Tech flashback: Nokia McLaren, with real 3D touch!

Remember the Nokia Lumia 1020? With the huge 41 megapixel pure view camera on the back? Yeah, it had a successor. A flagship that never hit the market. This is a tech flashback on Nokia's last Windows flagship smartphone under the possession if Microsoft, the Nokia McLaren.

The Mclaren had a lot of power trapped inside it. The most notable was the real 3D touch feature, that made use of the sensors all around the phone to recognize your palm. It could even sense your finger hovering above the display, something similar to Samsung's air gestures, but much more effective. Or at least, it was going to be.

The phone recognized the changes made in the electron distribution on the touch panel when your hand or finger approaches the screen. This triggered various built in features, like a ripple like animation on the windows tile when you hower your finger above the display. 

If you approached a tile with your finger, it would trigger a feature called Glance, where the tile approached, would explode into number of smaller tiles with other operations like launch specific features regarding the tile. Say if you put your finger over internet explorer, you would get smaller tiles to go to bookmarks, or a recent page. Absolutely similar to what Apple has done with there version of 3D touch. But there you have to physically press down on the display, here you can just hover your finger and get things done!

Exploding internet explorer tile!

This feature allowed several neat add one to the phone to improve overall usability, like muting a call by holding your phone, or keeping the screen on as long as the phone is in your palm. There's also a feature that locks the orientation based on the way your are gripping on to it and doesn't accidentally change the orientation based on accelerometer calibration. I think it's so much better than toggling the auto rotate feature on and off.

The rear camera, though it looks huge, is not a crazy high rez sensor like it's sibling 1020. It's just a 20 mp sensor with the same powerful xenon LED flash and of course, their own proprietary OIS. I can't say much about camera ability as the final software was never released and the prototype can only take 8 mp shots. The few units that are alive today still run on the buggy factory version of Windows 8.1, 

Other known specs are:
  • 2.5 GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU
  • 2 GB of DDR3 RAM
  • 32 GB of onboard storage.
  • Around 3200 mAh battery.
  • 5.5 inch 1080p LCD display

Everything looks amazing for the those days. So why did Microsoft drop this project midway? Windows 10!! Microsoft decided that this phone was taking way too long to research and develop and decided to shift their focus towards Win10. That was their main phone! A true flagship and they dumped it. Now they have no new ideas and they came up with that pathetic Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The buggiest flagship phones you could possibly buy right now.

But word is, Microsoft is still researching this technology. Chances are, the McLaren might return sometime in 2017! Being a smartphone enthusiast, I honestly hope that it happens!!

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