Hands-on with Windows 10 Mobile build 10581

Earlier today, Microsoft released yet another build of Windows 10 Mobile for Insiders on the Fast Ring. Build 10581 is now ready for you to try out.

The good news? Well, there is plenty to go around. For one, for the first time since the last two builds you do not need to rollback to Windows Phone 8.1 first, which gets rid of a pain point. Additionally, performance is outstanding with this build, building on top of the excellent gains earned in build 10572. Indeed, there are some smoother animations like the fade in effect when the lockscreen clears that make using this release more enjoyable.

We've only spent a few minutes with this release, but you can see it in action on our Lumia 1520. For what it is worth, our Hey Cortana would launch for training, but we never got much further than that. Perhaps an app update will come along to address that, or we'll have to wait until the next release. Your mileage may vary.

Finally, we're excited to hear that battery drainage problems should be mostly resolved. We'll have to spend the next few days with it to verify, but it sounds promising.

Let us know in comments your thoughts on build 10581 and if think Microsoft has done a good enough job thus far.

Here's what's been fixed and what still broken in Windows 10 Mobile build 10581

Need more help? Jump into our Windows 10 Mobile forums and sound off in comments about your experience with Windows 10 Mobile build 10572. Is this the turning point? Let us know!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Battery life still sucks unfortunately
  • My L520 has great battery life even in previous build.
  • How is the new build running on your L520?
  • Same here
  • How did you get it installed on your 520? For the life of me I can't get it on my metropcs 521... I'll try again on this build... But I'm not holding my breath...
  • I did update to the latest version but the phone freezing.  Not responding ever and hold the Volume Down and Power and works reboot or removing the battery I don't now what happened with phone and why not working. The problem is very strange.
  • What i hate the most in lumias is.... they still need a restart every time we change a certain setting, for eg. Language or region or even the haptic feedback. They ain't improving that! The second thing that i hate is the loading screen or the resuming screen! The third bad thing is the store! 4th one is connectivity! Apps like shareit are a headache to operate on lumias. 5th is the interface! It's a hotch potch! The messaging app shows all of the black screen in the background. Clock, alarm, phone apps are too simple and just matte, which give more of a junk plastic look! God! When are they going to improve?? Posted while running with the ninja cat
  • Ever thought of jumping system? You don't seem to be very pleased by WP.
  • lol I actually love my lumia 930 after 6 years on iphones im very happy ith the phone and the 30ish apps i use daily and the 267ish i now have installed.  It all runs brilliantly smoothly and well my favorite apps and thats alot of them are the ones built to sit in with the whole windows envoirnemt and not the ones that fit with android or iphone, after all its a windows phone.I love the alrm clock, actual;ly i used to love my iphones ios6 it was when it desided to go with more detail i kinda lost a little interest in them, sometimes less is more and in my case i love my dark theme with its simple to use calender, email and well clock and alarm.  You can go alot more complex on calender or email if you wish, which is great for some people but for simple little me i like it sinple lol.  Conectivity.  Are you talking aobut a specisfic phone you have used? im curious.  My 930 actually seems to hold signals from wifi  (not internet causae im with a terrible sp in  my area and that vodaphone gurr.)  Actually i see a couple of my iphone friends loosing conectivity with blutooth or and wifi alot more than my 930 and thats in a iphone 6 and 6s plus lol.  I personally love haptic feedback, i dont know if you can turn it off im guessing you can but i dont casue i like it.  My phone actually does a few things my iphones never did.  Egample: puting phone on table while on a phone call automaticly puts speakerphone on and picking it up again it goes off.  Turn it upside down its on mute, all features i use and love dearly.  We also have a miricast based casting experience same as android but alot better in my opinion that apples go it alone airplay version.  AGain my blutoogh speakers all conect via nfc, something i personally use on a 2-3 times daily basis.  No iphone would do that today as it stands as their nfc is im told restricted to just apple watch and apple pay.  I never had nffc speakers when i have the iphone but i would certainly miss it now.  Then thers things like the great 4k camera..  The vid below was done just on a lumia 930 and with only limited light, not bad for a phone.  