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July 31, 2018

Exclusive: Turing’s next phone looks out of this world, and won’t arrive until 2020

by John_A

Turing Robotics wants yet another shot at the smartphone market. Despite a few failed phone launches under its belt — and after filing bankruptcy earlier this year — the company has provided Digital Trends with plans for its next smartphone. It’s called the Turing HubblePhone: It has two screens, costs a ridiculous amount of money, and won’t arrive until 2020.

The HubblePhone has what Turing is calling a “multi-dimensional” screen that basically is a primary screen with a secondary display. It can fold up like a flip phone, or swivel out at any angle. It’s tough to explain because we have yet to see any physical prototype of this phone, and all we have to visualize this device are the concept photos below. Along with the display, the phone looks like it has a number of cameras. There’s one large main sensor at the top of the device, along with an iPhone X-style notch on the pop-out display that we assume is to be used both as a traditional camera, and for facial recognition. Turing said the camera system will allow people to do things like make a call by mouthing the name of the contact.

The main camera is set to be a big part of the HubblePhone experience. It will offer 15x optical zoom, and there will be video editing software that “dwarfs any available on today’s smartphones.”

Also interesting are the specs under the hood. Turing claims the phone will be powered by two Snapdragon 855 processors, a processor that has yet to be announced by Qualcomm. Either Turing is getting ahead of itself here, or the company is working closely with Qualcomm for the new phone. We’re betting on the former, and we’re waiting for answers from Turing.

Turing has a history of disappointing customers by not keeping promises.”

There are plenty of other vague phrases Turing is marketing for this phone. For example, Turing said the HubblePhone creates a “new dimension in gaming” thanks to the fact that it will integrate AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), MR (mixed reality) and other technologies into a “cohesive experience.” The phone will also support 5G, though we already have smartphone-makers claiming they have 5G-ready phones coming in 2019. We don’t even know what operating system Turing plans to use on this phone, so take all of this with a huge grain of salt.

How much will all this vague and futuristic-sounding technology cost? A whopping $2,750. You’ll also have to wait until June 2020 to get the phone in the U.S., and Turing already has plans to ship the phone to Europe that August, China in September 2020, and the rest of the world that December.

Turing has a history of disappointing customers by not keeping promises. The original Turing Phone announced back in 2015 faced significant delays, and before shipping the device Turing swapped the operating system from Android 5.1 Lollipop to Sailfish OS, and then ended up shipping an unfinished version of the phone to customers. Next came the $1,000 Turing Appassionato, but it barely began shipping before the company declared bankruptcy in Finland and ceased production. We’re not sure how Turing expects to fund itself through 2020 for the HubblePhone — we’ve asked, and we’ll update this story if we hear back.

In the meantime, we wouldn’t put much stock in holding out for the HubblePhone.

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