As they’ve started to arrive over the past month to various tech news outlets and sources, one prominent issue in the reviews of the CUBE WP10 Windows Phone, has been that it’s not approved for updates from Microsoft and comes out of the box running a build of Windows 10 (Mobile) from over a year ago, which is easily less stable and missing all the advancements we’ve seen in Windows up to and since the Anniversary update.
Thankfully, some tools from XDA Forums, and some testing from a few users on the forums at TechTablets.com have found the methods necessary to take a stock (out of box) CUBE WP10, and registry hack have it report to Windows Update that it is a Lumia 950 XL. Once the changes are complete, the phone/tablet gets the 10.0.14393.576 Build via Updates, and reports from multiple users say the CUBE WP10 is running better than out of the box with no negative effects. That being said, here is a quick run-down of the steps needed!
Before you start, the one main caveat mentioned everywhere is that this needs to be on a stock CUBE WP10 that you have not already tried other unlocking, hack, or modification tools against, especially any tools that effect the core OS or boot loader.
1. Find and download the latest version of Interop Tools (currently 1.9.390.0_arm) and the appropriate ARM dependencies zip file from XDA forums. Linked here for current version as of Dec 28th, 2016. Just grab these two files:
2.Unzip the files and put them on the phones local storage. In my case I placed all the files in the ‘Downloads’ folder without any subfolders. In total that meant I had all five files in the Downloads folder like this:
4. Install the 4 dependencies files one by one by tapping on them and answering yes to the question, from the phone itself, using File Explorer
5. Install the Interop Tools app (InteropToolsApp_1.9.390.0…) only after all four dependencies have been installed. (They don’t show in the apps list on the phone, so you just have to know that you installed all four, one at a time).
6. Go to the phone’s apps list (swipe left). Interop Tools should be on top as a “recently installed” application, which you can launch now.
7. On the first screen select “This Device“
8. Expand the “=” (Hamburger Menu), and Open Registry Browser
9. Go to HKLM > System > Platform > DeviceTargetInfo
10. Write down or take a screenshot with these values:
phone manufacturer = CUBE
phoneHardwareVariant = VAR-GSM
phonemanufacturerModelName = T698
10. Change them to the following values, for each value you edit the text/value, and then select the “Check Mark” to save that value. (Not using the back arrow).
PhoneManufacturer = MicrosoftMDG
PhoneHardwareVariant = RM-1085
PhoneManufacturerModelName = RM-1116_11258
PhoneModelName = Lumia 950 XL Dual SIM
(It never hurts afterwards to close the app, re-open it, and re-check these values were saved correctly.)
11. Reboot the phone, just to ensure it cleanly reports in with these new settings.
12. Open Settings >> Phone Update >> check for updates. It should return that updates are available now, which as of this writing is build 10.0.14393.576
13. Go ahead and install the update. Connect the phone to power/charger, just like any other hardware/firmware update where you should not be relying on battery power only!
14. When it’s done, restart the phone as prompted, and let the post-update “We’re getting there…” steps complete, in the future there will likely be newer builds available via this same method, at this point no further updates were available once the phone finished installing 14393.
15. Go to Settings >> Update & Security >> For developers and check Windows Store Apps to return the device to the better end-user security model.
16. Finally, it’s a good idea before doing any other setup tasks to open the Store, go to Downloads & Updates, and Check for Updates. In my case with just the stock applications and services with 14393 installed, the store found 27 application updates/installs, including the new Skype client. These all installed fine just as they would on a Lumia 950 XL.
There we have it! The install went fine on my CUBE WP10 review unit, I’ll be conducting all my usage and review with the CUBE WP10 running this 14393 build of Windows 10 as a handy comparison against other reviews posted running on the version of Windows 10 installed out of box. I expect we’ll see some noticeable improvements to the device with the newer build installed.