While many hail the HP Elite x3 as the most exciting new Windows 10 Mobile handset due to its top-tier specs and its thoughtful approach to supporting the PC-like Continuum experience, the NuAns NEO has also managed to grab plenty of attention among Windows phone fans.
The distinctive upper-mid-range device also supports Continuum, and it does so in style with an appealing design that allows users to customize the look of the handset through two removable backplates that come in a range of colors and materials. The company also offers other complementary accessories to match the device, including a stylish lamp that doubles as a desktop dock.
However, the device has so far been available only in its home market of Japan - but earlier this month, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise enough funds to make it available internationally. Unfortunately, as noted by Thurrott, the campaign isn't going well so far.
It's now more than halfway towards its deadline, but with 18 days still remaining, it's less than 20%-funded. At time of writing, just 438 backers around the world have so far pledged a total of around $125,000 in the hopes of getting their hands on the NEO - but that's a long way short of the campaign's $725,000 goal.
And as the Kickstarter page points out, it's all or nothing: "This project will only be funded if at least $725,000 is pledged by Tue, Aug 9 2016", it says.
There's still time to turn things around, of course, but the limited demand for the device appears emblematic of struggles for the wider Windows phone ecosystem. Microsoft massively scaled back its phone business last year in the hope that its hardware partners would fill in the gap left by its reduced Lumia sales, but there appears to be little appetite among buyers for Windows handsets.
The most recent figures from Gartner indicated that Windows accounted for just 0.7% of global smartphone sales in Q1 2016, and that Microsoft's partners sold a combined total of just 100,000 handsets worldwide in the first three months of the year.
Source: NuAns NEO Kickstarter via Thurrott
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