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What does the perfect Windows phone look like?

Unfortunately, there are precious few Windows phones on the market for fans with aging devices to move on to when these devices inevitably need to be replaced. As a result, users of Windows phones with broken screens, failing batteries and an assortment of other wear-and-tear and age-related ailments find themselves sniffing around the iPhone and Android looking for a new mobile companion.

This predicament and other factors got me thinking. Fellow Windows Central writers Jez Corden and Zac Bowden recently wrote pieces reflecting their passion for Windows phones and asking you, the community, why you are committed to the platform. Combined with my analyis of the state of the platform and commitment as a fan, the response from other fans has been tremendous.

This suggests that despite the challenges the Windows phone platform has and is currently enduring, there is a sizable core of fans that are in it for the long haul. You just want a new phone, that you can afford that takes full advantage of the features of Windows 10 Mobile, right?

What are the choices for Windows phone fans?

Most of us agree that there are far too few options available to a passionate community that simply loves the platform. Few they may be, but there are options. For instance, the HP Elite x3 is currently the best representative of Microsoft's Windows-on-phone-with-Continuum vision that can be found.

Most hard-core Windows phone fans see this device, and like Pavlov's dogs, begin to salivate. The price tag of $599 for a base offering up and to $1,298 for the full bundle quickly modifies that response to reflect the sobering reality that at those prices, it is simply out of reach for many people.

The Alcatel Idol 4S is also one of the newer Windows phones. It is not on par with the HP 3-in-1 beast. However, the bundled VR goggles, a premium build and decent specs that include a 21 MP camera, 64GB of expandable storage, 4GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1280 display, and Continuum, are more than enough to satisfy the lusts of most Windows phone fans. But at $470 out of pocket, the price tag is still out of reach for many fans, especially when you candidly consider the compromises associated with the app gap that many fans endure.

The HP Elite x3 and Alcatel Idol 4 S may be too expensive for many users.

T-Mobile is offering the Idol for $288 to customers with "awesome credit." But if we're, honest we must acknowledge that many people don't fall into that category. And there are many more people around the world who use a compatible GSM network but are not on T-Mobile. These individuals are likely stuck wanting a nearly-$500 smartphone that they too cannot afford.

Beyond those two devices, there are older Lumia's that can be purchased from the Microsoft Store website and Amazon, but those devices are already in the hands of most fans who can afford them. Even at currently discounted prices, most of those phones are $400 or more.

The most affordable devices, like the Lumia 735 at $129, run Windows Phone 8.1 and are a step back for fans who may want features of Windows 10 Mobile, such as Continuum. At $298 on the Microsoft Store site, the Lumia 950 likely fits a price fans would consider, but again, many fans who wanted a Lumia 950 may likely already have an aging one. They want something different to replace it with, something new.

But what type of phone has the best likelihood of fulfilling that need?

Low- and mid-range Windows phones have sustained the platform

Most Windows phone fans that frequent this site know that high-end phones such as the Lumia 950XL, 950, 1520, 1020 and even the popular 920 were not the most popular nor bestselling Windows phones.

But they were likely the most talked about in certain contexts. And when it came time for the inevitable phone war comparisons that bloggers like to write about, and fans like to argue about, we put the best representatives of our beloved platform in the ring with the iPhones and Androids that dominated the market each year. Yes, the flagships were often in the spotlight.

The Windows phone community has thrived on low- to mid-range devices over the years.

In truth, however, though those high-end flagships represented Windows phones well, they did not represent what most of us were using. Most of the Windows phone community over the years, despite the cries for high-end flagships, has thrived on low- and mid-range smartphones. You know, the affordable options.

Though sporting great specs, nice displays and unique camera technology, high-end devices never sustained, though they were important to the platform.

The long-term effects of Microsoft's low-end mobile push

The Lumia 520 with a 4-inch 480 x 800 display, dual-core 1GHz processor, a 5MP camera and other unimpressive specs, even for the time it was in the market, was the bestselling Windows phone. Like the low-end 520, other low-end and mid-range devices that demonstrated the smooth and fluid nature of the Windows Phone OS are what sustained the platform.

