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Review: Monoprice Triple XXX Driver Earbuds

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Don't worry about the 'XXX' bit, these headphones aren't at all 'adult'(!) Except that it takes someone with a bit of experience to really appreciate what these smartphone headphones offer. Away from my Bluetooth adventures (here, here, here and here), I'm also still striving for unobtrusive headphone nirvana from my wired smartphones. After all, every single Windows-powered phone has a 3.5mm audio jack. So why the heck not use it? Despite the unassuming name and packaging, this smartphone headset is top-notch when it comes to audio quality.

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

Still available new, the Wileyfox Pro in 2019

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For the last six months (at least) the Wileyfox Pro (WFP, for short!) has been the only Windows 10 Mobile smartphone that's still available to buy 'new' in an official capacity. It's still available today, in March 2019, amazingly, with a dozen or so kept in stock at any given time by Wileyfox, it seems. I was impressed by quite a few aspects of the WFP when I reviewed it, despite the budget specs - but the big question is how well does it perform with a year of Windows 10 Mobile branch and Microsoft core UWP application updates under its belt? I investigate...

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Camera data set 2: Nokia 9 PureView vs Lumia 950

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My initial analysis of photo samples from the new Nokia 9 PureView and the classic Lumia 950 received a mountain of comments, not least because of the terrible performance of the '9' in very low light, at night. A common objection was 'Well, who would shoot photos at night?' and, leaving aside that many people do, for arty reasons(!), AAWP collaborator Mark Swidler and I have done another short photo set, this time with more common light levels: sunny and then dusk. So no complaints about bias against the newcomer this time, please. 

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

OneDrive Groove Music streaming to end in April 2019

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One of the interesting things about Microsoft's Groove Music player application for Windows 10 (whether for desktop or mobile) is that, in addition to local playback of music files on the device, it can also stream music files found on your OneDrive. Well, it can until April, after which Microsoft is killing the server hook-ups that let this happen. Why Microsoft is doing this is a mystery, especially since it hits Groove Music on their beloved PCs/desktops as well. As many have mentioned on social media, maybe Microsoft really does hate consumers? Now, are there workarounds?

# Posted by Steve in News || Comments

Imaging passion - crossing the line? My 'standard' for phone cameras in the modern age

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It's no secret that phone imaging features online (not least at AAS and AAWP) are hugely popular. And for good reason, we all take loads of photos on our phones and we want them to be the best that they can be. But just how far do we take our definitions of 'best' here? And when we start involving manual/Pro settings adjustment, tripods, RAW files and Adobe Lightroom, haven't we gone a bit too far? Between casual snaps for Instagram and "just take a DSLR instead" there has to be a happy prosumer medium, surely?

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Camera comparison: Nokia 9 PureView vs Lumia 950

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The Nokia 9 PureView launched a few weeks back and I've written optimistically about it in my feature 'The importance of zoom, and continuing the PureView brand'. It's not PureView in the traditional sense though, and heck, it's not the same Nokia that launched the original 808 and 1020, so maybe I was getting my imaging hopes up too much? AAWP regular and Nokia/Lumia old-hand Mark Swidler has leapt in with photo samples and comparisons against the trusty 2015 Lumia 950 PureView. 

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Windows 10 Mobile updates for '1703' and '1709' - March 2019

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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. There's a new update today (5pm, GMT) for all phones currently running the 1709 branch ('Fall Creators Update'), so go grab it now. Similarly, there's an update out for all phones running the 1703 branch ('Creators Update'), though this is now close to its support 'end'.

# Posted by Steve in News || Comments

How to: Restore an older Lumia to Windows Phone 8.1

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Last week, I showed how to take an older (pre-2014) Lumia to (almost) the latest Windows 10 Mobile, gaining more working apps and services but hitting some pretty savage caveats, not least the phone's camera being largely inoperative and maps which don't display properly. None of this is too surprising, since these older phones (think Lumia 820, 920 and - yes - even 1020) have never been officially supported under W10M. But, if you did try the newer OS out over the last four years, here are the steps to get back to Windows Phone 8.1 and safety - if not actual current support...

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

The importance of zoom, and continuing the PureView brand

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MWC 2019 has wrapped, but not without echoes of MWC 2012, where Nokia took the wraps off something it had been working on for five years, the 808 PureView, much to everyone's astonishment, not least that it ran Symbian, considered 'old' even in 2012. The big reveal was the use of a 41MP sensor, of course - and here I want to reminisce about the aims of 'PureView' and the resurgence of the brand and also the technology. Not necessarily in the same phones!

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Review: Noreve 'Wallet Case for a Smartphone'

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With most of us taking two things everywhere we go - our smartphones and our wallets - an obvious question to ask at some point is "Why not put the two together?" Now, while there have been 'folio' cases for many smartphones for years, usually with a few token card slots inside the front flap, this brand new Noreve accessory takes the concept and dials it up to 11. With understandable caveats for bulk and (here) price!

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

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