In November 2011, a Lenovo executive confirmed that the company was working on a Windows Phone, which would arrive in the second half of 2012. That didn't happen, and nothing more was officially heard about those plans until February 2014, when Microsoft announced that Lenovo was among nine new partners that had signed up to launch Windows Phone devices.
A few months later, a Lenovo executive said its first Windows phone would arrive in 2014, but again, it didn't show up. When Microsoft announced its Windows 10 launch plans last March, it revealed that Lenovo Windows phones would be "available in mid-year 2015 via China Mobile". Again, those plans failed to materialize - perhaps unsurprising, given that another Lenovo exec pointed out in mid-2015 that Microsoft's cross-platform software efforts had made Windows phones less relevant.
But now, four and a half years after it originally confirmed its intentions to offer such a device, Lenovo is finally launching its first Windows phone.
But while the device will carry Lenovo's logo, it will actually be marketed under a different name - that of the Japanese carrier that will exclusively offer it.
It's known as the 'SoftBank 503LV', and it will be the first Windows 10 Mobile handset, and the first Lenovo device, offered by SoftBank, parent company of US carrier Sprint.
The device aims to offer a "feeling of luxury" for the business customers at which it's aimed, with a design that features glass on both sides of the handset. Its key specs include:
- 5-inch TFT LCD with HD (1280x720px) resolution
- Octa-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB onboard storage (plus microSDXC card support up to 128GB)
- 8MP rear camera
- 5MP front-facing camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 2250mAh battery
- 142.4 x 71.4 x 7.6mm; 144g
The Snapdragon 617 processor ensures that the device will support the PC-like Continuum feature in Windows 10 Mobile.
There's no information available yet regarding pricing, but the business-focused handset will go on sale in October.