Do Windows phone fans really need a high-end phone?

There was a cost to Microsoft's low-end push. Due to the pervasive nature of low-end Windows phones, most consumers, and even sales associates were woefully unaware of the high-end Windows phones that better represented the platform and competed with rival flagships. I created the following Sway presentation a few years ago, in which I detailed an encounter where the impact of low-end phones was seen in a sales environment.

The popularity of low-end Windows phones painted a poor picture of what a Windows phone was in the minds of many people. They saw it as a low-end smartphone. This perception was likely exasperated by the fact that many low-end devices with just a 1GHz chip could not optimally run certain apps or could not run some apps at all.

Are low-end Windows phones hurting Microsoft's smartphone brand?

Given the platform's history, most Windows phone fans would likely be content with an affordable phone with decent specs. Is it possible to build a Windows phone that is both affordable and represents the platform well? Microsoft tried with the Lumia 830, its "affordable flagship."

But with a price tag of about $450, it missed the affordable mark for many consumers.

Balance between specs and price

What are the basic features that you are looking for in a new Windows phone? Does it need to be a price pushing high-end device? Maybe, you'd be satisfied with a low-end device that can't take advantage of Continuum but gives you the Live Tile UI and OS you have come to love.

Or maybe like Goldilocks, something "just right" is more your flavor. Maybe you don't need something too spec'd out, where the price is in orbit, or so basic that Continuum is not an option.

Maybe a mid-range phone, that does all that a Windows 10 Mobile phone is supposed to, including supporting Continuum, is what the community is hankering for. Then again, maybe not. Given the evidence of price consciousness, I think that's exactly what many of us may be content with carrying, however, as long as the phone has a sturdy and attractive build.

For a point of reference, the following chart shows the minimum requirements for Continuum for phone:

What would your ideal Windows phone look like?

Given the fact that there is a core of users still dedicated to Windows phone that passionately wants a new device, but an affordable option does not seem to exist, is there a balance of features and price that would satisfy that core?

If you could build an affordable phone that didn't compromise on important features, like some of the low- and mid-range Windows phones of the past, what would it look like and how much would you be willing to pay for it?

Remember, this isn't about converting iPhone and Android fans. This is about what type of device would meet the cost and features needs of Windows phone fans.

Let's hear your ideas. You never know who might be reading ...

