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Is the leaked HP Falcon Windows phone evidence of HP’s return to making phones?

windows 10 for mobile news version 1452682105 lumia 950 950xl front rear
Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 a success on both the desktop and on the smartphone. The new Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL may not be the devices to do it, but there are rumors about a new super-phone called the HP Falcon, which may have the right stuff inside. Despite the name, it’s unknown if the phone really is made by HP, but here’s everything we think we know about it so far.

Updated on 01-13-2016 by David Curry: Added in news of another GFXBench benchmark. 

Two GFXBench benchmarks are all we have for the HP Falcon, both with similar specifications. The latest benchmark reveals a 6-inch screen with a 2,560 x 1,439-pixel resolution, compared to the 5.8-inch screen with a 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution on the earlier benchmark. A 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution is common for smartphone displays, but Microsoft might be experimenting.

It is worth noting that benchmarks can be easily faked, and it is hard to verify the identity or validity of the smartphone through these benchmarking sites. Microsoft testing a smartphone also doesn’t automatically mean it will become a commercial product, as we’ve seen with Nokia’s gesture phone that was cancelled.

Both benchmarks show Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor, but the latest benchmark has 1.5GB of RAM compared to the 1GB of RAM on the earlier version. The two benchmarks also share the same 43GB of internal memory, and feature Qualcomm’s Adreno 530 graphics processor.

We also see similarities on the cameras, both sporting a 20-megapixel camera on the rear, and a 12-megapixel camera on the front — the benchmarks have the same video capture resolutions as well.

What is it? We’ve no idea. The HP Falcon name hasn’t come up before, and HP hasn’t been making mobile devices for sometime. The last time was January 2014 with the Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab, two Android-powered tablet/phone hybrids only released in India. Before this was a long line of HP phone failures, and the destruction of Palm after acquiring it in 2010. In late 2014 HP split into two factions, the business-focused Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and the consumer-driven HP Inc., but little has been said about mobile since.

The HP Falcon may be a never-to-be-released prototype, a peak at HP’s return to phone making, a Microsoft test device, a fanboy’s dream, or a weirdly code-named version of the often rumored Surface phone. Whatever the situation, we’ll keep you updated here.

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