Microsoft really wants people to use their phone as a computer. The company expanded support for Windows 10 Mobile's Continuum feature on Wednesday to include a third processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, one that's typically found on midrange devices.
Continuum allows users to hook up a keyboard, mouse and monitor to their mobile phone. The operating system will offer a special interface closer to that of a PC, all run from the same phone used daily.
Although the news hit Microsoft's support pages this week, one smartphone gave the game away ahead of time. The Snapdragon 617-powered NuAns Neo, which went on sale in Japan in January, launched with Continuum despite not being officially supported at the time.
The Neo, which sells for 42,700 yen ($365), brings innovative new ideas to Windows phone. The dock used to hook up computer peripherals doubles as a lamp. The back paneling of the device is made of wood, while its thick exterior houses a battery capable of running for two days.
The official expansion of Continuum support will be a welcome bonus for the platform. Before, customers would have to fork out for a device powered by the beefier Snapdragon 808 or Snapdragon 810. This restricted the feature to devices like the Lumia 950, which sells for nearly $600 from Microsoft.
Just because a device has a compatible processor, however, doesn't mean it will work right away. Microsoft is still requiring devices to have at least 16GB internal storage, 2GB RAM and a display with a resolution of at least 1280x720.