Rafe Blandford

Rafe is the man behind all the ‘All About’ sites. He’s responsible for business development and editorial direction. Rafe has a deep understanding of the mobile and smartphone industry and is widely recognised as one of the leading experts on Nokia’s smart device activities and strategy.

When writing Rafe specialises in covering device, industry and developer themes, but will also turn his hand to any topic that he thinks might interest the ‘All About’ audience.

You can follow him on Twitter (@rafeblandford) or Google+ and can contact him by email on rafe@allaboutwindowsphone.com or via the contact page.

Recent Content by Rafe

Microsoft improves on the Lumia 630 and 1320 with the Lumia 640 and 640 XL

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At the Microsoft press event at MWC this morning, it announced the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, with 5" and 5.7" 720p screens respectively, though both are firmly in the mid-tier category. Even so, the specs are easily enough for a full Windows 10 experience, when it ships later this year. The Lumia 640 XL will be available this month, with pricing starting at €189, while the Lumia 640 will be available in April, with pricing starting at €139.  

# Posted by Rafe, Steve in News || Comments

AAWP Insight #129: Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones

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In AAWP Insight #129, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the newly available Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones. We talk about the specifics of the Insider program, what's in the preview and what's not, and share some first thoughts on the look and feel. Other topics in the podcast include a recap of Steve's review of the Yezz Billy 4, the retirement of Windows Phone "Rooms", and a listener question on the Lumia 735 start screen.

# Posted by Rafe in Media || Comments

AAWP Insight #128: photo backup, Office Lens, and Storyteller

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In AAWP Insight #128, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we open with a discussion around the Microsoft-Samsung patent agreement, followed by some thoughts on the updated Office Lens, and the continued roll-out of Lumia Denim. We also talk about the form in which photos should be backed up to OneDrive and consider Lumia Storyteller as an alternative to Photos. There are also quick app mentions for Podcast Lounge, Tweetium, and NPR.

# Posted by Rafe in Media || Comments

AAWP Insight #127: Lumia Denim camera comparison, 810-based Lumias?

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In AAWP Insight #127, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we have further discussion around the Lumia Denim update. Topics covered include availability (and the complexity of variants), a camera comparison with earlier software on the Lumia 930/Icon, and more. We also cover a Snapdragon 810 press release, updates for the Tweetium app, some thoughts on wearables and smart home apps, plus a Table Tennis game recommendation.

# Posted by Rafe in Media || Comments

Cranking it up to 11: before/after Lumia Denim and LC5 imaging comparisons

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I know, I know - more imaging. But this one's a bit of an exclusive. In the last of this series of features (in theory) looking at Lumia Denim and Lumia Camera 5, I compare the same shots taken on Lumia Cyan and the old ex-Nokia Lumia Camera with those taken under Lumia Denim and Lumia Camera 5. Microsoft claims significant image processing enhancements - and there are certainly big differences, but I don't think the changes will please everyone.

# Posted by Rafe, Steve in Features || Comments

Oversampled versus Moment captured: Lumia Camera 5 on the 930

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One of the headline features in Lumia Camera 5 on the likes of the Nokia Lumia 930 is being able to take 4K video bursts and then extract 8MP stills later on in a very easy and intuitive interface. And yes, I know I already provided a few suggested tweaks to Lumia Camera 5's set-up. But what I wanted to look at here was how much quality would be lost in these stills compared to the oversampled results from traditional still capture of the same scene. Would the results be worth the tradeoff in terms of capturing an action moment? Surprisingly - yes!

# Posted by Rafe, Steve in Features || Comments

AAWP Insight #126: Lumia Denim and Lumia Camera 5

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In AAWP Insight #126, hosted by Steve and Rafe, the focus is on the arrival of the Lumia Denim (on some high-end devices) and the linked Lumia Camera 5. We discuss the details, work-flow, and (hidden) cost of Rich Capture, when you might want to use 4K moments, and the much improved start-up and shot-to-shot performance. We also cover Microsoft's Q4 financial results (including Lumia device unit volumes) and a number of recent app updates.

# Posted by Rafe in Media || Comments

Microsoft's Windows 10 event in summary

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Microsoft’s recent Windows 10 event offered a consumer preview of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets and phones, but also unveiled HoloLens, a holographic computing platform. In this feature we provide a summary of the key themes (Windows 10, HoloLens, and Surface Hub) that emerged, with an added emphasis on the non-Windows Phone elements, complementing our other coverage.

# Posted by Rafe in Features || Comments

Review: Awesome Lock

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One of the peculiarities of the Windows Phone lockscreen system is that you can only really have one set of overlaid details (e.g. weather or social or Bing image, etc.) at a time. In other words, you have to choose. Awesome Lock mainly takes away that pain by providing multiple data sources within its own custom lockscreen environment. It's a trifle garish at times in terms of set-up, but it does work and you can see why this has become many people's default lockscreen on the platform.

# Posted by Rafe in Reviews || Comments

AAWP Insight #125: Windows 10

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In AAWP Insight #125, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we review yesterday's Windows 10 event, with a Windows Phone focus. Topics covered include changes to the Start screen, updates for Action Centre and text input, increased commonality with desktop and tablet Windows, and a run down of the major new "Universal" apps. To finish we highlight some notable app updates and releases for current Windows Phone devices (Dropbox, Spotify, Twitter, and Skype).

# Posted by Rafe in Media || Comments