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Never mind the underperforming Sony Xperia Z1/Z2/Z1 Compact and their 1/2.3" sensors, think back to head to heads with the original Galaxy S4 and you might suspect that the Galaxy S5 camera will be the real 'class of 2014' competition for 2013's camera champion, the Nokia Lumia 1020. And you'd be right. 16MP, 1/2.6" ISOCELL sensor and blazingly fast image processing means that for many casual use cases the S5 is, arguably, one of the best camera phones ever seen, even though it doesn't, ultimately, beat the 1020 across all light conditions and subjects.
Regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of the Proporta emergency chargers, from the tiny credit card sized Pocket Power to the mighty Turbocharger 7000. But, of course, there are many other brands on the market, especially at the higher capacity end of the market. Which is why I've been taking a look here at the new 'Kinkoo Infinite One 8000mAh Portable Backup Battery Charger'. In white. And yes, the colour matters, as I shall explain!
A great pool game is always a good thing on a mobile device. Pool Arena Online is decent, at least. A great online multi-player experience is also always a good thing. And, again, Pool Arena Online is... decent. Put the two together and what have you got? A somewhat disjointed pool-centric gaming system that occasionally delights and often disappoints.
Never mind manufacturers (HTC) coming up with secondary 'depth' cameras in order to provide information for creating fake 'bokeh' effects, the imperfectness of that approach has shown that, in fact, you can create such effects using nothing more than a little software wizardry. The result will still look 'fake', but at least it can be done, as proved here by new Windows Phone application 'Intelligent Lens Blur'.
Following on from its freemium success in Rule the Kingdom and My Country, Game Insight Global takes to the skies with Airport City. Can you build up an international airport with multiple destinations and aircraft? Can the app keep you interested to ensure you want to come back to play, and maybe even spend some real money to improve your building? Let's find out.
I remain constantly surprised by the lack of knowledge of basic physics by those who write 'battery saving' articles across the web, in the context of smartphones. By far the most common bit of advice - reduce the frequency of email, PIM and social sync - seems to be given for all phones and all platforms and it's actually highly misleading. The underlying physics is far, far more important, if you want to keep your precious battery life while travelling. For 2G/3G/4G certainly - but also, almost counter-intuitively, for Wi-fi too.
I have to take the word of BBC Sport here, but the English football season is approaching a thrilling end. Capturing that excitement in a computer game is not easy, although EA have managed to do just that every year - with FIFA 14 they have outdone themselves both in the excitement stakes, and in the ease of play. This is a mobile game conversion done correctly.
Having a 'proper' Xenon flash in your smartphone (we're talking Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020 here) doesn't necessarily give you better low light shots of people - you have to know how to use the technology to best effect too. After criticism from some quarters about 'missed shots', I thought a 'how to' guide to Xenon might be in order, whichever of Nokia's flagship camera phones you own.
Now we've had a chance to look over the changes in Windows Phone 8.1, and consider them alongside some of the other announcements, there are many areas of business to discuss. One area of interest is the Android vs Windows Phone battle. While Windows Phone is the weaker and smaller partner, the last three months have shown the agility that the "new" Microsoft will have, and that could be enough to destabilise Android and bring some new partners to Microsoft's mobile table.
One question we were keen to see answered with Windows Phone 8.1 (now out in preview form for developers and enthusiasts) was whether the update interval for 'background tasks', the bits of applications which run every so often in the background to do useful stuff like update live tiles, would change from the current 30 minutes in Windows Phone 8.0 to something more frequent. It does seem from our tests that the interval hasn't changed, but fear not for there's more to updating in the background in 8.1 than simple scheduling...