A trip with Windows 10 for phones

Windows 10

Windows 10 for phones is still in its early development stages, meaning it isn’t exactly ready for prime time just yet. Still, with the technical preview now available for Windows Insiders with a Lumia 6xx, 730 and 830, I decided to give it a test run as my primary driver on a trip I took recently.

Using pre-release software as your daily driver is never a good idea, especially if the device you’re running the software on is vitally important to you. I recently traveled to Wales, a place I have never been before, using transport I dislike. I traveled from London to Cardiff via train, and upon arriving at Cardiff I realized getting to my hotel was going to be more difficult than I thought.

Luckily, with the help of my smartphone, I was able to navigate myself around the many train lines and platforms and streets, and eventually found myself safe at my hotel. The device I was using is a Lumia 635 running the first iteration of the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Although buggy and slow at some times, the Lumia 635 performed pretty well overall with Windows 10 and was able to do everything I expect my primary smartphone to do. I used the Maps app to navigate Cardiff, Internet Explorer to check which trains were going where, and of course the texting and calling functions of any smartphone to stay in contact with my loved ones, letting them know I hadn’t yet died in a horrible train accident.

Interestingly, considering my primary smartphone before the Lumia 635 was a 930, I was worried that the ‘downgrade’ would skew my experience with using this lower-end device. Surprisingly, it hasn’t. In fact, I really, really like the Lumia 635 running Windows 10, and going back to my Lumia 930 with Windows Phone 8.1 seems like a downgrade in itself.

I’m definitely missing the new actionable notifications and notification center, it’s something I absolutely love in Windows 10 and is one of the main reasons I plan on upgrading my Lumia 930 the second I get the chance. Being able to answer text messages directly from the app you’re currently in is so convenient, especially on the lower-end devices where it can sometimes take longer to switch between apps.

Overall, Windows 10 for phones looks to be a very strong contender in the smartphone market. With more features and universal apps on the way, Windows 10 for phones can only get better.

*Your experiences may vary. I do not recommend using pre-release software as a primary driver.

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