Yesterday, I took another plunge into Windows 10 Mobile technical preview. That was 24 hours after the official launch of Windows 10 for PC and tablet. The launch of Windows 10 Mobile is still months away, but I was itching to see how usable the smartphone version of Windows is at this time.
This isn’t my first time of playing with Windows 10 Mobile. I am a Windows Insider and have run it on two other smartphones in the past (here’s what it looks like on the Lumia 535 back in May.
The latest Preview build is 10.0.10166.0. Starting from the lockscreen to the homescreen, Windows 10 Mobile is fluid and fast. If Windows Phone was known for its fresh new look when it first showed up years ago, Windows 10 Mobile is an even fresher breath of air.
The new Store is now out of beta and has replaced the old Windows Phone 8.1 version. Apps are available for download, purchase and update.
What of app compatibility? All of my apps work fine, except for Dropbox. There is an update available for it in the Store, but for some reason, the update has also failed to run. Here is what the new Apps Menu looks like:
You can see a new section at the top of the page comprising of two parts: 1) A search bar, and 2) A short list of the three most recently installed apps.
Windows 10 Mobile notification menu also works fine. There’s an expandable section giving you quick access to a number of shortcuts.
Here is what the Settings Menu looks like:
And one of the biggest improvements to Windows 10 Mobile is the new network mode allowing you to peg your device to 4G Only, 3G Only, or 2G Only:
Being able to peg my network connection to 3G has greatly improved the usability of my smartphone, as I now get more stable HSPA internet connections. This feature alone is worth the weight of Windows 10 Mobile in gold.
Move over, Chrome and Safari. Microsoft’s Edge steals the thunder in the web browsing department. It is fast, fluid and renders websites excellently:
Last but not the least, there seems to be some bug with the camera (Lumia Camera). Sometimes, a slightly different version pops up and sometimes, the traditional Lumia Camera interface is what comes up. Sometimes, the shutter button works for taking photos. At other times, it does not. I can live with using the onscreen shutter button till that is fixed.
Windows 10 Mobile may still be in preview, but unless some bug that I can’t live with show up, I am keeping it running on my Lumia 830.