Surface phone render Bartlomiej Tarnowski
Surface Phone Concept, Credit: Bartlomiej Tarnowski

It now seems a certainty that Microsoft will release a foldable Surface device with hinges, maybe even this year. Evidence has been mounting in recent weeks, and we will discuss that below. However, the latest hint towards the codenamed Andromeda device is a Microsoft internal document.

Obtained by The Verge, the document discussed the pocket-sized Surface device. From various other pointers, we know Andromeda is a hinged device with two screens. Like a mini-laptop but the size of smartphone.

We have written before about the possibilities for Andromeda. The device is rumoured to be as powerful as a full laptop, but ultra-portable. Perhaps the biggest what if is in regard to its mobile capabilities. Will Andromeda be a smartphone, the almost mythical Surface Phone?

As mentioned, this device is definitely a case of where there’s smoke there’s fire. Earlier today, we reported on new Windows APIs that point towards a folding device that can tilt 360 degrees. Furthermore, Surface chief Panos Panay hinted on Twitter of a folding device being built with LG screen technology.

It is also worth remembering that Microsoft is not denying Andromeda at this point. While the company is certainly not getting into specifics, it does say the hardware will create a “new and disruptive” category. Again, this lends itself to the device being a smartphone, and not just an extra-small laptop.

“It’s a new pocketable Surface device form factor that brings together innovative new hardware and software experiences to create a truly personal and versatile computing experience,” is Microsoft’s internal description.

Launching this Year?

It now seems inevitable that Andromeda will be launched. Will it be the Surface Phone and will it land in 2018? The former hardly matters, but it will clearly be a Surface device. As for launch, considering the pace of hints, it seems likely Microsoft will at least announce the device this year.

Especially as other OEMs are moving ahead with their similar devices. Intel’s Tiger Rapids prototype debuted at Computex 2018 last month and seems an equal to Andromeda.