Trying the latest Windows Insider build on a Lumia 950 XL running Windows 10 on ARM

Trying the latest Windows Insider build on a Lumia 950 XL running Windows 10 on ARM

Back in January I dusted off my old Lumia 950 XL phone and installed the ARM based version of Windows 10 on it (Windows on ARM). This gives you the full version of Windows 10 on the 950 rather than Windows 10 Mobile that the Lumia 950 XL shipped with. This means you can run full Windows 10 programs like Microsoft Edge, you have the full command prompt and even apps like the new Chromium Microsoft Edge.

Since I wrote about my experiences in January, the team behind the project have improved the driver support so I thought I would see how it how the project had progressed and I installed the latest Windows Insider Preview build on the device (18898).

The installation process worked much better this time but without any bluescreens and the result is a much-improved experience.

The main issues with the original installation is that you could not charge the phone while running Windows 10 which I am pleased to say has been fixed. This is certainly a good thing as the battery drain is still high, about three hours with the screen on and about 13 hours on connected standby.

Another great fix is Windows can now see the LTE modem so you can use with a SIM card for mobile data. I had no problem picking up a 4G signal to get mobile data. I could not however use it as a phone, the phone app showed up in my app list . There may be a way of getting the app installed but I didn’t get it working.

Bluetooth works fine but I could not get the volume control, camera or rotation sensor to work.

The performance of the device is actually very useable, apps like Microsoft Edge, Twitter and Skype work fine. The Chromium based Microsoft Edge installed but I found that to be a lot slower than the built in Microsoft Edge. This maybe something to do with x64 emulation on ARM processors.

As I said back in January there isn’t a real point to installing the full version of Windows 10 on a 950 XL but is an interesting challenge and great to see up and running. I now have a 6 inch always connected Windows 10 PC.

If you want to have a go yourself head over to the WOA project on Github

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