And no draging droping or gable conecting as the video was teleported over to my desktop for editing as if by magic, onedrive, something even my good fanboy apple friend was left speachless with lol and thats hard to do.  So personally i really dont think its  about when are they gona improve casue theyve been great for a while, i think its more like when do we get intergration with devices(coming now) and well will wee see apps build up.   Heres the vid made soly on a lumia 930 and edited on desktop with no wires or cables atached.  Im still amazed at the ease of it all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JtUGJZRh60     I loved my iphone experience i really did but live tiles and the whole ui to me is so forward thinking from microsoft, i really hope they suceed cause i just dont wana go what i consider backwards back to icon only based phone, ii love and find live tiles very useful.
  • I have a T-Mob 521.  The previous 2 builds forced me to use the recovery tool to downgrade to 8 and then update to 8.1 to 10.  This build let me install it over 10572 with no problems.  I usually open the Insider app and go through all the options before going into settings and updates.
  • My L620 too
  • can u help me ??? i last updatee windows 10 build 10536 but this build many bugs n lags n decrease battery life so i downgrade 8.1 .. :/ :( can u explain lumia 520 latest build 10581 any bugs n loags n battery life ???  
  • Seriosuly? The update is out few hours and you know that already? Kewl.
  • Yea, no question, even in 8.1 after a nuke, it takes a day or 2 to stablize the battery level...
  • yewh i agree with that, its been like that for my 930 since day 1 over a year ago, but amazingly enough since this latest 82 build i havent experienced that 1 day settle down wait at all, im gobsmacked how good the battery has been and remans to this day, not my battery expectation on future phones and devises will have a very high expectation.
  • Battery life was so much better with the prior 10572 build on my Lumia 1020.  Battery life so far after updating this morning (4 hours ago), seems to be on par with the 10572 build as well.  Only extended time will utlimately tell.
  • Same here as battery life is way better on this build (for my Lumia 930). For the Hey Cortana feature I've noticed it will only train your voice if you put the phone really close to your mouth and speak in a high pitch voice
  • trained cortana in my normal voice ...but i did do a hard reset after updating to this build  
  • Hard reset on this build didn't work for me. Still can't get Cortana to hear me in the training process.
  • Bro is the current build stable enough to use on Lumia 1020 which is my daily driver...let me know...thanx
  • Definitely. 
  • Yes ofcourse the previous build is very smooth so as present...
  • I hadn't updated to a build for about 4-5 builds so I was still dealing with the loading bug I had to bypass through cortana and periodic texting blackouts (my wife hated this), but after running like 4 updates today everything is WAY better, smoothness, responsiveness, lack of bugs, etc.
  • My 1020 is working fantastic, much faster, no problems with resume glitch so far, using this as my daily device.
  • I seem to be having some problems with my 1020.  My MMS/SMS live tile and notifications don't work.  Outlook mail notification doesn't work either and also missed calls+ voicemail motifications. Also, the screen is wobbles.
  • I was wondering this as well. There is no way you know. You may highly suspect it, but save the final verdict for after the install and updates have settled. Also, if you're running something like Facebook beta, check on that. I had excellent battery after the last build on my 929 but it started getting hot and draining quickly after I installed Facebook beta yesterday. Maybe it's something else other than the build. The only way to know is update it, reset to factory and test. Then start installing apps a few at a time. If the issue comes up after a particular group of apps is installed then you'll be able to narrow it down to one of those 3 or 4. If it happens before any apps are installed, then its the build or your hardware. Get scientific on that biotch.
  • I noticed that WhatsApp was heating my1520 up quite a bit... Then there was an update for the app and all has been good since.
  • well unfortunately the battery app on windows phone doesnt show how many mAh the phone is using so its all just a guestimate via usage/percentage remaining/times since 100%. WP7 homebrew had a battery app that showed the usages and whatnot and im sure there is some tool the MS team has to check whats actually using battery and whatnot but its not something that we can actually use.   If i recall it was on my samsung focus. you would dial into the firmware and get into the diagnostic tools and it would show more detail than any app we can get.  probably an API restriction. who knows.
  • Just curious, how can you know already?
  • Prior to 10572, my 1020 would be dead after 4 hours... Now its comparable to 8.1.
