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Just a quick note to say, that at some point in the last few months, I think Microsoft finally fixed its issues with backed-up non-Lumia-shot photos, some details and links below. Sorry if this sounds nebulous, but all is working now, and it certainly wasn't in the middle of 2018. Yay!
Guest writer Arpolend Sevostyanov is back with a little hack, adding 'Glove mode' back to the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. It's a geeky hack, so only proceed if you're feeling confident, but it does add something which has previously only been seen on 950 prototypes.
Back in the Autumn, I pitched the Lumia 950 XL against the (then new) Samsung Galaxy Note 9, concluding that the Android newcomer didn't quite match up in terms of image detail and purity. But since then we've had three monthly updates for the Note 9* and, while waiting for the likes of the Nokia 9 and Galaxy S10, I thought a rematch was in order. Can the Lumia keep its crown?
I think I can be allowed a little backwards-gazing now that we're into 2019 and the (nominally) last year of Windows 10 Mobile support from Microsoft*. Which is why I'm going to be gazing at the array of Windows-powered phones on my desk and picking a few standouts. Starting with my current favourite Windows phone, heck I was salivating the moment it was rumoured - the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro. No, don't laugh, please read on. I have my reasons...!
Windows 10 Mobile may be far from the front line of Microsoft's 2019 mobile plans, but underneath the hood the foundations are receiving kernel and security fixes. Build 15254.547 (from .544) for all phones currently running the 1709 branch ('Fall Creators Update') is fresh out today, so go grab it now. Similarly, build 15063.1563 (from .1506) is out for all phones running the 1703 branch ('Creators Update').
As detailed in my multi-part review, the Wileyfox Pro is no flagship, but there's still quite a bit to like - and at under £60 now it's a) surely the bargain of the year, and b) probably the last time a Windows 10 Mobile phone will be offered for sale, new. So be quick.
Although this can apply to Windows 10 phones as well, it's less likely than for the Surface Go, which is more likely to need to hook up with USB accessories. Either way, this is an ultra lightweight, cheap way to expand a single USB Type C jack to four USB-A jacks. It only weighs 35g, costs just over £8 (including shipping), and is a no-brainer to pick up if you have a Go. Or indeed a recent Macbook or you just like having adapters and dongles in your kit bag!
Apple announced something like this a year ago, but have yet to ship it. Meanwhile, Choetech has come up trumps with a 5-coil array that can handle the most casual charging positions or, side by side, can wirelessly fast charge two smartphones/gadgets at the same time, at up to 2A each (depending on the recipient's capabilities). And it works exactly as advertised, with a theoretical 20W total output.
Apple's AirPods have proved very popular in the iPhone world, despite the high price and likelihood of losing one of the earbuds. Principally because of the sheer convenience of having no wires at all. And so we shouldn't be surprised that third parties have stepped in to copy the idea for the Android and (here) Windows phone worlds. Blitzwolf's attempt at this category succeeds on the power front but fails in actually supplying decent audio, sadly.
Just scraping into 2018, this is the final review part (for now) of one of the most impressive mobile computing devices I think I've ever used. Not a smartphone, not a laptop, not even a tablet, but something in between that encompasses most of their roles. True, it's too big to be pocketed, and true, it's probably too small to be used as an all-day computer, but embrace the Go lifestyle and you can do more while (literally) on the 'go' than ever before. Microsoft has got (almost) everything right in this new Surface product, with perhaps the only significant caveat being battery life - you'll probably need to take a USB power bank on long trips!