This year, the big smartphone craze is bezel-free displays, with much higher screen to body ratios than we have seen in previous years. While the likes of Samsung, Google and Apple are pushing it now, Microsoft almost beat them all to the punch. It turns out that back in 2014, Microsoft had an edge-to-edge Lumia smartphone in the works for that year, well ahead of the rest of the market.
The folks over at Windows Central managed to get their hands on the working prototype, which was code-named ‘Vela’ during development. This phone went on to become the Lumia 453, trading in the exciting edge-to-edge display for a safe, widely used design. You can see what the phone looked like in the images below, taken by Windows Central. The display does still have a chin bezel at the bottom, but the top and side bezels are very minimal for the time.
According to the report, the display was running at 1280×720 and spanned five-inches diagonally. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 could be found under the hood alongside 1GB of RAM, so it wasn’t exactly in ‘flagship’ territory. In fact, Microsoft was planning on releasing this device for less than $200, which would have brought the edge-to-edge design to budget smartphones long before it began appearing on flagship devices.
This wouldn’t be the first smartphone that Microsoft has prototyped only to cancel before release. Previously the company has experimented with Android Lumias, a Surface Phone prototype and more. Unfortunately, it is unlikely we will see many more smartphones from Microsoft, as the company has admitted to Windows Phone no longer being a focus, meaning no new feature updates or hardware for the foreseeable future. Bug fixes and security updates will remain though.
KitGuru Says: We don’t know why Microsoft’s edge-to-edge Lumia didn’t make it to market but I imagine production issues may have played a role in this one. Particularly back in 2014, when this sort of design would have been completely new.