger” in its polished form than the “pocketable design” detailed in a number of recent and semi-recent patents.
If you’re familiar with Intel’s dual-screen Tiger Rapids notebook concept, you might be disappointed to hear Microsoft Andromeda is currently shaping up in that same style. There’s obviously nothing wrong with a versatile little tablet sporting a conventional 8-inch display and a secondary E Ink screen capable of doubling as a keyboard, but carrying something like that around still sounds a bit uncomfortable.
Then again, long-term plans like this one have a tendency to change, so you shouldn’t take any of the fresh speculation for granted just yet. The same goes for Microsoft’s rumored intention to “heavily update” that lightly refreshed Surface Pro 6 during Q4 2019 with “thinner bezels, new color options, USB-C, and a few other enhancements.”
Of course, that has a much higher probability of happening as mentioned in the new “Beneath a Surface” book written by Brad Sams. It’s also very likely that Microsoft will unveil a new “ambient” device at some point next spring, although we’re not exactly sure what that entails.
Apparently, the goal for this particular gadget is to “work with a mobile phone” rather than replace or revolutionize it, helping with “text input and navigation.” Color us curious!