Phone recommendation for W-10 Mobile


I updated my 635 to Windows 10 Mobile some time ago. It was pretty obvious that it was a bit overwhelmed. It’s always been pretty slow with 10.

On the other hand, I’m far from a phone power-user. My phone is primarily my, well, phone. I actually talk to people on it mostly. I do some texting, but not a lot. I’ll use the GPS and maps to get me around at times. I’ll use the weather app to check the weather, and rarely browse the web. I’m over 50 and using a damn cell phone for most anything productive just plain hurts my eyes. I joke that I’ll never get caught texting while driving; I can’t see my phone without my reading glasses and I can’t see the road with them!

All this is just a long way of saying I could care less about the “app-gap”, and prefer Windows phones. So thanks in advance for your “Windows Phone is dead” comments. I appreciate your concern.

Back to my problems with my 635. While it is on the recommended list for 10, only the 1GB version is and, of course, mine is the 512mb version. I’m running into some obvious signs of this limitation. My camera app, for instance will start, then immediately shut down, same for GPS, and I’ve even had the texting app do the same.

So the question is, on a budget of less than $150 what would you recommend? I don’t need the fastest, most modern thing or a 20 mega-pixel camera, just something that will comfortably run 10 Mobile and a few basic apps. It MUST be unlocked and work on GSM (AT&T via a third party provider).

Right now I’ve found a refurbished 735 on Amazon for $129. It has a quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. (Seems like a 735 is just a 730 with LTE, or am I missing something?)

Any other ideas?

Comments (23)

23 responses to “Phone recommendation for W-10 Mobile”

  1. devSpeed

    I love windows phone but the further we go the harder it is going to be for people to stay with it. When there are no new phones coming it is time to move on.

  2. jean

    I did keep my previous 950XL (which I replaced with a new one) with a spiderweb tattoo (broken glass but only on the lower left corner - still useable) if you care to use this and/or have it fixed drop me an email ([email protected]) with your postal address... and it's yours

  3. jwpear

    I can vouch that the 735 will work on AT&T. I had one on their go plan for my son. Although, I find W10M to be sluggish on it. It ran WP8 so much better. I have a drawer full of old WP's, including a 640. I haven't tried W10M on it, but I suspect it would not run very well. The only one that really runs W10M reasonably well is the Icon.

  4. Cakebatyer

    Remember the list of devices being supported going forward is small. The cheapest on the list is the Lumia 640, but I have 2 and wouldn't give them away, as they are soooooo slow and laggy on W10M. If I chose to buy a cheap Windows Phone today, it absolutely would be a used Lumia 1520, probably the last beloved windows phone. It also runs W10M aImost as well as the 950s. I see plenty of them on ebay for under $150.

  5. Chris_Kez

    I would hit the Marketplace in the Windows Central forum:

    There's a good community and good deals to be had. As far as specific devices, I might look for a used 640, 830 or 1520 since these were sold by AT&T and should offer zero hassle in setting up on the network. They'll also run W10 decently on Insider builds. If you can stretch the budget a tiny bit you can probably get a 950. If you're not in a hurry, a well-written Want To Buy post might even net you a decent condition 950 for $150.

    EDIT: Almost forgot about the Lumia 650, which was sold by Cricket Wireless, an AT&T MVNO. You could probably get a used one cheap.

  6. lordbaal1

    Go with the Lumia 640. You can get one for around $50. The lumia 640XL is around $100

  7. h8zgray

    Hi Ezzy, thanks for the post. I too am sticking with W10 Mobile via my Lumia 950 XL. Currently is selling or posting auctions for Lumia 950 unlocked for 150-200 USD, that would be my humble recommendation as the platform is most likely to be supported at least for the intermediate term with regards to Windows 10 Mobile updates and such. At the price point you mentioned, you could still get a lot of use out of a 950 even though it most likely will not run the upcoming Windows on ARM. Hope this helps, best of luck.

  8. Tony Barrett

    If you're phone is just a phone, and you have no actual reason to stick with WM, then the answer is don't buy another WM device. It's a dead-end decision. If you use MS apps, they're all on other platforms, and updated more often too. MS saying they're 'committed to mobile' doesn't mean they're committed to Windows Mobile, as we're seeing.

