It doesn’t look like Microsoft currently has any intentions to bring its upcoming Windows 11 to mobile phones after it canned its previous smartphone venture back in 2017, but that hasn’t stopped the public from trying themselves. As well as its usual x86 desktop CPUs, Windows 11 also supports ARM processors with an eye for highly-efficient Snapdragon-powered laptops, making it that much easier to port the OS to ARM-based phones as a part of the Renegade project.
Youtuber edi194 showed the process of flashing Windows 11 to a OnePlus 6T, replacing its usual Android operating system with Microsoft’s latest. As the OS is designed to be used on the best gaming monitor rather than a 6-inch phone screen, it doesn’t scale well and it strips back some of the usual features you’d expect from a smartphone – you can’t make calls from it. However, the fact that a desktop operating system is successfully running on a tiny mobile device is pretty exciting and leaves room for the Windows Phone 11 somewhere down the line.
The developers behind the project have also compiled a list of the best PC games they’ve tried to run on the OnePlus phone – and yes, it can run Crysis, albeit at 20fps. Less demanding titles such as Left 4 Dead 2 run surprisingly well, hitting around 40fps on high settings at 1080p.
Although Microsoft doesn’t have plans to bring back Windows-based phones right now, this might change. With the best gaming keyboard and best gaming mouse plugged in, an ARM-based Windows 11 phone could easily offer a desktop experience when hooked up to an external display.