Are Microsoft phones a viable alternative to the iPhone and Android phones?

Hello readers! This will be a fairly short post in which I will compare Microsoft’s last released smartphone and it’s OS Windows 10 Mobile to the duopoly held by iOS and Android.

Firstly, if you were to ask someone on the street what phone they are using, you would likely here them say that it was either an iPhone or Android phone. But what about Microsoft? Surely it has a few users? Well, although Windows 10 Mobile has the third largest installed base, it has dropped severely since its release in 2015. The last smartphone developed by Microsoft was the Lumia 950 in 2015. Can it still compete with likes of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google’s Pixel which were released in 2016?

Microsoft Lumia 950

Hardware

  • The Lumia has 32GB internal storage and expandable memory capability of a 256GB microSD (this totals to 288GB) whereas the others only have 128GB internal storage.
  • The Lumia has a 20MP primary camera in comparison with the others that are only 12MP. However, Google’s Pixel has an 8MP secondary camera that wins over Lumia’s 5MP camera.
  • The Lumia’s battery is removable so a would say that this a win in the battery department for Microsoft’s flagship here.

Software

Apps

A bit let down for the Lumia 950 is the lack of apps. Google services are not available on Microsoft phones which means you have to either use third party apps (which are not as good as official ones) or the default web browser Microsoft Edge in order to access mobile versions of apps that are not available to download. Some popular examples of apps that are no where to found in the Store, include banks, PayPal, Wikipedia, eBay, YouTube and Reddit.

Security

The Lumia differs itself from the others with the inclusion of an iris scanner instead of a fingerprint scanner. They are all equally effective in securing the device, so all phones get a tick for security.

Mobile payments

Each OS has a mobile payment service and digital wallet available (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Microsoft Wallet). However, Microsoft Wallet only supports cards issued in United States at this time…

Other features

Probably one of the most unique and useful features that the Lumia has over the other phones is called Microsoft Continuum. Microsoft Continuum allows you to connect your Lumia 950 and connect it to a PC where you can make use of the office suite and work on the go. This feature has a lot of potential and I hope to see more innovative ideas from Microsoft.

Conclusion

To conclude this short post I have to say that although Microsoft’s Lumia 950 hardware is superior to both the iPhone SE and Google Pixel, and the OS is fairly user friendly. The lack of apps makes it nearly inaccessible (especially for banking). Hopefully, Microsoft listens to it’s user base and can get some vendors aboard to solve their problem of the availability of commonly used apps. Their hardest challenge will be getting Google to work with them if they ever do create the “Surface Phone” that many people are talking about.

1 thought on “Are Microsoft phones a viable alternative to the iPhone and Android phones?”

  1. I talked with a Microsoft rep a couple years back, and they were saying that they have a long term goal with windows to make it look and work nearly the same on all devices. I am speculating that right now Microsoft is focusing on making windows work right with all the different devices before chasing that mobile phone market.

    A couple other things. The world of computers is changing, and I believe we will be seeing some drastic changes soon. Will smart phones still be popular in a couple years? Perhaps, but with new technology such as vr, and tablet computer, we are seeing the imminent extinction of some of our favorite devices like the laptop, and the desktop monitor. Who’s to say the smartphone won’t be replaced?

    I feel like Microsoft has done a very good job of staying competent even while Apple and Google were getting all the attention at the time. Now, Apple is on the decline, and Microsoft has created some very good technologies, which could produce enough profit to get them into some other markets such as smartphones, or they could reinvent it entirely, as they have done to latptops with their surface pro (which is a really great device btw).

    Just my thoughts on the matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *