Here's what the worst Windows 10 phones will have for tech specs

Microsoft outlines the minimum requirements for Windows 10 handsets. Hopefully you'll never be stuck with them.

If you're wondering what a low-budget Windows 10 smartphone might look like, Microsoft's minimum requirements provide some clues.

According to Microsoft's developer website, Windows 10 Mobile will require at least a Qualcomm Snapdragon 208 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a VGA (640-by-480) resolution rear-facing camera. Microsoft won't be requiring a front-facing camera, Bluetooth, or accelerometer.

The display must have a minimum resolution of 800-by-480. Oddly enough, there's no lower limit on screen size, though Microsoft says a 3.5-inch or larger screen is necessary to run existing apps built for Windows Phone 8. Stranger still, Microsoft lists "touch, touch pad, and digital pen" as optional components in Windows 10 Mobile, though we're guessing a rebirth of the trackball isn't happening anytime soon.

As Neowin notes, the baseline specs are actually lower than they were for Windows Phone 8.1, which required Bluetooth, an accelerometer, and at least a 2-megapixel camera.

Why this matters: Compared to Windows Phone 8, we'll probably won't see as many Windows 10 Mobile handsets at the very bottom of the price spectrum. Microsoft has said it wants to produce fewer phones overall, while focusing a bit more more on flagship phones and business customers. Still, it's likely that at least one phone will scrape the bottom of the spec barrel whenever Windows 10 Mobile launches.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsWindows 10 MobileMicrosoftsmartphonesqualcommWindows Phone

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?