Windows 10 Mobile will require at least 8GB of internal storage, leaving some phones in the cold

Kareem Anderson

Even as Windows 10 Mobile Insiders are getting their hands on rough versions of Microsoft’s future mobile ambitions, much of Windows 10 Mobile remains a mystery. Questions regarding upgrades, updates, releases, future devices and other specifics have remained relatively unanswered by Microsoft.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Devices with less than 8GB internal storage available during the upgrade process will be sidelined[/pullquote]
While much of Microsoft’s Mobile development remains nebulous, there is news beginning to surface regarding device-specific requirements for the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile release. Apparently, devices with less than 8GB internal storage available during the upgrade process will be sidelined when Windows 10 Mobile is up for grabs. On a German based version of the Windows 10 Mobile site, the 8GB requirement was posted as ‘8GB internal memory required’ under a section listing Window 10 upgradable devices. While not explicitly stated, the U.S. Windows 10 Mobile site all but confirms the same requirement by listing only devices with 8GB or more being upgradeable.
As with most smartphone offerings, available storage capacity comes in predetermined bundles such as 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. Fortunately, for many Windows Phone users, Microsoft offered a removable micro SD card workaround for devices that initially sold with smaller internal capacity. Windows Phone users could purchase a sensibly priced phone with little internal storage and bump their storage up to 128GB if and when necessary.
Unfortunately, the micro SD card option will not help Windows Phone devices with only 4GB internal storage. Windows 10 Mobile looks to be a larger install than Windows Phone 8.1, and as an OS upgrade, can only be placed on internal storage. Owners of the phone listed below will not see Windows 10 Mobile anytime soon:

  • Kazam Thunder 340W, Thunder 450 and 450WL (despite having 8GB of storage)
  • Yezz Billy 4
  • Karbonn Titanium Wind W4
  • Windows Phone powered Alcatel One Touch Pixi 3 Series Handsets
  • HTC 8S
  • Nokia Lumia 530
  • Blu Win JR and JR LTE

While owners of the above devices are excluded from the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade party, it should come as little surprise. Prior to today’s news, Windows Phones with 4GB of memory were already removed as options for the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview.
Last month, Microsoft announced the list of devices that would receive the first upgrade wave of Windows 10 Mobile, and unsurprisingly the list was a Lumia exclusive one. Just a reminder, owners of the following should see Windows 10 Mobile updates when Microsoft is set to release the OS.

  • Lumia 930
  • Lumia 830
  • Lumia 735
  • Lumia 640 XL
  • Lumia 640
  • Lumia 540
  • Lumia 535
  • Lumia 532
  • Lumia 435
  • Lumia 430

For owners of the Lumia 1520, Icon, 1020 and 920, the list may appear arbitrary. Microsoft is expected to roll out the update in waves, and as far as anyone is aware of, the update remains carrier dependent. Relying on carrier participation also means the update is subject to lengthy firmware testing that could result in even more Lumias being dropped from the list when the update is finally available. Perhaps, those facts are shaping the list of first-wave upgrades for Microsoft.
Fortunately, any person sporting a Lumia on the Insider Preview will receive the update. An update similar to the PC RTM release should land on devices well ahead of an official Windows 10 Mobile (carrier approved) release.