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Something a little different here, in that we're not talking about a 'flagship' device. The Nokia 7.2, despite being the first Nokia-branded phone to have a 40-plus Megapixel camera since the Lumia 1020, is unashamedly a budget smartphone, £230 RRP or less than £200 if you catch it on offer. It's pure Android, updated for three years, for an absolute song - see my head to head here. But what about that 48MP camera? Time to test it, I'll use the Lumia 950 XL, since that's close in form factor.
Most Lumias were produced under the Nokia brand, of course, with the final generation under 'Microsoft'. But I still find it interesting how the Nokia name has risen back up into the public consciousness under the seemingly capable hands of HMD Global, still based in Finland. I've covered the (disappointing) Nokia 9 PureView here before, but I now have in for review something that sits at the budget end of the spectrum (£230), yet is robust (plastic chassis, think Lumia 1520) and capable. And still has a 48MP camera. Here's my first look at the 'Nokia 7.2'.
Out and about with the new (and diminutive) iPhone 11 Pro (i.e. the smaller variant), I get the same feeling as when I used to carry the Lumia 1020 - a desire to take photos. The idea that every time I see something that I'd like to snap I know I'll be able to get the shot, quickly and comfortably. No precarious perching of a phablet-sized phone, just a pocket-sized smartphone with the best camera in the world doing what it was born to do. 2013 to 2019 should mark a lot of progress in image quality, so let's try and quantify that with some challenging 1020-esque test shots. I think you'll be surprised.
A Snooker/Pool multi-player online game, available for everything from Windows Phone 8.1 to UWP play on laptop, Xbox, and more, sounds pretty terrific and it's got potential, certainly. But Real Pool 3D is massively overwhelmed by [deep breath] freemium mechanics, mini-games, gift chests, virtual cash, 'treasure hunts', 'lucky cues', power ups, watch-to-earn ads, and cosmetic frippery - and the end result is all a little garish, tasteless, and offputting.
Windows 10 Mobile is now into its last two months of Microsoft's official support, though of course phones aren't going to suddenly stop working when 2019 ends. Under the hood here there are kernel and security fixes, for all phones currently running the '1709' branch (potentially most of you, see the links below). Grab this November 2019 update in Settings.
In my video stabilisation feature here, I was asked in the comments to do a test of audio capture in video mode - i.e. how good are modern microphones in smartphones? The short answer is: very good. Gone are the bad old days of Nokia being the only manufacturer that cared enough about audio to put decent high amplitude microphones in its smartphones. See below for video and audio proof.
Just a quick thing, but after four years of the Lumia 950's existence, I only just realised something - and I figured that if it were new to me then it might be to you too. You see, I knew that when shooting video on the 950, going to 4K (2160p) capture would scotch any digital/software stabilisation since there's just too much data for this 2015 phone's hardware to handle. But I always assumed that the (optional) digital stabilisation would work at 60fps - and it seems not. Maybe this too is too much for the Snapdragon 808/810's chipset to handle?
Whether you're wiping a Lumia to give it to someone else, or to sell it, or you're just being super-cautious about which devices have your data on, there will be occasions when a phone needs a full factory reset. Yes, there's a finnicky button sequence to do this on a Windows 10 Mobile phone, but don't worry, there's also an official way, through Settings. Here's a walk-through...
In advance of Remembrance Sunday, a nice little installation is in place at St Mary's, in Bishops Lydeard, in the UK, and I attempted to get a shot of this (unlit) piece against the traditionally floodlit church at night. I succeeded, but I did an iPhone too, as I'll explain!
You may have noticed that when Google launched the Pixel 4 series recently, it emphasised the 'astrophotography' capability. Essentially, when the phone's mounted in a tripod of some kind (and thus not moving), the software switches into 'astrophotography' mode and allows exposures (presumably at crazy low ISO) of up to four minutes. Does this work? And what happens if you try the same on an iPhone 11 Pro? Or even... a Lumia 950? In short, don't get your hopes up for any of them!