Microsoft’s best looking Windows Phone was never released

Microsoft Vela
Photo from Windows Central

This year has certainty been the year of bezel-less smartphones. Samsung, Apple, Google, LG and many other manufacturers have all produced some amazing looking smartphones.

Yet it was Microsoft that did it first – well, sort of at least. Windows Central got a chance to look at a Windows Phone that went by the name of ‘Vela’. This device was Microsoft’s first and only attempt at a bezel-less smartphone. And I have to say, I think it looks incredible.

The Microsoft Vela was never released

The Vela wasn’t ever released, instead we got the Microsoft 435. A solid but undoubtedly boring smartphone, one which certainly didn’t share the same design aesthetics.

The Microsoft Vela has a 5-inch 720p display with  thin bezels along the top, left and right sides. What makes the Microsoft Vela special, however, is the fact that it was designed (and eventually cancelled) in 2014. That’s years before the iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S8; devices which both have similar bezel-less designs.

It’s unknown as to why the Microsoft Vela was cancelled at this point, either way, it’s a shame that it never saw release.

It would have been affordable

Even more interesting, however, was its intended cost. Had the Vela hit shelves, it would have cost less than $200. That is vastly cheaper than any bezel-less device available right now.

I have no doubt that this device would have been a very enticing option for people looking for an affordable smartphone. Windows Phone was much more popular in 2014 and people were still picking up Windows Phone devices.

The cheap price wouldn’t have been without its compromises, however. The specifications were mediocre at best. A 720p display, Snapdragon 200, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage was all the Microsoft Vela had to offer. That being said, one of Windows Phone’s best attributes was its ability to perform on lesser hardware.

The performance of the Microsoft Vela wouldn’t have been great, but it would have been more than adequate. Especially when you consider the sub $200 price tag.

It’s a shame that the Microsoft Vela never got released. It may have just been what Microsoft needed to give Windows Phone a boost. 2014 was a time when almost every affordable smartphone had a generic and boring design. It was almost guaranteed that the Vela would have been the best looking affordable smartphone on the market. It seems that Microsoft missed a large opportunity by not releasing it.

If Microsoft had decided not to cancel the Vela, who knows where Windows Phone would be today.

Check out Windows Central’s article for more information and pictures of the Microsoft Vela