Microsoft Lumia 650
Will the much speculated surface phone be finally launched this year?Microsoft

When it comes to the smartphone OS market Android and iOS are the clear leaders. But Microsoft is not giving in to the pressure and wants to still tap the potential in the smartphone industry by getting more handset partners and expanding its line-up of Windows phones like it did with the recently launched Lumia 650.

If reports are to be believed, the company has plans to unveil the much talked about Surface Phone this year, which is expected to be as powerful as any modern day computer. Since the company launched the Surface range in 2012 there has been talks of a Surface phone but over the years only Lumia devices have been added to the company's phone lists.

Chris Capossela, chief marketing officer for Microsoft has recently said that the company should move forward to make Windows Phone competitive, hinting strongly at a Surface-like path. Earlier in December 2015, Capossela had revealed that the company was working on a new mobile device that is a "breakthrough" and not another version of Lumia.

This shows there is a strong chance for the phone to be launched this year. We bring to you some of the major features to expect from the phone:

Design and Display

The device is slated to be based on a unibody design made with an aluminium and magnesium combination. As for the screen, PC Tablet reported the device will feature a 5.5-inch phone with an AMOLED display, capable of producing a 1440 x 2560 pixel screen resolution. What's more interesting is the possibility of surface-branded accessories like the Surface Pen that is expected to be similar to that of the Samsung's S Pen, included with the company's Note series of phones.

Processor, RAM, Storage and OS

For the processor the Surface phone may sport an Intel Atom x3 processor paired with 4GB of RAM. Some reports, however, say there may be variants of the phone with different RAM capacities of 4 and 6GB.

The same goes for storage as well and variants of the device may come in 64GB or 128GB internal storage. A recent report has claimed that given that the Surface phone will be positioned as the apex business phone from the company, the internal storage capacity may range anywhere between 256GB to 500GB. If this comes through the phone will be a game changer.

The OS will be the latest version of Windows 10, which is not a surprise. Microsoft has only recently upgraded most of its Windows phones from Windows 8 to Windows 10 version.

The bigger challenge for the manufacturer will be to incorporate a full-blown Windows 10 experience on a mobile device given that this will be branded as a business phone. The latest OS on the rumoured device will also mean that it will be compatible with all Microsoft products from the Xbox One to a home desktop running Windows 10.

Camera

Let's face it; even though Windows phones don't appeal to traditional Android or iOS users, they have the best cameras on board with many flagship Lumia devices sporting DLSR-like snappers. For the surface phone too we would expect the company to come up with nothing less than a trend setting camera model.

The camera specs have not yet been widely reported but initial reports have indicated that a 21MP PureView rear lens and an 8MP Zeiss Wide-Angle lens may be used on the Surface Phone. Nokia's trademark PureView lens was first used on the Lumia 1020, which included a 41MP rear shooter. The Lumia 1020 camera has been rated as probably the best mobile camera with reviewers comparing it to DSLRs rather than phone cameras.

Release Date

Considering the Surface phone was not launched at the MWC, it could be launched at the IFA in Berlin or as some reports suggest in October along with other Surface products such as the Surface Pro 5 and the Surface Book 2.

Price

The Surface phone is expected to be targeted at business oriented customers thus offering its users much more than regular smartphones. If rumours are anything to go by, the Surface Phone based on the features might cost much more than an iPhone.

Microsoft is likely moving the Blackberry route now tapping into the niche of business users and the Surface Phone is likely to come out bundled with various productivity applications suited for office use. Given the mammoth storage capacities and the possibility of it sporting an Intel chip along with a DSLR-like camera it doesn't look like the price can be below $1,000.