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“What an oddball pair of smartphone cameras to compare!” I hear you say. “One from several years ago, one with greatly different ambitions from the current month!” Indeed, though the question I was really asking myself was whether improvements in sensor technology and image processing since about 2011 could compensate for a seven times smaller sensor. In other words, could refined tech and intelligence trump physics?
The question came in Just before our last Insight podcast, and a very pertinent one it was too. Given all the cross platform releases by Microsoft and Nokia's HERE, surely many of the unique selling points of Windows Phone have now been removed - why would anyone now buy a Lumia, for example, rather than an Android or iOS smartphone for the same money? Great question, and it deserves a great answer... Here are 10 reasons why you might still want to go down the Windows Phone route.
As an AMOLED fan for years, it's been fascinating seeing the way technology in the LCD world has caught up in terms of contrast and colours. In fact, judging from my tests and tables below, it seems that the choice of screen technology for smartphones is now pretty clear cut. My advice to go for AMOLED three years ago was sound, but it seems that things are now reversed. This article features the Lumia 1020, 830 and 1520, by the way.
In AAWP Insight #114, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start with a quick mention of our policy in terms of how much of the new unified 'Windows' wolrd we'll be covering (summary: just phones and related), plus we move on to new Windows Phone 'name' Bush, now selling an entry level smartphone through UK retailer Argos. This week's app coverage includes Skype and Tubecast Pro. We also revisit the Lumia 830, and discuss whether it can be a "sidegrade" to Lumia 1020/925/920 owners. In the last portion of the podcast, in response to a listener question, Rafe shares some thoughts on Windows Phone differentiation.
Increasingly, especially with the decent cameras onboard and super HAAC microphones, Windows Phones are becoming good all-purpose capture devices. We've seen a barrage of video editors, it only makes sense that we'd now see some decent audio editors too. Wave Master is fully featured and well worth a look, below.
Is it the shiny, shiny phenomenon of something new? Or the feel of cold metal and the satisfaction of larger screen and as much storage as I wanted? Either way, I find myself compromising one of my deeply-held 'must haves' (in the 1020) and using the Nokia Lumia 830 as my main smartphone, following on from my review and other tests. It's an Autumn miracle, perhaps?
Launched at IFA 2014 and available for just over a week now, here's my review of the new 'Nokia Lumia 830' - if you look very, very closely at the small print, there's mention of 'Microsoft Mobile' (expect future Lumias to have Microsoft much higher in the mix though). Billed as an 'affordable flagship', the 830 does get most of the way to fulfilling this claim, perhaps only falling short at the moment because the software that enables much of its main USP is currently missing in action.
As covered here recently, (Xbox) Video now has support for subtitles, an area which I hadn't explored before on AAWP. And, in all probability, is something you haven't looked at either. Here then is how to add subtitles to a personal or commercial/public video and to view them on your Windows Phone 8.1 device.
In AAWP Insight #113, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start with a quick mention of new Windows Phone manufacturer Highscreen, before detailing the latest update to Glance, one of our favourite apps. We also cover the launch of Skype Qik, the return of Colour Pop to Creative Studio, and new app Live Tile Clock. The second half of the podcast is all about the Lumia 735 and Lumia 830, a pair of mid tier mavens that look set to give the Lumia device portfolio a significant boost.
The headline might lead you to suspect a horrendous mismatch, but there's more to the story than this. The 1020 is the gold standard in currently-sold camera phones, of course, but the new Lumia 830 turns out surprisingly well against it for most shots, despite being massively outgunned in the physics stakes. Xenon-aside, once the matching software turns up for the 830, we could have a rather tasty little 'affordable flagship', to use Nokia/Microsoft's marketing term.