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In the bumper length AAWP Insight #155, hosted by Steve and Rafe, it is all about Microsoft's big October 6th event, which saw the announcement of new Lumia and Surface devices, together with a number of related accessories. We cover the launch of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, walking through the specifications and key experiences, including connectivity, camera and Continuum. We also touch on the Lumia 550 and Microsoft Band 2, before concluding with a summary of the new Surface (PC) devices.
The biggest news at today's Microsoft event in New York was, of course, the official announcement of two of the most leaked smartphones in recent times, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL flagships, designed to carry the flag for Windows 10 Mobile into 2016, with 'Hello' Iris recognition, Continuum support and upgraded specifications across the board, relative to the 18 month old Lumia 930.
As part of its October 6th event in New York today, Microsoft announced the Lumia 550, its budget offering running Windows 10 Mobile. The device complements the high end Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, also announced.
The debates have raged over the years, of course. Phone cameras acquired flash units, first LED and then, on some Nokias, Xenon, though the bulk, expense and power requirements of this technology meant that, despite the possible advantages, it never really took off in the phone world. However, 2015 marks the point in the sand where technology is eliminating the need for a flash in a camera phone at all. Soon, the only thing you'll use it for is as a torch to find your way to the car from the pub!
In my editorial introducing Continuum three months ago, I took a few guesses as to what this technology might bring to Windows 10 Mobile and how it would work, but I still wanted to 'notch down the hype' a bit, describing Continuum as a 'niche' product. Below, I open up a bit more and express a few doubts - will Continuum provide enough reason on its own to 'save' Windows 10 Mobile?
File this under data points from the wider smartphone world. We already saw how the likes of the LG G4 managed to best the Lumia 930 (unsurprisingly, given the age of the latter), but with the chance to test the brand spanking new Motorola Moto X Style, with almost identical imaging specs to the Lumia 930, I seized on the chance for another in our series of interactive photo comparisons. How will the Moto X Style, with 2015 sensor but no OIS, match up to the results from the much older Nokia? And where will the bar lie for the upcoming Lumia 950 and 950 XL, also with the same 'nominal' specification?
In AAWP Insight #154, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about Steve's recent comparison of voice assistants for mobile platforms and the role voice may play in the future. There's the usual commentary and thoughts on the latest Windows 10 Mobile build (10536), plus related app updates (Maps, Office, Photos, and more). There's also time for a rant (on finding battery spares) and a quick look ahead to next week's announcement of new Lumia phones from Microsoft.
I have to confess that I've had a particular article 'in progress' for a year or so now and have got nowhere with it. And the topic is one which was raised in my look at the imminent Lumia 950 and 950 XL yesterday - they're down as having replaceable batteries, but does this make ANY difference in the current imperfect world? You can guess where this is going - my abortive article was on sourcing spare batteries for the likes of the Lumia 830, 640 and 640 XL...
Back in July, I attempted this comparison, armed only with a few scraps of information about the upcoming new Lumias. Since then, almost every detail has leaked out, either on purpose or accidentally, depending on who you talk to. Meaning that it's well worth me having another crack at this topic, looking at what the new devices will bring to the table, over and above the existing Lumia 930 (the '2014 flagship', if you will) - which itself will get Windows 10 Mobile within a couple of months (if not before, for those on the Insiders Programme!)
You may remember that I produced a FAQ for Windows 10 Maps back in July, based on an early version of the software? Most of that still holds, but there was a big question mark hanging over the real time traffic elements of the application/service. So I decided to head out into the South of England on a busy Saturday afternoon and see how Windows 10 Maps coped, here on a Lumia 930 running the latest build of everything.