Best Windows Phones in the Philippines 2018
Today, the smartphone landscape is defined by Google and Apple, with the majority of phones running Google's Android operating system along with a significant number of iPhones running Apple's iOS. But just a few years ago there was a third party to this duopoly: the Windows Phone. While nowhere as common as they used to be (and they were never terribly prolific even in their heyday) there are still an extant sample of Windows Phones surviving into 2018.
About Windows Phones
The Windows Phones started way back in the 90's long before the advent of the iPhone. Smartphones back then weren't the big candy bar screens we know today, but were a strange blend of screen and input options drawing a lot of inspiration from the popular PDAs of the time like the Palm series of devices. The first iteration of these devices were known as Pocket PCs and ran Windows CE, which was the platform around which all the later Windows Mobile versions were based up until the big jump to Windows Phone in 2010.
A Brief History of Windows Mobile
The Windows Mobile went through several iterations before being replaced by the modern Windows Phone operating system in 2010 as a response to the success of the iPhone and Android. The Windows Phone 7, which picked up the fight from Windows Mobile 6.5 in a post-iPhone world, greatly updated the Windows Mobile experience from the archaic and non-intuitive Palm OS style to the more organic and elegant fluidity of iOS, and kept Windows relevant on the mobile platform for many years. The modern Windows Phone OS scrapped the stylus that was the defining characteristic of the old Windows Mobile devices from the Windows CE family, just as the iPhone did. Windows Phone then went through several iterations, moving from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1 and finally Windows 10 Mobile in 2015 following Satya Nadella's ascension as Microsoft's CEO.
Windows Phone Features
The Windows Mobile was known for its tile-based interface, which allowed for a dynamic home screen that had native support for badges, notifications and other moving components, and we see this design surviving into Windows 8 and eventually Windows 10. Windows Phones were also generally seen as very light on the hardware, with little energy use and minimal bloat. You could run a very sophisticated GUI on Windows Phone on much humbler hardware than a comparable Android phone or even an iPhone. Windows Phone also had its own application ecosystem similar to Android's Play Store and Apple's App Store, but developers didn't hop onto the platform like they did for Android's or Apple's platforms, mostly due to the lack of market penetration. It simply wasn't worth it for most developers.
The Windows Phones suffer from the lack of app support, but generally are great for business and enterprise users for their productivity perks, not the least of which is Microsoft's Continuum feature, which lets you use your phone as your desktop or laptop PC. There are obvious benefits to this including the simplicity of just using one device on the go or at home or in the office as your productivity device, and if there's one big compelling reason to pick one up, it's this ability to seamlessly go from mobile phone to laptop to desktop all on the same device.
The Fall of Windows Phone
Microsoft cites the lack of market penetration and lack of support from app developers as the main reason why the plug was pulled on Windows Phone, and this is a shame considering the strengths of this platform. In 2017, Microsoft officially pulled the plug on Windows 10 Mobile, marking the official end of Windows Phone. The devices we have today are still holdouts from that era, but they still make great smartphone devices that have excellent battery life, fast performance, and for many models they had some really amazing photography cameras that were arguably much more advanced and better than their Android and iPhone contemporaries.
The Best Windows Phones of All Time
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is widely-regarded as the best Windows Phone ever made. With a bright 5.7-inch AMOLED display, blazing fast performance with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and 3GB of RAM, a superb Carl-Zeiss camera and support for Windows Continuum to use your smartphone as a desktop computer, the Lumia 950 XL was a great device that ultimately suffered from nothing other than the lack of strong app ecosystem.
HP Elite X3
HP finally created a culmination of Microsoft's design philosophy with the Elite X3. Although it lacked the bombastic camera the Lumia 950 XL had, it was the last hurrah for Windows Phone, sporting a top-of-the-line Snapdragon processor, a big beautiful display, amazing battery life and IP67 certification, something Lumia devices never had. It also made full use of Microsoft's Continuum, letting you use it as a desktop along with a dock to turn it into a laptop, and the ability to run legacy Windows 32-bit applications right off the phone.
Microsoft Lumia 650
The Lumia 650 was an affordable Lumia that really put the power of Windows Phone into a phone well within the reach of anyone looking to get a handset. While not as fast and as powerful as other high-end Windows Phones, the Lumia 650 stood out as a premium-looking phone even on a shoestring budget. It's the single-most accessible Windows Phone around and it provided surprisingly great battery life.
Available Windows Phones in the Philippines
Let's take a look at the best Windows Phones you can still get in the country today. These phones are still fairly easy to find on the local market, even though most of them are a few years old by now. Pricing may change over time, and some may suddenly be harder to find, but you can generally count on these options if you're looking to find a great Windows Phone.
Microsoft Lumia 950
The Lumia 950 was among the last Lumia phones to come out from Microsoft's line, and is the smaller version of the Lumia 950 XL. The last of Nokia's Windows 10 Mobile phones, it sports a 5.2-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, the Lumia 950 had great specs back in 2016 and still runs fast today. The huge 20-megapixel Carl Zeiss lens camera at the rear take some impressive shots, a smaller 5-megapixel camera up front and a 3,000mAh battery round up the phone's features. The main distinguishing feature is still there: Microsoft's Continuum, and it lets you use the phone as a desktop replacement.
