We’re not quite sure what’s going on here: you see, Lenovo’s been cosying up to Android for its smartphones and tablets all this time, so we were a bit surprised when one of its product managers posted some photos of a Windows Phone-powered handset (even Engadget makes an appearance). More interestingly, this mysterious phone looks identical to the upcoming Lenovo LePhone S2, which features a heavily customized Android 2.3.4, 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 chip, 480 x 800 display, eight-megapixel camera (with 720p recording) and a smaller plus lighter body than its predecessor. PCPOP’s done a brief preview of the S2 Android if you’re curious.
But the bigger story here is that if Lenovo is indeed developing a Windows Phone Mango device for the Chinese market (and remember that Lenovo has yet to market its smartphones outside China), then this S2 variant could be the first of its kind that gets the blessing from the Chinese authorities. Right now Windows Phone has a tight Facebook and Twitter integration, both of which are unfortunately banned by the Great Firewall; and additionally, even the Windows Phone Marketplace had fallen victim to the system for unknown reasons back in August. Of course, Windows Phone’s China penetration could be just a matter of time anyway, but it’ll be interesting to see what compromises Microsoft will have made to keep the authorities happy — Nokia will surely need this to keep a good shape in China.
On the other hand, given the common hardware compatibility between the two mobile OSes, there’s also a good chance that this strange device is merely the work of some curious engineers at Lenovo — you know, much like the Android-powered Nokia prototype spotted in June. If this is indeed the truth then let our bubbles burst.