Microsoft expands Continuum compatibility list, adds Snapdragon 617 processor

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Microsoft's Continuum home page just added support for an extra processor - no, not the older Snapdragon 800, but the brand new though slightly lower end Snapdragon 617. This opens the door for more Continuum implementations away from the premium end of the market. The Japanese 'Nuans Neo' (unlikely to come to most markets) is the first to take advantage of this - I'd have expected this processor in the Lumia 850, but clever money still has this as 'unlikely to be launched'. We'll see!

Microsoft's Continuum

Here's the main Microsoft Continuum page, which is quoted from in the table below, and here's the post from Nokia Power User, which first spotted the change:

Microsoft has officially added Snapdragon 617 processor to the list of processors supporting Continuum for Phones. Earlier it was received with bit of a surprise that mid-ranger Nuans Neo has Continuum for Phone support but it appeared as if the Dock made specially for it may be the reason. But now it seems we may hopefully see more mid-rangers with Continuum for Phones support.

The two original processors that were listed there are Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 617 (MS8952) joins them, The official page also lists other requirements for Continuum for Phones. So, any device with display resolution of more than 1080p must have 3 GB RAM while devices with 720p display resolution can run on 2 GB RAM.

From the Microsoft page:

Table 1: Continuum for Phones requirements

Component Minimum Requirements Premium Recommendations
Applications processor Qualcomm MS8952, MS8992, MS8994 Dual SIM support
RAM* 2 GB RAM for phones with display resolution of 720p 3 GB RAM for phones with display resolution of 1080p or more
Flash storage ≥16 GB nonremovable flash memory  
microSD Optional microSD card support
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 support is required  
Wi-Fi Supports at least 802.11n dual band 802.11ac dual band recommended. 2×2 antenna recommended.
Miracast Supports Windows 10 Miracast extensions.  
USB USB dual-role required to support wired dock configuration. USB 2.0 support required USB 3.0 recommended. USB Type C connector strongly recommended to support wired configurations.

There's a wealth of other information about Continuum on this page, including a detailed FAQ, well worth a read. For example:

What is the difference between wired and wireless? Why would I not just use wireless?

Wireless brings all the convenience of being wireless while being productive at a desk or connecting to your TV and navigating from your couch, but it does require a few short steps to connect to a display and is subject to potential interference. Light productivity, navigating presentations in a conference room and enjoying entertainment apps from your living room work well with a wireless setup.

A wired dock is simple: Plug your phone or tablet in, and you are immediately connected to your peripherals. Also, you can connect a keyboard, mouse, or mass storage device to a USB port. Wired dock has the benefit of charging your device. With apps like Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Excel, and File Explorer on your device, you can sit down and start working right away. Being productive in home office, kitchen office, and dorm room scenarios might work best with a wired setup.

Which Miracast receivers will work with Continuum?

All Miracast receivers will work, but those that implement the Windows 10 Miracast firmware extensions will provide a much better experience, including low-latency keyboard/mouse and faster connection times. In addition, Continuum compatible accessories with a USB port that support the User Input Back Channel (UIBC) can be used to connect a USB wireless keyboard and mouse, instead of taking the few extra steps needed to connect via Bluetooth for greater convenience.

Source / Credit: NPU