Microsoft Offers Europeans New Windows Phone - Europe Says No
A year after launching in the US, Alcatel's flagship Windows 10 smartphone arrives in Europe via Microsoft's own Store. There are just so many ways in which this is Microsoft disrespecting its loyal customers I'm having trouble counting them.
Take my advice - do not order this phone.
The Idol 4 Pro was probably a competitive piece of hardware 12 months ago, now its specs are decidedly middle of the road. In the time since the US launch Microsoft has gutted Windows 10 Mobile, failed to deliver its own apps on mobile and actively and passively discouraged third-party developers from supporting the platform.
Buying the Idol will almost certainly give you six to twelve months of endless frustration, with the only form of excitement likely to be the race between collapsing ecosystem and end user frustration to be the reason for you to park this phone at the bottom of your drawer.
When you look at the asking price you'll also see that someone in Microsoft's marketing team is having a laugh at your expense too. £420 for a phone with next to no software support? That isn't happening.
That this travesty is playing out in Europe just adds insult to injury. Europe was one of the few places where Windows phones have seen some success - with many markets achieving 10%+ market share and in some displacing iOS as the second most popular mobile platform.
I cannot recommend any user buying a high-end Windows phone at the moment, because of the uncertainty about the platform's future, the lack of third-party developer support and the lack of Microsoft application support.
There is only one case were I would suggest that a Windows 10 Mobile is a good choice, for those parents buying for children, where the lacks of apps and the controls offered by Microsoft Family offer a good degree of protection against misuse.
Even then I would recommend that you buy the cheapest phone you can get on the platform - either a Lumia 550 or a Lumia 650.
Aside from that niche my advice is to stay away.
At half the advertised price the Idol 4 would still be too expensive. Call me when the price drops to £100, I might be interested then.