  • Loon at your app list, it is probably still porting the apps from your old build. That is super resource intensive.
  • How do I know? Because I've been using it for a few hours and compared to 8.1 it still sucks, How do I know???? Seriously going to ask me that?
  • Yes, everyone is asking because it takes a couple of days after updating for it to stabilize completely, it is known.
  • Ikr lol, the people who comment here are ridiculous. You know because you know, very simple.
  • Yeah can't even say anything without being attacked
  • To even comment on battery life just a few hours into a new build is pretty pathetic. Not sure if you're simply trolling.
  • To call someone pathetic because they made a comment about battery is pathetic, everyone took it to the heart, just chill
  •   cant post pics in comments? lame! http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/366/396/f8a.gif
  • Chill out, I was commenting on the comment, not the poster.
  • Knowing and jumping to conclusions are very different
  • During the first 2 hours there will be a mass of background data downloading, app updates, caching and so on. This kills the battery. Give it a day or two to stabilise. For me, 10572 was almost as good on battery as 8.1, while prior builds were awful. I'm expecting even better from this one.
  • Yep battery life sucks balls. I have had it installed for 1 & 1/2 hours with barely anyuse and it's already at 56%. Lumia Icon.
  • Batteries need 2 days to fully know what the experience will be.
  • No they really don't though. Never needed two days before don't need two days now. Battery life sucks on this build.
  • I used up all my balls to ask a girl out on a date and then these comments about battery problems :'(
  • Did you get the date?
  • That is not true. There is no way to tell a battery performance after an OS build this quickly. The last build is a great example. For the first 24 hours I was showing 2.5% usage or so. After a couple of days it leveled out to approximately 3.5% or so, which is my normal usage from 8.1. The OS needs time to calibrate and calculate the usage to the mAh. Edit: Also, for me, so far it doesn't suck - but i don't know for sure yet. I pulled off the charger at 7ish CST this morning. Updated when it came out then ran a 2.5 hour conference call from it (while messaging and check WP Central - while others were presenting, hehe) I am currently at 52% and have done a ton with it.
  • When I installed iOS 9.0.2 as an update to 8.1 on my iPad, apart from the battery used for the update itself, the iPad behaved as usual. about 1-2% over next 12 hours. I sincerely don't undersand the concept of why Windows gets a 2 day handicap here. And please remember the same boring song was sang when we all updated from 8 to 8.1 RTM, so I am not speaking only of beta builds. If it sucks, it sucks, and some people tell it right away. Why does one have to wait to tell? iOS can update anything it needs to and be done with eating my battery after 15-30 minutes. What makes you people hold Windows to lesser standards o "4 hours is not enough to tell?" - aren't we aspiring to glorify the best mobile OS here?
  • Hino thankyou for being the only person that has logic here.
  • Logic? he is comparing a different OS that does things differently plus it was not some unfinished Build that MS gave its Users the privilege to check out before the official release.
  • Well, then everyone's experience, or perceived experience is different. In my experience, (in my job I have had the pleasure of carrying and using hundreds of handsets over the years - all OSs - except firefox OS, never used that) all batteries have needed time to re-calibrate their usage patterns. Maybe not two full days (48hrs) as I stated, but a couple charge cycles, to really show actual usage on the handset. Now there are factors to this of course. Calibration to the OS and heavy usage when the update happens (both from using more due to checking it out and all of the hidden processes that are running in the background). There is no way you know actual usage immediately as you have stated.
  • Hello Hino, it looks like this OS does a lot of behind the scenes work in the first hours. When they say two days they exaggerate but you can't judge battery life in the first hours, we learned it during the insider preview, we all had terrible battery life the first day after installation then it usually got better (not good enough till today). I'm finally experiencing great battery life with this build and I've only used it for some hours so this time I expect my phone to finally last 24h again like it lasted before installing w10. I'll sleep and test it tomorrow!
  • The supposed training period is hogwash. It's setup and installation ...people with a million apps, etc. Once all of that completes battery use "is stabilized". Well, duh! Makes little sense to say that there is some kind stabilization required, otherwise. It's all anecdotal. For instance, I've only had battery problems with the build prior. That is it. But I also reset after all updates and do NOT restore backups so that I don't have to deal with redownloading apps etc until I want.
