Samsung’s Galaxy Notice eight has joined a handful of different telephones at, of all locations, the Microsoft Retailer. Each the web retailer and brick-and-mortar areas have the handsets, each unlocked and carrier-branded; in the present day, they’re $780, with an everyday value of $930.

The Notice eight joins the Galaxy eight and eight+ in addition to Razer smartphone; Microsoft is promoting all 4 Android handsets, alongside three Home windows Telephone gadgets (together with the HP Elite x3, newly accessible to Verizon). Why is Microsoft promoting Android handsets? Properly, the corporate says, you possibly can run Microsoft Launcher, a house display/app launcher substitute for Android, together with all of Microsoft’s different Android apps, corresponding to Workplace, Cortana, and Skype.

This represents Microsoft’s fallback place within the smartphone market. If folks will not purchase telephones with Microsoft’s working system, the corporate will a minimum of attempt to get folks operating Microsoft’s apps on their cellphone. Redmond can be making an attempt to make use of these apps to enhance the Home windows 10 person expertise. For those who use the complete vary of Microsoft software program, you get some handy additional capabilities, corresponding to the power to open a webpage on the PC out of your cellphone, with a lot deeper integration promised quickly.

Whereas many of the apps (besides Launcher) are additionally accessible on iOS, they’re, a minimum of in some methods, higher on Android. That is as a result of Android provides deeper integration and customization capabilities to third-party functions.

Microsoft can nonetheless earn a few cents from this, too; lighting up the complete vary of Workplace for Android options requires an Workplace 365 subscription. Nevertheless it all falls a good distance in need of utilizing an precise Microsoft cellphone; Launcher is not unhealthy, but it surely’s not a patch on the Home windows Telephone interface with its dwell tiles. And on most telephones, the styling is in all places; you’ve got acquired Google apps with Materials design, Microsoft’s apps with their comparable however totally different Home windows-like styling, after which no matter apps your cellphone’s OEM has bundled. I have been utilizing the Microsoft apps on a Huawei Mate10 Professional, and Huawei’s built-in software program, corresponding to its cellphone dialer, stands proud like a sore thumb, with icons and an interface that seem like nothing else within the working system (apart from Huawei’s different apps).

The telephones Microsoft is promoting are in any other case run-of-the-mill Android handsets. Other than their uncommon vendor, there’s nothing particular about them. If Microsoft’s pricing and availability works effectively for you, the Microsoft Retailer is nearly as good a spot as any to purchase them. However you are not lacking out in case you do not.


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