Microsoft may be continuing to crank out updates to its Windows 10 Mobile operating system, but there are only a handful of phones that actually run the software at this point, and soon Microsoft will even begin selling Android phones that run some Microsoft apps.
So is there really any demand for new Windows phones? Or is it silly to even try bringing new Windows phones to market at a time when it’s starting to look like Microsoft has thrown in the towel?
I guess we may find out soon, because WhartonBrooks has just announced a new crowdfunding campaign for a phone that could scratch the itch of some Windows fans. It’s called the Cerulean Moment and it’s an affordable smartphone which meets the minimum specs required for Continuum for Phone, allowing you to use the smartphone like a desktop computer.
The phone is expected to have a list price of $299, but early backers of the crowdfunding campaign can try to snag one for a pledge of $290. If all goes according to plan, the phones should begin shipping in August.
The Cerulean Moment’s specs include:
- 5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel display with Gorilla GLass 3
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB storage
- Dual SIM support (or SIM + microSD card)
- 13MP rear camera
- 5MP front camera (with autofocus)
- 2,250 mAh battery
- 142.4mm x 71.4mm x 7.6mm
- 144 grams (5.1 ounces)
The phone has a GSM modem, which means it won’t work on Verizon or Sprint in the United States. In an interview with Windows Central, WhartonBrooks CEO Greg Murphy says that was a decision made to keep costs low (although it’ll likely reduce the potential customer base for the phone).
The phone also cuts a few other corners in order to keep the price low. For example, it features a micro USB port rather than USB Type-C, so if you want to use Continuum to connect an external display you’ll need to do it with a wireless display dongle.
Overall, the Cerulean Moment could appeal to folks who might have been looking for a Windows phone that’s cheaper than the Acer Liquid Jade Primo, HP Elite X2, or Lumia 950/950 XL… and who are willing to sacrifice some features for that lower price.
But I have to wonder if there are enough people out there who fit that bill and who are willing to place a pre-order through a crowdfunding project today for a phone that won’t ship for almost half a year.
The company had originally hoped to bring the phone to market without a crowdfunding campaign, but some last minute problems mean that WhartonBrooks needs to raise $1.1 million (by taking orders for about 3,900 phone) in order to finish work on the phone.
The good news is that the Indiegogo campaign is set for fixed funding, which means that if the campaign falls short of that goal, backers won’t have to pay anything.