Following the story

Windows phone isn't dead

Smartphones are dead

The untold app gap story

Windows Mobile and the enterprise

The Surface Phone

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

415 Comments
  • Thanks for reading folks! I know that there are many here who have their hearts set on a high-end flagship with all the bells and whistles, and that's not a problem. We believe that the Surface "phone" (ultramobile Surface) cometh. But we also realize that when it gets here it's price tag will likely be out of reach for many. Windows phones survived as long as they did by resting on the shoulders of the low- and -midrange phones. Will a capable mid-ranger with good a specs, a decent camera, Continuum and an attractive build satisfy the bulk of Windows phone fans or are you (realistically) looking for something else that you will buy when/if it launches, even if the price is astronomical? Microsoft's first-party hardware, Surface's, the device family to which the ultramobile Surface will belong, launch as very expensive products after all. What are your thoughts, let's build a Windows phone! Whatever you're looking for in specs and price. Also, don't forget to use the minimum Continuum requirements chart above for a point of reference if necessary. Alright folks LET'S TALK, BUILD and HEAR YOUR IDEA'S!
  • A home screen with Apps on it...simple. I left for Android 2 years ago and came back last year when we had ebay, PayPal, Amazon (real app), myfitnesspal, and tons of other apps that I used and I was happy I came back, but now its almost unusable with all those apps and now gas buddy and others leaving. All of this and the calendar still can't set a 2 or 3 hour reminder or even snooze an event between 15 minutes and 1 hour and you end up with a painful experience. If only Microsoft executives used Windows Phones and tried to set a 1 hour reminder for a commute that's 2 hours away, this crap would be fixed but their iPhones let them be productive. Removal of all the good parts of Windows 8.1 wasn't helpful either like keyboard, all dark Bing with City Lens, kids corner and rooms didn't help either.
  • The beauty of it is that everybody's own Windows phone is their perfect Windows phone. That's why they've bought it. To love. Most Lumias are hard not to. I am 18 and I bought my Lumia 550 and I think at the moment it is the perfect phone. Although it is very low-end, it gets a lot of my work done.
  • My dream phone?...
    0. A high end device. Ultra high end exotic. Sorry, but that's what I've always used, and as a HUGE WINDOWS PHONE FAN has fueled my interest in mobile. If I'm gonna dream, I gonna dream about what MS can possibly make, and dream BIG!. Money doesn't matter (unless it's a ridiculous $2k)... I want a true 1520 successor, four years later. This is the "Surface 1550", in a sense. Anything else is boring. Just my personal ideas and preference. I don't work for MS, so don't get your pantie's in a bunch. But, enjoy if you agree. 😂
    1. LANDSCAPE ON THE DAMN START SCREEN! FINALLY!🤓
    2. Up to $1000.00 price tag if need be.
    3. Offered through all four major US carriers.
    4. WOA 4in1 capable of running full Windows by continuum, or switching between mobile, or desktop, right on the device display. Yes, "4in1". I expect Cortana to be the centerpiece for interaction in the future, acting as a 4th aspect of mobile. True AI, a true VA.
    5. At least a 6.2" super high tech display included with a category defining form factor.
    5.1. photovoltaic display technology (solar charging display).
    5.2. Surface pen 3 support.
    6. No less than a 4kMA battery, with new battery technology.
    6.1. The fastest quick charging available.
    6.3. Dual standard, second generation, wireless charging.
    7. SD 840 worthy CPU/GPU, or beyond.
    8. At least 6GB ram
    9. One USB-C port, one full sized USB 4.0 port.
    10. DUAL SD card slots.
    10.1. At the very least 128GB onboard ROM.
    11. Iris, fingerprint, all modern biometrics.
    11.1. Bluetooth 6.0😜
    12. Surface brand build quality, design, and branding
    13. Color options! (a throwback to WP design). Red, white, blue, black, cyan, gold etc.. infused liquid magnesium chassis.
    14. Quad high quality speakers with dual dedicated internal amplification.
    14.1. At least 4 mics for HD audio recording
    15. VR/AR right out of the box (justifying some cost)
    16. New 41MP state of the art rear camera technology; higher resolution, if need be. High resolution video capture.
    16.1. 8 spectrum, dual element (4 spectrum per element), flash... You'd be able to strap this thing to your front bumper, and cruise at night.
    16.2. TWO user assignable "camera buttons". Both of which can be assigned to open any app, or perform any task.
    16.3. Physical, illuminated, Start, back, and search, keys. Bring those back❗
    17. 8mp front camera, superior video capture.
    17.1. GG6 glass technology, or sapphire.
    17.2. Water resistant, at the least.
    17.3. Illuminated Windows logo on rear😮💥
    ...........
