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Microsoft Devices could be working on a PureView smartphone

Leaked images appear to show a new Microsoft handset complete with PureView camera sensor

The 41-megapixel PureView camera technology Nokia squeezed into the Lumia 1020 was quite possibly the most exciting feature ever to grace a Windows Phone handset, a fact it appears new owner Microsoft is well aware of. According to leaked images posted online over the weekend, the company is planning to ressurect PureView with a new smartphone that could match or even beat the 1020’s fantastic image quality.

According to The Verge, the images were first posted to the Chinese auction site TaoBao, but have since been deleted. They appear to show a handset with a 5in, 1080p resolution display, running Windows Phone 8.1 and designated the prototype name “Nokia RM-1052”. The device appears to be made from aluminium, rather than polycarbonate, which could give it an edge over the Lumia 1020.

The biggest upgrade is of course the large camera sensor on the back of the handset. Nokia only used PureView in its original form twice, once on the original PureView 808 (which ran Symbian) and the Lumia 1020, before switching to a smaller, 20-megapixel sensor for its last few flagship phones. This move was likely because of the costs associated with developing the 41-megapixel sensor, but it seems as though Microsoft has worked out a way to bring the technology back.

As with any leak, there’s a good chance the images could be a fake; the device seems to carry a prototype designation, and despite mainly being made from aluminium it appears to have a plastic strip at the bottom on the rear. Although it’s possible this could be to improve mobile reception, and Nokia has used a similar design on the entry-level Lumia 515, it seems odd the final device wouldn’t have thinner, less noticeable strips as with the HTC One (m8) and Apple iPhone 6. The camera sensor also lacks a Xenon flash, appearing to stick with LED, and although it’s difficult to tell it doesn’t appear to have a mechanical shutter either.

There is a possibility the handset could be the canceled Nokia McLaren, which was supposed to include Kinect-style gestures on a smartphone for the first time. Either way, Microsoft has yet to make an official statement regarding the handset. With no no launches on the horizon until at least next year, possibly at Mobile World Congress in March, we could be waiting a while longer before finding out if this is the real deal or not.

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