Featured Editorial Content
Recent Editorial Content
Traditionally, the price barrier for smartphones was £100. Even Nokia's lowest end Symbian handsets only strayed a little way below this, yet with feature phones all but dying out in many countries, there's now a battle on to provide a 'first smartphone' for a buyer at as far below £100 as can be managed. There have been numerous ultra-budget Android handsets at rock bottom prices, but with legendarily poor performance and specs. So let's take something modern, like the Moto E, and see how it compares against the latest Windows Phone budget launch. And, for the sake of interest and further comment, against the older, existing Lumia 520.
In AAWP Insight #104, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we discuss the recent job cuts announced Microsoft. The main focus is on the impact of ex-Nokia employees and activities, but we also touch on the wider context and talk around Microsoft's future mobile device strategy. We also revisit our Lumia 930 review after a further week of testing, before commenting on the patience required while waiting for the Lumia Cyan update. We end by highlighting the advantage of app store updates for built in apps.
Another Windows Phone 8.1 handset just got announced this morning by Microsoft, the Nokia Lumia 530, coming in under the existing Lumia 630 (reviewed here). The 530 (available in single and dual SIM form) drops down specifications slightly, with 4" screen, Snapdragon 200, and 4GB of internal storage, but also comes in at an initial estimated High Street price of under 100 Euros, so I'm guessing about £60 on pay as you go.
The clue is probably in the generic term 'camera-centric', really. However much people in the tech world like their phone cameras, having just a little too much emphasis placed on imaging - enough to warrant a significant bump on the back - seems to be the death knell for a device long term. In part though, this is more down to the time needed for R&D, but the end result is (yet again) a device which seems destined to be sidelined a little....
While reviewing the Lumia 930, I found myself factory resetting it several times on day one. And not because of anything wrong with the phone or its software. You see, there's a limit built into the Microsoft account and Store system that just hasn't been thought through completely. It only hurts the people Microsoft and the Windows Phone team should be wanting to make friends with!
Fresh from my case selection for the Nokia Lumia 1520, let's go down to the other extreme, to the best selling Windows Phone ever - the budget Lumia 520. Again, I'm going to take three of the best selling cases from a major retailer, with very different characteristics, and see which one comes up trumps.
AAWP Insight #103, hosted by Steve and Rafe, is dedicated to the Lumia 930, the global variant of the Lumia Icon, which goes on sale this week in the UK. The main focus is on the hardware of the new flagship Lumia device, but there's also a few mentions for Lumia Cyan and Windows Phone 8.1. This podcast complements our ongoing Windows Phone 8.1 coverage and our recently published review of the Nokia Lumia 930. [Update: file now fixed and available]
The successor to the 'classic' Lumia 920 (see here for my comparison), the 930 had quite a lot to live up to - not least keeping Windows Phone competitive in a specifications arms war being waged by Android armies, led by the likes of the Galaxy S5 and LG G2/G3. The Lumia 930 does top the 920 quite comfortably (with one notable exception) and does bring Windows Phone up to the level of performance expected in 2014. Is it enough, though?
As the model numbers attest, the new Lumia 930 is in many ways a follow-up to the classic old 920 - everything's integral, no covers needed, specs here are higher in every way yet without increasing dimensions unduly. Here's our definitive comparison - what would an existing 920 owner gain by upgrading to the much newer handset?
One of the interesting features of the Windows Phone world is the variety of applications that use the smartphone's camera. Often for gimmicky effect, but sometimes going for maximum quality and a possible direct replacement for Nokia Camera, the application that comes on each Lumia, as tested here. But do you sacrifice image quality by using another application? Using a controlled low light test, I decided to investigate!