    18.... A very huge, and effective, marketing campaign. A device this functional should be used by more than just a few fans. This is a true Ultra Mobile Surface PC, with FULL PC power.🌈💜🌈💜🌈💜🌈💜😎
  • My dream phone is simple.  L950XL with SD835, CShell and 2 foldable screens.
  • My dream phone has nothing to do with my current 950.. And, yours shouldn't either. You should have higher, much higher, aspirations.
  • You got a long list, but most of them are just evolutionary upgrades.  They won't do much to help selling WPs.  The app gap issue still remains.  I'm generally happy with the L950XL's specs.  It could use more memory when W10M becomes 64-bit.  But I think that CShell (RS3) and the rumored foldable screens can be a revolutionary upgrade for WP.  It could solve the app gap issue for most of the WP users.  When the phone is unfolded, it turns into a 8"-9" tablet.  You can run W10 UWP apps and Edge web apps comfortably in the tablet mode.  You don't need to find and wait for WP apps.  My banking, finance, retails, airline, hotel, travel info, etc. can all be found on web sites.  The UWP apps will keep coming to serve all the W10 users.  If the 6" Surface phone will indeed be equipped with 2 foldable screens, it will be a very successful product among the ever expanding W10 user base.  Unfortunately, it didn't make to your list.  It happens to be the most important and critical one feature for a future dream phone.  At least that is my dream phone.
  • Yes, of course some type of innovative category defining device (foldable screen, or whatever else MS can come up with)... That's pretty much what I mean when I say "Surface Phone", and like I mentioned a 4in1 form factor.... I mention a 6.2" screen because that's the minimum amount of screen area I'm interested in..... So, yes, at this point we're all on point with what a "Surface Phone" means.. We just have no idea what it means yet. Lol. I'll Just add that aspect to my list. Thanks for the reminder.
  • OhhhEmmmGeee!! ... this sounds freekin' amazing!  I'll take one, please!    
  • Well, me too😂😂😂
  • Your dream phone will probably cost more than $1000 - are you still interested?
  • Yes. I said that in bullet point 0., and in 2.0.... It's a Surface family device. What do we expect?... Of course, MS could make multiple "Ultra Mobile" devices, coming in at different price levels.. But, this one definitely wouldn't be the entry level "Surface Phone".
  • I'd purchase a phone like that. The illuminated Windows Logo on the rear would be nice and definitely will help stick out. With that illuminated Windows logo, I would push for the phones to be used as props in as many movies and TV shows possible along with an ad campaign that would make Apple and Samsung vomit due to the sheer level of exposure. They need to seriously invest for the future. Also tired of seeing them market their services with an Android phone or iPhone as the only device they show. They also need a simultaneous launch on ALL CARRIERS TO INCLUDE VERIZON! Obviously Nadella needs to make some personal visits with the CEOs of major app developers. Go hard or go home.
  • Agree.... And, I'm still adding features to the list.
    Really makes you realize how amazing our current smartphones are. I mean, they already have at least 90% of the things I mentioned. These little things do a lot; even your most low end smartphone in 2017.
  • Just saw this trailer and spotted a Lumia 950!!! https://youtu.be/DzfpyUB60YY?t=1m15s dreams do come true!
  • Dream phone: Dual boots Android 7 or can virtualize it. Cause sometimes, "apps."
    ​Full Disk Encryption for both sides.
    ​Fingerprint scanner. I love the 950 iris scanner, but outside gloves in the winter, fingerprints are faster.
    ​AMOLED for Glance / always on display. Medium and Big for different size people.
    Apt-X Bluetooth audio driver. Seriously Lumia 950 wtf :(
    ​Hi-Fi DAC and 3.5mm headphone jack.
    SD Card.
    ​USB-C with quick charge.
    ​3300+ battery.
    As far as removable vs sealed, i could go either way. Water resistance is great but so is being able to replace worn out batteries.
    ​Supports MF'ing MirrorLink so that we can compete with Android Auto.
    ​Regular and Wide Angle 12-14MP cameras.
    Supports all US carriers. At least the big 2 gimmie a break. ​Software - For the love of god, finish integrating Skype with SMS / Desktop, let Outlook tags actually show up in Outlook mobile, complimentary Groove subscription, bring MS Movies & TV to other platforms in my house to compete with Amazon. ​Even more important: Bring Edge extensions like adblock to the mobile version of Edge, and really up your game on approving extensions for the Store. If Continuum is going to succeed, the mobile browser needs to be powerful. No adblock on a browser is annoying for mobile consumers and unacceptable for business power users running Continuum. ​UC Browser and Opera are not acceptable ad-blocking replacements for any sensisitive work compared to Edge because of their ties to Chinese government (Alibaba and Qihoo). Design:
    ​I really love the design on the LG G6 (metal body, plastic bumpers for drops, rounded screen corners, thin enough for 1 hand). Price:
