During last year’s Mobile World Congress, Nokia secretly showed off to a small number of attendees a prototype of their unreleased smartwatch. A lot has changed since then, and Nokia’s first smartwatch, codenamed ‘Moonraker’, has remained a secret until now. Images spotted by Twitter user @EvLeaks from a Tumblr blog run by a Microsoft design employee reveal what was dubbed a ‘Moonraker’ smartwatch that was based on Windows Phone OS.

A bunch of pictures of a smartwatch were briefly posted to a Tumblr account said to belong to Pei-Chi Hsieh, a designer who worked for Nokia and then moved to Microsoft when the software firm bought Nokia’s device division IN WINDOWS 10. The pictures were spotted by prolific leaker and gadget writer Evan Blass.

Microsoft-moonraker pics

The device was apparently shown off to potential customers at Mobile World Congress last year, and the smartwatch was close to launching alongside the Lumia 930. But Microsoft cancelled it right after buying Nokia’s phone business.

The watch became a victim of consolidation efforts as Microsoft scrutinised its Nokia acquisition to identify potential overlaps with its own products. Microsoft decided that its own wearable device, Band was a better proposition overall, and Moonraker was shelved indefinitely.

Images of Nokia’s Moonraker:

The promotional images clearly show how the Moonraker would’ve looked and worked, highly resembling the Windows Phone design and Metro UI. Colourful and sleek, the Moonraker could’ve been by now a mighty player in the smartwatch race.

The images below were made for marketing purposes rather than concept art. Nokia worked with the Metro UI interface when designing the watch, creating apps for email, phone and messages to run on it.

Check out the Moonraker images here

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Special Features of Moonraker Smartwatch:

Nokia had added a number of sensors that allowed the watch face to turn on when the user raised their arm to look at it, and turn it off when the user lowered their arm. The device itself sported a square screen with customizable watch faces and several straps in typical Nokia colours: neon green, orange, and black.

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It also included a camera feature to remotely take pictures on a smartphone through the watch. Other elements included Facebook and MixRadio integration, customizable watch faces, and different coloured straps.

While it is unlikely if Moonraker will be resurrected, Microsoft does plan to come out with the second generation of its Band which is likely to be announced later this year when Windows 10 is pushed out broadly.

As the battle continues over what a smartwatch should be, the ‘Moonraker’ will remain but an interesting footnote, nothing more. Whether Microsoft will bring some elements of this device to its expected ‘Microsoft Band 2′ is something that only time will tell.