The Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update is not here just yet, as the rollout is projected to begin on April 25, but it looks like Microsoft has silently updated the hardware requirements the past days in anticipation of the public release.
There are two big changes that can now be seen on this page, and the first of them is the name of the supported processors, as Microsoft no longer lists the chips working on Windows 10 Mobile with Qualcomm model numbers, but with the official market names.
Microsoft says that Windows 10 Mobile supports only 5 different Qualcomm processors, namely Snapdragon 820, 810, 808, 617, 210, so new devices running the latest version of the mobile operating system need to be using one of these chips. Windows Phone models that can be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile have to be powered by Snapdragon 810, 808, 801, 800, 617, 410, 400, 210, 200, S4 Plus processors.
The second big change that you can spot by having a look at these supported chips is the absence of the Snapdragon 835, which is the newest Qualcomm processor for 2017 that’s developed to be used on high-end models.
The Snapdragon 835 is already powering the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy S8, and Microsoft itself was expected to use the same chip for its supposed Surface Phone, though we don’t even know that this project exists.
But the lack of the Snapdragon 835 from the list of Windows 10 Mobile supported chips doesn’t necessarily mean that a Surface Phone isn’t launching in 2017, but actually that no flagship Windows phone is expected this year.
Without a Snapdragon 835, the potential Windows 10 Mobile devices seeing daylight in 2017 can be powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor at best, which is still super-powerful, but already one year old. And with flagship phones running Android already going for the Snapdragon 835, it’s obvious that any Windows phone that would go live this year would be substantially behind in terms of performance.
Microsoft is believed to be working on another Windows 10 Mobile device that could launch this year, but there’s absolutely no chance for this to be the Surface Phone. Instead, it’s likely to be a successor to the Lumia 950, though without a Snapdragon 835, it seems to be doomed even before its launch.