    ​$500-700. Only because of the Android. No one in quantity will pay over 500 for a Windows-only phone unless apps get much better.  
  • I have just arranged to return my elite x3 , desk dock and lap dock due to hw problems. I've switched to an LG V20 and surface pro 4. So pleased I did. The spec of the v20 is everything you said you want in a Windows 10 phone.
  • Not really.  I have an LG V20 as a test phone and I find it slower and less useful than my 950XL.  The only thing it is better at is apps, and even then that means your apps are spread all over the multiple screens.  I can get more information on one glance on my 950XL than I can on my LG V20.
  • Hmm I've had an elite x3, 950, 950xl, 640, 1520, 930, 920 and omnia 7. The LG V20 is no slower than any of these. In fact with superior apps the actual task time is reduced and the experience is more complete. The Bluetooth connectivity experience is awful in Windows 10 mobile, which was a huge bugbear of mine.
  • That's pants you are having them issues. I had a lumia 950xl the phone it's self i loved and did not have any issues with it but when PayPal app was dropped i needed to move away as i use this app alot. Moved to the lgg5 and for my a very underrated phone. I miss the 950xl screen size but not had one issue with the G5. Only small issue i had was the LG keyboard it felt to small for my hands i got gboard and it's very close to wimos keyboard. At this moment in time my next phone is looking like the LG g6 as it has the missing bits i want with the my next phone unless Microsoft come up with a phone that blows away the g6 and also brings back the apps i need. For me windows mobile is the best os on the market for phones but it lacks apps i need.
  • Try SwiftKey on your g5. Microsoft bought the developer behind it a whilst ago. It's on par with W10m keyboard.
  • "Bluestacks"......
    WOA.
  • A 640xl like device with better specs would be the perfect mid range phone today.
  • The HP isn't the nicest phone: it's just too big and bulky. The Alcatel is the nicest, and sells for just $288 (no need for "awesome credit") or unlocked for $400-450. At half the price, it's a no brainer between the two. The 950 is nice for the camera. Personally I would just want a 5" phone with a nice camera and a chassis like the Alcatel or HTC phones.
  • A 5" phone with at least mid ranged specs whose radios support all major carriers. I'm easy.
  • 1020 with 256gb storage 4gb ram 835 and APPS!!!!!!!! I am in 1000000%. I would sell my iPhone for 100 bucks to get that windows phone. Apps have to be on par with iPhone in order to work however.
  • Not talking about my dream phone but what I think Microsoft should bring out first is a PC that also works as a phone and not worry about the cost. The rich and trendy will define what is hip/cool and like the Surface that put Apple to shame recently, the people will jump on board. If you confuse them with too much the masses will buy cheap and bad/ fake news will follow. The first thing Microsoft should put out is the ultimate pocket device. Then make people want it.
  • Don't forget that Microsoft has OEM partners that can put out a phone. Microsoft *will* stick to the Surface model and bring out a device that sets the bar and defines a category...a ultramobile PC that has telephony. Its possible for an OEM partner to come out with a mid ranger that caters to a segment of the fan base. Now if that midranger is a poor representative of the platform it, as low-end phones did in the past, give the wrong image of Windows phones. Conversely, if it represents the platform well, an affordable phone in many hands would be good for the platform.
  • Yes I agree Jason, that is what made Samsung bigger than Apple but first things first. You need to create a buzz and make something that people desire, even if they can only dream about it. I think it comes down to gaining respect first and yes you could very well do that with a mid ranger but I feel it would be better at this point for Microsoft to show that they can make the best device that has ever been and then bring out a mid range device. I use a L650 and a L730 before that so I am definitely hip to the mid range. For me it's all I need and I think the L650 is a great design for a phone. With the aluminum trim, speakers pushed to the bezel, super thin and a removable back in a 5 inch size. Not too big and not too small. I also think that 1 GB of ram is enough to run any phone but a mid range with 2 GB of ram that could included Continuum would be killer.
  • Jason, when you say "ultra mobile" do you indeed mean "pocketable"?... Just want to clear this up.
  • I would love to go back to a good mid range Windows phone, but with the apps that I need disappearing or becoming less than useless. I don't see me returning to the platform especially with Microsoft not even trying to keep its own apps usable.
  • Try web apps. Sometimes they are good replacements and they don't take up storage, which can be a good thing phone with low storage.