  • Seriously: It is a well known FACT that OS Builds and Hardware DO take time to optimize together and this IS TRUE of iOS, Android, Windows. Anyone says differently, they know nothing. It can take DAYS. Any phone engineer will tell you.
  • Have you tried a reset without a restore? Worked flawlessly for me
  • are there really people who update their phones and don't do a factory reset after it?
  • Yes there are, and its mostly because there are games that still dont have cloud saving. I have spent real money on In App Purchases and would lose it all if i hard reset. 
  • but then, that doesn't make sense for them to install a preview and don't expect to hard reset and lose their progress. it's like they want everything without wanting to sacrifice something in return but then, they complain how bad it runs. anyway I find it silly it's about "games", people seem to waste so much of their lives on games, especially mobile games. so I wouldn't understand why I want a buggy release but my progress fine, when I could reset it and get a better experience.
  • For me its super smooth without any hard reset/Soft Reset on L920...
  • I have every build, though I am going to not try to on this one and see how it goes.
  • I don't want to lose HERE Transit so I always try updating without hard reset. So far I've had to roll back to 8.1, install transit (but nothing else) and then update. Just updated from previous build (before last weeks build) and so far seems like no hard reset is needed.. Fingers crossed
  • I can't speak to transit, but Drive I have been able to get from my library after resetting.
  • Lol just got around to looking for new source for astoria pc deployment tool & wondering if this build has the files or not(on l929)
  • I can get all apps from My Library, including HERE Maps, Transit and Drive. Another app Vevo which was pulled from the store i am still able to install that app too.
  • Did a reset after installing 10572 but not this time and still have 91% battery life after 9 hours inuding the update.As for Here transit, never used the app but as mentioned, Here now and drive retain your savd data if you logon.
  • Not needed
  • Here apps are not working on win 10
  • yes me, i sometimes do and i sometimes done.  I havent for this build as im told its all good lol.  But im actually talking about restoring to, 8.1 anmd starting again.  I have actually never done or needed to do a factory reset.  Can i ask you why i should do that.  Am i doing it wrong?
  • No, you never have to do a full reset to 8.1 unless your update fails. People had to in the previous two builds because that's as literally th inky way to upgrade. But if you upgrade to the new build you have no reason whatsoever to go to 8.1.
  • I made sure my phone was plugged in during the update (because updates suck batteries dry).  I too have the Lumia Icon and my battery life is AMAZING! and i know this after 3 hours.
  • Had this build for 2 days now (Lumia 930). Batery usage is comparable to win 8.1 already. 'Hey cortana' also works fine. Already using this as a daily driver now. So far so good!
  • Every post you make on this forum/site you demonstrate your ignorance, maybe think before posting or at least say you are sorry everytime people shows you your ignorance. (not an insult, ignorant as in not knowing things and yet trying to look smart)
  • check the apps installed cause i had a battery issue 2 times in the last 6 months and each time it ended up being a no9n microsoft app lol.  It happens.  I say this caus the battery life on my 930 with this latest build is great its like it used to be on my 8.1 phone but then again it could be a little better.ive used my phone alot totay, at least been on you tube 10-14 times with 10-20 minute visits, i played 1 hour of a game and read internet for a couple of hours, ive onoly listened to 3-4 songs and ive downloaded 4-5 app updates and i was fully charged at 6am friday  now its 5 am saturday the next day and my phone is at 74% so im like wow.   Im under the belief that the icon and the 930 is prety much the same phone so id defo check your apps out.  The battery app checker thing in windows 10 will give you a idea whats using it. (well mostly lol).   hope that helps, love to hear if you get it sorted dude.
  • for me its bneen awsoem on my 930, and i tohugh the icn was the same phone, sucking balls was the 2 hours my iphone 4s used to take after a developer patch and the 6 months it took apple to fix it, i have not been in that position with microsoft on insider at all.  Actually a couple of times i saw fast battery drain and it ended up being a new app each time lol.  Lucky for me my 930 seems to have gained battery life from windows 8.1 and i tohugh 8.1 on my 830 was prety decent.  Have you tried a hard rest?.
  • Battey life sucked if the previous build too. You need to give it a day or two to stabiles