Microsoft may have given up on the idea of Windows phones and switched to Android for its upcoming Surface Duo. But a UK company called Emperion claims to be working on a smartphone (or phone-like device) that will ship with Windows 10 on ARM software.

It’s called the Emperion Nebulus, and Emperion has been posting a some details to Twitter over the last few months… but only recently explained that the Nebulus will ship with Windows 10 on ARM software.

Windows Central and @sinclairinat0r got some more details, and here’s what we know so far… although there are still a lot of questions remaining.

Update: Details and pictures have been removed from the Emperion website and replaced with a “Coming Soon” message.

The Nebulus is said to feature an overclocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and run the same Windows 10 on ARM software that powers computers like the Surface Pro X tablet and the Samsung Galaxy Book S laptop. But Emperion is promising a few mobile-friendly tweaks including:

  • A custom user interface
  • Support for running Android apps within Windows

The company claims that Android compatibility doesn’t require an emulator, but I suspect that’s because one comes pre-installed, probably something like BlueStacks or Genymotion.

According to a tweet from November, the Nebulus has a 6.2 inch display, a 6,000 mAh battery, 128GB of storage, dual 13MP cameras and a 10.5MP front-facing camera. According to the Emperion website, we can also expect 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and 4G LTE.

Other features are expected to include a microSD card slot with support for up to 2TB of removable storage and a USB-C port. Plug in an external display, and you should be able to switch to desktop mode and use the device like a full-fledged computer.

Actually, it is a full-fledged computer, just one with a small screen, a relatively slow processor (by laptop or desktop standards), and no physical keyboard.

One other thing that’s may not be built in? The ability to make phone calls over a normal cellular network. Windows 10 on ARM doesn’t have the telephony features typically included in mobile operating systems like Android, iOS, or the now-defunct Windows 10 Mobile.

It’s unclear if Emperion has come up with its own solution or if the company plans to sell the Nebulus as a data-only device that can make calls over VoIP using Skype, WhatsApp, or other services.

Then again, it’s unclear at this point if the Nebulus is a real thing that you’ll actually be able to buy anytime soon. Emperion says it goes up for pre-order this year for £549 (about $710 US), but so far the company has only shown rendered images of the phone, not real-world pictures or videos.

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24 replies on “Emperion Nebulus claims to be a Windows on ARM smartphone”

  1. Grate News .
    Very Excited for Windows phone and hope they will finish McLaren project too.
    Nice to see windows back in business.

  2. I can settle for using a virtual keyboard but I require at least a built-in mouse when using desktop applications at this size. Their UI skin is not likely to make any difference in this case.

    Of course, I’m not that convinced this thing will ever get released given the newness of the company behind it. If they ever release this and it has a built-in mouse, then I’d definitely buy it though.

  3. Very interesting concept, but this is about 2x more expensive than I would like to see. Unfortunately Windows 10 requires a flagship SOC to run reasonably, so the price isn’t without reason.

    I’d feel better about buying something like this with a lower cost SOC and running ChromeOS for around $299

  4. Hopefully they succeed to motivate Microsoft to include phone functionality in W10 (Pro). I won’t buy this particular phone because the ratio 2:1 is not for me and the price (minus a generous €150 for the Windows license) is higher than I want to spend on a phone.

  5. I’m hoping this is real and we can disable the modified UI and just use regular Windows 10.

  6. They will be showing a working prototype at this year’s Mobile World Congress ;).

    Joking aside, I’m interested. I hope this isn’t just some prank nor a company biting off more than they can chew.

  7. I really hope they succeed in delivering something that works well. While I’ll be keeping an eye on this because I really want a desktop Windows UMPC of this size, I’m not sure if this company will actually succeed.

    They seem to have never released a product. Their Twitter account seems to have been teasing a Nebulus X phone (powered by Intel), a Cosmo display, wireless earbuds and now this Nebulus phone (power by ARM) since 2017. All of which seem to have never gone beyond renders. Just a lot of “stay tuned” comments.

    At least they’re not crowdfunding this. I wouldn’t risk giving money via crowdfunding. I wouldn’t pre-order either. I would risk buying their first production batch before any user reviews though.

    1. Pre-order on a credit card then your contract is with the credit card company so you are covered (in the UK at least).

  8. Not gonna lie this looks pretty sketch. there are two different interfaces in the promo images. Plus, the ‘android app support’ uses Samsung’s previous navigation icons. Take with a huge grain of salt.

  9. This doesn’t look like a recipe for success. Windows runs pretty poorly on an SD845, and the interface isn’t very good for a phone-sized touchscreen form factor.

  10. I want this to succeed. Given more information I might even buy it. Information like,
    What does a not rendered phone look like?
    What’s the timetable like?
    Why is the website so empty?
    Who are these people anyway?

    1. It’s a small company so I think from the dimensions we can assume it will look exactly like a Samsung S9 or Xiaomi Mi8.
      This can only be new firmware in an existing phone.
      You can look them up.

  11. I think the main selling point is that it’s named like a bad guy from a Saturday morning cartoon.

  12. While I’d prefer it had a slide out horizontal keyboard and optical mouse, I’d take this since there’s not many options out there. Just hope this is reliable and post sales support is decent.

    Of course, it’s assuming this gets released at all.

  13. I don’t care about the phone part but I do care a lot about this being a UMPC with LTE. Just add a mouse pointer and I’d buy this immediately.

    1. It wouldn’t even be good as an UMPC unless a dock with ports is included. The single USB port on the device is pretty limiting for a PC.

    2. I’d use this as a UMPC if it had a mouse pointer. With that, I’d be able to do most things I’d do when out and about.

    3. If they replace the front camera with an optical mouse, then I’d buy this.

    4. Yup, add a built-in mouse and I’d be a buyer. A software keyboard isn’t great but workable for me for a UMPC.

    5. Yup, needs a built-in mouse for desktop applications. Doesn’t matter what their UI is like.

    6. Definitely interested in this as a UMPC even though it’d be some what difficult to use without a physical keyboard and mouse pointer. Also, I’m thinking this will have a high chance of not actually getting released.

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