  • For people to really want something, MS needs to market it. No marketing, no sales, then goodbye surface phone. We have seen this all too many times in the past.
  • Hey Mr. Catfish! any more updates on MS wearables? 2017 maybe?
  • Why would they make wearables when they have no mobile devices? I wouldn't expect any wearables until they have something mobile.
  • Thank you for asking. RIght now, MS is being a pain in the ass. Their plan has slipped sideways regarding an acquisition. Nonetheless, they are trying. The device we worked on is still up in the air much to our chagrin. It was supposed to be released at the end of this year, Q3, to be exact.
  • gotchya. thanks for the update. bummer nothing goes smoothly.
  • This is something I still cannot understand. If they do not have a strong (I mean every f***ing where) marketing campaign, their Chief Marketing Officer needs to be fired. "No one uses Windows phones" is the common thing. I wonder why... Can't sell something no one knows about. Everyone I have come in contact with, literally eyeballs my phone when I pull it out with many asking about it. People are tired of iOS and Android. If Microsoft shows they are serious when it's launch time by pushing a STRONG advertisement campaign, devs will take notice and begin developing for the next big thing.
  • pointless if it cannot do what iphones can do now while mobile!  Simple.
  • IMHO, any PC or tablet that has a GSM LTE radio must be able to run Android in emulation. The best of both worlds on an 8-inch screen would be perfect for me. An "adaptable storage" concept similar to Marshmallow would be very useful in the low-end market, especially if you are going to have #1. Add a radio to an existing Win 10 tablet, such as the Nu Vision inexpensive version.
  • So, are there devices out there that will be able to update to full Windows 10 on ARM. I assume that the HP Elite and Alcatel may be have the specs required. Most windows phone curently on the market would not be auitable for Wndows 10. This will start to look like another Microsoft refresh. I would like new device, but would need to be sure it could take Windows 10 on ARM .
  • Nope.  Neither have the Snapdragon 835.  The Elite x3 v2 will have the 835...so that's the only possible candidate.  Though, if you listen to WC Podcast 40, Alex & Dan suspect Win10 on Arm may be reserved for small tablets like the x3 v2, where as Mobile would continue on as is. Nobody but MS really knows, and that changes with the wind too.
  • Which makes it even more difficult, if you're an enthusiast considering a higher end Win10M phone now, to pull the trigger. What's the likelihood that the next major mobile OS release will run on existing hardware? I'd like to believe that Win10M will continue to be developed as the base of Win10 going forward running UWP apps. But it's reasonable to be wary based on precedent. I'm in that situation now; I'd like to try get a new device with Continuum support, but I really want mutiwindow support that I thought would be coming in RS2, but it sounds like that's pushed off to at least RS3. That's far enough out that I think I'll just hold off for now and wait.
  • Jason, My ideal low to midrange Windows phone would have a snapdragon 600 series processor, at least 2 GB RAM, a 5-inch 720 or 1080p display, and be relatively pleasing to the eye and durable. The price would need to be anywhere from $120 - $250. The technology is there to have a decently spec'd, low cost device. Just look at the number of decently spec'd unlocked Android phones one can buy on Amazon for that price. The problem is getting an OEM to make a device like this. The only OEM Windows 10 Mobile devices that have come out here in the states have been met with lackluster enthusiasm. The low-end Lumia 550 and the midrange 650 are all but gone. Plus, the 650 really should have had 2GB RAM. The Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL with Windows 10 was a neat phone in concept (I am currently using one for the time being), but the quality of this device is sub par to say the least. It performs decently, but the speaker is terrible. It has very poor audio and call quality, and the camera is abysmal. Needless to say, T-Mobile has since cancelled this short-lived device. Unfortunately, the situation that the remaining OEMs are in is that interest is waning in the platform, despite the small, yet ardent fan base. Look at NuAns. The Neo was over priced. The kick starter failed. Ultimately, NuAns switched to Android due to the uncertainty Microsoft has given them in Windows Mobile. With the inevitable switch to full Windows 10 on ARM, if I was an OEM, I would not touch Mobile with a ten foot pole. Thus, fans find themselves in a bit of a sticky situation, especially those who are price conscious, with most of those price conscious fans begrudgingly moving to Android. Yes, they may use all Microsoft apps on that new Android device, and that is a whole other issue. It used to be, "Well, if you want to use Microsoft apps and services then a Windows device is what you must have". Then the narrative shifted to, "Well, the experience is best on Windows". Now, the shift has been made to, "Well, Windows lags behind the other MS apps on Android and iOS". If I cared about apps, why would I use Windows at this point, when I could have all the best MS apps, plus the best of the mobile ecosystem, for cheaper, by going Android?Now, I think Windows 10 Mobile is more secure than Android, but at the end of the day, I don't think that matters to most. I guess what I am trying to say by this long rant is that I really liked Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. However, I feel that the future of Mobile, with full Windows on ARM on the way, is the future Microsoft envisions, and unfortunately, I think this future precludes low to midrange devices for the time being.