  9. jean

    Lumia 650 at 112 CHF (again roughly 112 USD)

  10. jean

    Note: here in switzerland they do sell Lumia 640XLs at CHF 142 (which is roughly 142 USD)

  11. Ezzy Black

    One more thing I have noticed, and many don't seem to have seen it.

    Windows Phones are getting more expensive. Gut feeling is 30% or so in the last 5 or 6 months. That 735 at $125 was $80 three months ago. Is this a thing now?

  12. TechnologyTemperance

    Less than $150 is going to be tough. Are you trying to stay with phones that have an Win-10 upgrade path? The 735 isn't on that list for "official support" if that matters to you. I'd say whatever you get is going to be only incrementally better than what you have (unfortunately) with the limited options and pricepoints that Win10Mobile offers. Admire the dedication and good luck!

    • Ezzy Black

      In reply to TechnologyTemperance:

      I guess I'm missing the idea of "upgrade path". I really just want a phone that will run 10 Mobile now.

      I need a definition of "upgrade path." It would really be idiotic of me to set a budget of $150 if I wanted a phone that would last 3 or 4 years. I'm more looking at 18 months.

      I don't mind spending more, these days, (I'm typing on a computer with a Core2 Quad processor bought in 20007) if would be a bit more "future proof". But nothing seems to be. Certainly many seem to think "Windows-on-ARM" is the next big thing for Windows Mobile. So really I was looking at the next year or two is all.

      • TechnologyTemperance

        In reply to Ezzy Black:

        Should have been more specific. The creators update (which is out now) isn't supported on the 735. Though you can get it with the insiders build. If getting to the latest Win10 build that is out right now isn 't important to you, then you don't need to worry about any "upgrade path" mentioned.

  13. AnOldAmigaUser

    If you are staying with Windows Phone, and it will certainly work for you given your use.  If you can go to $199, then the 650 would be my choice, a bit more in every way than the 550, so probably more likely to be useful a little longer. It is also GSM compatible. 

    I still use a 950XL that I got on a BOGO offer. Like you, I am not really worried about applications.

  14. DaveP

    You can't go wrong with the Lumia 550. I love it - a great phone at a great price.

    It is fully supported with Creator's Update and beyond. I've been running Insider fast builds on it all the time. No problems.

    4.7" HD display

    5MP camera

    8GB storage/expandable to 200GB via microSD

    Compatible with GSM carriers3

    Windows 10

    Currently out of stock at the Microsoft Store (but add it to your wish list!) $139 unlocked

    Go figure, it's cheaper on Amazon unlocked. $130 (that includes shipping!)

    Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do. If any questions or concerns. respond to this comment. Cheers! :)

    • Ezzy Black

      In reply to DaveP:

      I did follow your Amazon link. Unfortunately it looks like the 550 has much the same problems as my 635. Only a few reviews, so it's hard to judge.

      • Wolf

        In reply to Ezzy Black:

        I have a 950XL, but my wife has been using the 550 since it came out, and she loves it. She hasn't had any major problems and, like you, she isn't too concerned about apps; mostly texts and phone calls.

      • DaveP

        In reply to Ezzy Black:
        The thing is, I've had none of the problems with the 550 as you did with the 635. I've had my phone for almost a year. It has 1 GB ram which is plenty.

  15. ben55124

    Lots of Lumia 950s on ebay -- if you must still go WP, may as well go with one of the best at fire sale prices.

    • Ezzy Black

      In reply to ben55124:

      I do see one there for $179 buy-it-now that's in reasonable condition. I also saw those leather backs on Amazon for just $17 as well.

      I do want a 950, I guess we all do if we want a Windows phone.

      Must consult the boss to see if I can stretch the budget....

  16. Ezzy Black

    Thanks for all the help guys. Eventually I found a new, in-the-box, unlocked 830 for $120 on Amazon. It was listed as an "international version" but it has a US charger. I had enough left in the budget to get a Qi charger as well. Hopefully that will help with my forgetfullness in plugging in my phone at night :p

    I had a bit of a problem when buying it because I really, really didn't want a neon green phone. Turns out you get a complete black phone, it just has an extra green back in the box. So, that was pretty cool.

    Installing 10 mobile on it now, but so far it seems like it will work just fine for me.