Looking to buy a Windows handset? Want to find out what the best Windows smartphone is in 2016? Then you've come to the right place.
Whether you’re looking for a flagship smartphone, a more affordable mobile or an over-sized phablet, there is a Windows device out there for you, from the premium Lumia 950, to the massive Lumia 950 XL or the incredibly affordable Lumia 550, these are the best available.
The Lumia 1520 is getting on a bit now, but that just means it’s cheaper than ever, and for phablet fans on a budget it’s a great option.
Its 6.0-inch screen is absolutely enormous – bigger than most other phablets even, and at 1080 x 1920 it comes in at a respectably sharp 367 pixels per inch.
The quad-core 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM used to be a flagship spec and while it couldn’t be called that any more it’s still enough for powerful performance, while the 20MP camera can take great photos, aided by Carl Zeiss optics and optical image stabilisation.
There’s also a big 3400 mAh battery, so you can watch films on its massive screen all day.
The Lumia 550 is one of Microsoft’s more recent Windows 10 handsets but it’s an entry-level one, coming in at under £100.
For not very much money at all you get a 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 screen, making it a good option for fans of smaller phones.
The Lumia 550 also has surprisingly powerful speakers, for strong audio when you’re not using headphones, plus a decent 5MP camera.
Performance isn’t up there with the best, but the Lumia 550 is solid in all other ways and great for the money.
If you’ve got slightly more to spend you could consider the Microsoft Lumia 650, which still won’t cost you much more than £100.
It has a 5.0-inch 720 x 1280 OLED screen, for fairly crisp and very vibrant visuals, plus a slim 6.9mm thick body and of course it runs Windows 10, which is the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system.
As well as a great screen and a low price the Lumia 650 also has a good camera for the money, with its 8MP snapper able to take sharp, detailed photos.
Like the Lumia 550 there’s a surprisingly good speaker here too, which can pump out loud sounds, and the battery is big enough to see you through a day of fairly heavy use.
The Lumia 950 XL is the best Windows phablet available, with its very big and very sharp 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 AMOLED screen.
That’s a match for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and the phone has plenty of other flagship features too, like an iris scanner – another idea since taken by the Note 7, and a powerful octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, plus 3GB of RAM.
It’s a strong performer then and it’s great for productivity too, thanks to its Continuum feature, which lets you plug the phone into a monitor and use it like a full blown PC.
Add in a great 20MP camera with optical image stabilisation and this is a brilliant all-round phone – though the build isn’t quite as premium as Android and iOS rivals.
If you’re after a flagship Windows 10 Mobile device but don’t want a phablet, then the Lumia 950 is for you.
In some ways this is a shrunk down Lumia 950 XL, as the name suggests, with a smaller but just as high resolution 5.2-inch 1440 x 2560 screen, leading to super sharp 564 pixels per inch visuals.
Like the Lumia 950 XL, the Lumia 950 also has a futuristic iris scanner and an incredibly useful Continuum feature, allowing you to transform the phone into something approaching a true desktop PC.
The Lumia 950 has an equally great 20MP camera with optical image stabilisation too, and a 5MP snapper around the front.
But there’s a different – though still powerful – hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor under the hood and a smaller 3000 mAh battery. Still, with a smaller display that’s all the Lumia 950 needs.
There’s nowhere near the same selection of Windows handsets as Android ones, especially in recent years, but there’s still a decent variety and these rank among the very best.
Starting with the aging but still impressive Lumia 1520 phablet, on to the super cheap Lumia 550 and the almost-as-budget Lumia 650, then the flagship Lumia 950 XL phablet and the great all-round Lumia 950 you can’t go wrong with any of these phones if you’re into Windows.
But the Lumia 950 XL and the Lumia 950 are the best of the bunch if money is no object. The choice then just comes down to whether or not you want a phablet.
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