  • Jason, Thank you for this article. I've had two Windows phones, both Lumina, and had to quit using both for the same reason. The front glass. After I bought my second Windows, Lumina 1560 (I think), I even asked the salesman if I could buy a case that covered the front glass. He replied that I did not need one, as it was protected by 4th generation guerilla glass or something. I dropped it once and shattered the front glass. And could not get it replaced anywhere near Mobile, AL. I loved my Windows phones. I loved the size. I loved the live tiles. Particulary, the live tile pictures. No other phone, including the two you mention above, offer tiles that large, even when using the smaller tile, easy to see and easy to use. And there were plenty of apps to load, most of which were offered free of charge. Until I dropped it and saw how easy it was to shatter the front glass and then could not get the glass replaced, I adored my Windows phone. They are easily the best phones on the market. But until cases are offered to protect them, especially ..... the front glass, I have to shy away from getting another one. Thank you, Cathi
  • A High end device that has a dedicated camera button. I typically use a phone for several years, replacing failing parts myself with parts when available. In the simplest sense, latest soc, the specs of L930, glance, msd card slot in L920 unibody design but has a user replaceable battery, with a dedicated camera button.
  • A good Windows phone would ve a combination between the Nokia 1520 and the HP Elite X3 that I have now.
    Good power, fast, good memory and a battery that lasts two days.
    Definitely a high end phone.
    Thanks a lot.
  • I just want something that isn't compromised in some way. The idol 4s pretty much gets there but then has no NFC , 1440p screen and a weak camera. Not to mention it's not even available across the majority of the planet.
    It's also interesting that there's a perception that windows phone was all about the low end. That I'd say it's all due to poor execution of every flagship after the L920. Everything released felt like last years specs at this years prices and that just isn't going to fly for someone in the market for a flagship class device.
  • Jason, the 735 on Verizon IS Win 10 without being on Insider.
  • If you depend on partners you get what they want. HP want a business phone. Alcatel used the Android phone they had and put Windows 10 Mobile on it. The role of the flagship product is aspiration. The same role as a Surface device. If Microsoft believes in it's mobile OS it needs a first party flagship and it needs to produce it annually.  Of course there need to be lower priced alternatives. At this point WP needs to be like OnePlus - the outsider selling via viral marketing, fun features and value. Fast charging and long battery life are missing from many manufacturers. Unfortunately WP needs apps. If Microsoft believe in UWP then Microsoft apps ought to highlight what the platform can do and the Windows Store needs to be developer friendly and be a place where the table top developer can reallty feel at home.  Just my opinion.
  • At this point I'm less interested in the specs and more interested in the OS. My 950's specs are outstanding and does everything great. I just want to see Microsoft develop stuff like Continuum and Live Tiles and all that cool stuff to make a really polished OS that attracts developer support and gets the platform back on track.
  • Execute Android apps. Execute all W10 apps. Let user decide which fields of the Contact are displayed on screen for incoming calls (or just add company name to be shown) Bring back good old Nokia Profiles to create bundled sttings for different use situations (e.g. office, meeting, home, outdoor, night etc.), with rules based on parameters like GPS location, calendar, time, WLAN SSID etc. (see Situation app) Battery capacity must improve alot. Besides, talk time is a useless parameter for today's heavy-duty road warriors.
  • Just make a sub-150 USD Windows Phone for the masses, whomever the OEM (looking at you WhartonBrooks) that should keep the interest of the platform buoyed so the Enterprise can be convinced to splurge on the ultramobiles For now, let me mourn with my 130USD Android phone. At least I know I can still access the Microsoft ecosystem from here