New pictures emerged of Nokia's cancelled gesture-sensing Windows Phone

It seems almost poetic that on the eve Nokia’s reported return to smartphones with the Android-powered Nokia C1, a Windows Phone skeleton emerges from the Finnish company’s closet. Earlier this week, a user of Chinese social media network Baidu posted images of what would appear to be the Lumia RM-1052, the ill-fated successor to the impressive Lumia 1020 that never made it to store shelves.

The Lumia McClaren, as it was known internally, was a substantial step up from almost every Windows Phone that’d come before it. In addition to a cutting-edge operating system and silicon — it packed 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch, 1080p camera, and the then newest iteration of Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8.1 — the McClaren sported unique technology in other areas. Its imaging sensor, a reported improvement upon the 1020’s widely lauded 41-megapixel PureView camera, was rumored to feature a massive 50-megapixel sensor and dual-LED flash. And more impressively, the McClaren packed Kinect-like sensors capable of detecting finger gestures and movement.

It’s that latter feature — gesture sensing — which Nokia’s then-partner Microsoft intended to headline. The McClaren was conceived as a poster child for the company’s planned Windows Phone gesture suite, 3D Touch, for which Microsoft had begun laying the groundwork in 2008. One component of 3D Touch, Mixview, would reveal hidden windows as users hovered over UI elements with their fingers. Another, a suite of built-in swipes and side taps, would let users dismiss notifications by waving a hand over the display, or zoom in on a photo by sliding a finger along the display screen bezel. Microsoft and Nokia went so far as to create a promotional video for the features and, as late as spring of 2014, shipped Windows Phone 8.1 software development kits with 3D Touch APIs to development partners.

But it unfortunately wasn’t to be. Mere months from the McClaren’s planned launch on at least three major U.S. carriers, Microsoft pulled the plug, mostly thanks to unforeseen setbacks with the aforementioned 3D Touch. Hardware issues pushed back the flaghip’s planned launch from spring to fall, and the initial developer preview was poorly received. But fiscal factors played a part, too; sales of high-end Windows Phone devices slowed significantly in August of 2014, a development which perhaps Microsoft and Nokia took as cause for a shift in device strategy.

In light of the gesture-sensing market failure that was the Amazon Fire Phone, it’s unlikely Microsoft’s 3D Touch will emerge in a new flagship anytime soon. And while Microsoft’s new Windows Phones pack impressively large image sensors, the company seems to have moved away from the PureView technology and branding of Lumias past. Still, that doesn’t make it any less fun to speculate what might have been.


Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Everything we know about the Nokia 6.2, which might arrive in January

The Nokia 6.1 was our favorite budget phone of 2018, so we were always going to get excited when details of a successor came to light. However, the Nokia 6.2 will exceed those expectations if leaks are true.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.