HP Elite X3
The Elite X3 is the last great Windows Phone to come out, and while sadly there won't be any more following it, HP did an amazing job for this swan song. It combined a quality metal body with a huge for its time 5.96-inch QHD AMOLED display, sporting the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The phone also had a capable 16-megapixel f/2.2 camera, an 8-megapixel selfie camera, and a large 4,150mAh battery to keep it going all day. It also had Microsoft's Continuum feature, which allows you to turn it into a desktop PC. To go a step further, HP also offers the Workspace service, which lets the phone run legacy PC Windows 32-bit programs like Photoshop or Chrome. The phone runs Windows 10 Mobile and is also much more affordable these days than it used to be.
Alcatel ONETOUCH Fierce XL Windows 10
This budget Windows Phone from Alcatel can still be found today for a really good price. It was Alcatel's first Windows 10 phone, and that set it apart from Alcatel's huge stable of affordable Android phones. It has a 5.5-inch HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a surprisingly capable 8-megapixel main camera. The front camera is 2-megapixels, and it has a 2,500mAh battery to keep the power on. While lacking the power to process Continuum and Windows Hello, Alcatel's entry-level handset had a bright blue backing that was typical of the Nokia line of Lumia phones, and it has all the other Windows 10 Mobile perks like Cortana.
Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5
One of the few local handsets to sport Windows Phone, this Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 combines a low entry-level price with a surprisingly good polycarbonate design framed with a chrome finish, giving the device a much more premium look than you'd expect at this segment. It has a 5-inch HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a pair of 8-megapixel and 2-megapixel cameras for the front and back respectively, and a 2,100mAh battery. Cherry Mobile's Alpha line has always been the Windows Phone line, and the Prime 5 is one of, if not the, best handsets Cherry Mobile produced for Windows 10 Mobile.
Nokia Lumia 930
The Lumia 930 was the previous Lumia flagship before the 950 series, and was the first phone that really had the complete package to challenge the flagship Androids and iPhones of its time. With a 5-inch full HD AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 20-megapixel Carl Zeiss lens for its main camera, the Lumia 930 was an impressive device whose only main drawback was its lack of apps in the ecosystem against its competitors. It had a smaller 1.2-megapixel front camera and a 2,420mAh battery, which may seem on the smaller side, but this was 2014 and selfie-phones weren't a thing yet, and Windows Phone 8.1 was really good at power management. The smallish-looking battery will easily last you a day, and its shiny and bright design language was very fitting of the Nokia brand. Even better, Nokia was one of the few vendors who actually committed to the Qi Wireless charging standard back then, and offered Qi-charging and its own excellent Qi charger accessory when none of the other major players like Samsung or Apple did.
Nokia Lumia 636
The entry-level Lumia 636 was the face of Windows Phone for 2014, and was among the last Lumia phones to bear the Nokia brand after Microsoft acquired Nokia. In true Nokia fashion, it was a line that had colorful bright back plates to match the Windows tiles on the home page. The phone had a 4.5-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and a 5-megapixel camera at the rear. It didn't have a front camera. The battery was 1,830mAh, and it runs Windows Phone 8.1.
Nokia Lumia 830
The Lumia 830 was the mid-range device that sat right beneath the Lumia 930, and offered a metal body to go with its colorful looks. It has a 5-inch HD display, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset inside backed by 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The main camera was a 10-megapixel f/2.2 Carl Zeiss lens, with a smaller 0.9-megapixel camera up front. It had a 2,200mAh battery and had Qi Wireless charging, in an age where both Samsung and Apple shunned the technology. The Lumia 830 sports Windows Phone 8.1 and can be found today under a friendly price.
Cherry Mobile Alpha Style
The Alpha Style was Cherry Mobile's Windows Phone entry in the Windows Phone 8.1 era, and has the distinction of being the cheapest Windows Phone on the market, and may very well have been the cheapest Windows Phone in the world in its time. One of the key challenges Windows Phone always had against Android phones was the availability of a large plethora of affordable budget Android devices, while most Windows Phone handsets were relatively expensive coming with the Nokia brand. The Alpha Style was a lot cheaper, with a 4-inch IPS display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a 5-megapixel main camera, a 0.3-megapixel front camera, and a 1,500mAh battery.
That finishes up the roundup of Windows Phones you can still find in the local Philippine market today. It's unfortunate that Windows Phone died an early death, but even if it couldn't compete with Google and Apple in the app ecosystem, those who just want a solid, easy-to-use phone that had great battery life and excellent cameras may find a Windows Phone to be a great fit. Many of these phones are also particularly good for Nokia fans who are loyal to the brand, and represent some of the best phones Nokia ever produced. Be sure to check out our listings here at Priceprice.com to find the right deal for a great Windows Phone.
DISCLAIMER: Availability and pricing given above may change over time.