My thoughts, so far, on Windows 10 Mobile build 10512

So today Microsoft released build 10512 (and technically another branch) of Windows 10 Mobile for those on the Windows Insider program. Part of me wants to say finally released. However, that seems a bit presumptuous especially since the company just pushed out the largest desktop OS update in their history. I think I can cut them some slack for an OS not due to the fall.

Still, I can be a little anxious, and it has been what seems like a long time since build 10166 weeks ago.

Today's updates took a bit longer than usual for a few reasons, so let me explain what I am running this OS on (so far) this evening. Throughout I'll pepper the article with some screenshots from the new build.

Test Devices

  • Lumia Icon – Downgraded to Windows Phone 8.1, updated to build 10166 and then build 10512 since you cannot directly go to 10512 yet. I also then did a master reset because, why not at this point. I have 25 GB of free space out of 29.1 on a clean install.
  • Lumia 830 AT&T – This device was on an ancient build of Windows 10 Mobile, and it took a few 'upgrades' to get to 10512
  • Lumia 1520 AT&T – Unfortunately, this phone does not see the 10512 update despite already being on 10166. I have no idea why.

The good

  • Despite what seemed like the very long update and migrations, both phones are running quite well. Each had numerous app updates, including 38 for the Lumia Icon as a fresh out-of-box experience.
  • So far, the Lumia Icon does not run hot or even warm. I have no idea about battery life. Time will tell after regular usage.
  • Yes, this build is noticeably faster, or perhaps a better way to describe it is it is smoother. Animations are looking great, and apps like MSN News and MSN Weather feel much more like they are part of a completed OS.
  • There are numerous new Windows 10 wallpapers included with this build including the 'hero' lockscreen one from the desktop OS. Most have a blue overtone, so I'd like to see more diversity. However, hey, I get it, Windows 10 is themed blue.

  • I like the default Tile setup that includes the Office apps and all the major services like Xbox, Microsoft Edge, Cortana, Outlook Mail, and more. In fact, dare I say I feel like I can leave the majority of these as they are and not have to add too many more apps. There is even a folder with Alarms, Calculator, File Explorer, OneDrive, Excel and Get Started. It is a weird thing to have that many necessary apps and services all come from Microsoft. Of course, there's still no Snapchat (sorry, had to say it).
  • Speaking of Live Tiles, they are flipping like crazy, and I mean that in a good way. Nice to see much Live Tile action with the native apps. Also, the sizing of the icons for the Tiles seem much more proportional.
  • Over 2,000 fixes is nice
  • It was as odd but nice to load up Skype and not have to log in on the first run
  • Windows 10 Mobile 10512 feels as good on the Lumia 830 compared to the Lumia Icon
  • Despite no noteworthy changes Microsoft Edge is running quite well; the next Mobile build, however, should see some significant improvements for the browser

The bad

  • Lock screen information has a two-three second delay on it before the user info or PIN are visible
  • No hotspot support (see Microsoft's list of known issues for more)
  • Still some stutters on animation
  • Obviously, there are no new features, just lots of bug fixes and performance improvements. This absence is not new, but if you are looking for anything exciting or things move around, this is not your build
  • Wi-Fi still disconnects on occasion
  • Windows Store is slow and miserable to use
  • Quiet hours appear to be broken, or rather the Quick Action constantly blinks again

Initial thoughts

So far, I like build 10512, and that should be an obvious conclusion for anyone running it. After all, the point of these releases is for things to get better.

On the Lumia Icon, I went all out to make sure it is a clean install so eliminate any issues that may incur during the update process. Besides the lock screen delay, which is infuriating since it is the first thing you see, the OS feels quite ready for daily use. Mind you, you can unlock the lock screen without the information appearing, so it is not that bad just not intuitive.

I noticed the out-of-box experience was much more polished. Most of the tutorial screens have been updated for Windows 10 Mobile, including the generic welcome text. There are many nice touches, including the built-in apps and default Tile layout.

Sure, there are few under the hood refinements to be made and hopefully more third-party apps to come, but Windows 10 Mobile is following the same path as the desktop version. A few more builds and people should be very happy with they see.

Should you rollback to 8.1 first? Should you do a hard reset before or after the update? I have talked about these issues in the past, and I still stick with the idea that yes, doing a master reset at some point on Windows 10 Mobile "fixes" many issues. Do note that this takes some time, upwards of 60 to 90 minutes depending on your where you are starting from and how many apps you install. If you can, however, live with a clean OS and not do a restore, I still recommend that path if you are using this a daily phone.

We'll shoot a video tomorrow to show off the speed of the OS, but other than some polish, most of the changes are out of sight, making a less compelling video.

Do you like Windows 10 Mobile build 10512? Let us know in comments your experience, tips, and any new things you have noticed!

Here's what's new, improved and fixed in Windows 10 Mobile preview build 10512 {.cta}

Windows 10 Mobile Preview build 10512 has over 2,000 fixes {.cta}

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.