With many consumers and analysts suggesting that Microsoft's Windows Mobile effort is in its death throes, startup NuAns thinks it has a device that can carry the platform further than any device has been able to take thus far.
NuAns' Windows 10 devices are designed to blend into the daily and digital lives of users through style and comfort, but it still has a long way to go before expanding beyond Japan's market.
NuAns has turned to Kickstarter to drum up more funding for Neo, a device it hopes will fundamentally change the way people interact with their smartphones. With still over a month to go, NuAns has attracted 345 backers at the time of writing and has received almost $100,000 in pledges in its attempt to hit its $725,000 goal.
The 5-inch phone puts out a standard HD resolution of 1,280 x 720, which gives its display, coated with anti-fingerprinting fluorine, a pixel density of 295 pixels per inch. Neo is powered by a Continuum-capable Snapdragon 617 processor and stocked with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage — it has a microSD card slot to expand that space.
Neo has a 13-megapixel camera with a 28-millimeter wide angle lens on its backside and a 5-megapixel selfie cam. It's stocked with a wide complement of sensors that include a gyro, accelerometer, proximity, geomagnetic, Hall and ambient light sensor.
Encasing all of that hardware is a burn-resistant body material. Neo is available in Tennage, Clarino and Ultrasuede.
"We wanted our main focus to be on the appearance and texture of the device; no matter what the device was," the company says. "In addition to the daily functions of the device, we find ourselves simply holding it more often than not."
While Neo was received warmly at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Trade Show, NuAns may be swimming against the current as the market trends away from Windows mobile devices. During the first quarter of this year, the Windows OS family slipped below a 1 percent market share to a 0.7 percent sliver — it held roughly a 2.5 percent share in that quarter a year ago.
NuAns chose the Windows 10 Mobile OS for Neo due to the platform's Continuum feature, which offers a uniformed experience across devices. The OS hides the seams between smartphone, tablet and computer.
"Breaking through the glass ceiling of stereotypes that is a Windows phone, we have designed a device that will change your view of the Windows OS system all together."