Will cheap Windows Phone 8. handsets really be upgradable to Windows 10 Mobile?


Up till a few minutes ago I confidently expected the vast majority of Windows Phone 8.1 handsets to be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile by early 2016.

After some testing however AllAboutWindowsPhone.com has got me worried.

Trying out the Technical Preview update on a variety of more affordable Windows Phones they report:

  • Lumia 530 – as you might expect, with just a 4GB internal disk, the upgrade just isn’t possible (‘there was a problem configuring your phone’). Even with the microSD to handle the initial download, there’s just nowhere near enough working space on the internal disk. Destined to stay on 8.1.
  • Lumia 435 – in theory, this should update perfectly. There’s (just about) enough internal disk space free, there’s microSD support, there’s a full 1GB of RAM, everything seemed to download and install properly, yet three hours later the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade had the phone stuck in a boot loop. It would show spinning gears, then reboot and then rinse and repeat and no amount of button holding and pressing helped. In the end, after much hassle, I managed to get the Microsoft Recovery Tool to reflash the original 8.1 firmware, so at least I wasn’t left with a bricked device.
  • Lumia 520 – again, this should work – and eventually did. But the process took several attempts (‘Some updates didn’t finish downloading’) and around four hours of real time.

The issue is not the amount of RAM but the amount of free storage on the handsets, with even 8 GB being iffy, even for a freshly hard reset device.

A device that has been used for a year or more likely has a lot less storage than that, leading AAWP to postulate as few as 15% of existing Windows Phones will be updated to Windows 10 Mobile.

Now of course the Windows 10 Mobile Technical Preview may be a poor test for the process, with Microsoft possibly being able to repackage the update for more limited devices, or offering the update via the desktop and USB cable. If the process is complicated in any way however uptake may still be a lot less.

Does this news worry our Lumia 520 using readers, or is it about time for a new handset in any case? Let us know below.


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