Steve is the editor at All About Windows Phone, which means any typos that slip through in the main stories are his responsibility (although, ultimately, you can still blame Rafe). He’s also one of the main writers, specialising in the camera and multimedia side of things when it comes to reviews and tutorials. When not working on AAWP and All About Symbian, Steve writes, produces and stars in The Phones Show, a fortnightly video show reviewing phones and smartphones in detail.
Recent Content by Steve
Following on from my Gallery of the Surface Go review hardware kit and the first part of my main review of this relevant ultra-mobile computing device, here's part 2, concentrating on the Type Cover and the laptop experience. And you'll forgive the gushing praise, but the Alcantara Microsoft Type Covers are just spectacularly high quality. Snapped onto a Surface Go, this gives you the Windows laptop experience at not much more than 700g.
With the Pixel 3 in for review for a short period, and with a glimpse of sun here and there in November in the UK, I wanted to pit PureView phase 1 (Nokia 808) and phase 2 (Lumia 1020, adding OIS) with the Pixel's (as good as) PureView phase 3, doing all the pixel combination in the time domain rather than across a high-res sensor. There's a lot to compare, it's our biggest and longest imaging comparison piece ever, so let's press on and do allow time for the page to fully load!
A week ago I took my first look at the new Surface Go with an illustrated gallery showing the device, its optional keyboard and its definitely optional pen. And I have to confess that it won me over fairly quickly. Having already opined on the design many months ago, at launch, I can happily admit that some of my fears were quickly dispelled and the Go is now one of my favourite computing devices - it's just so... light and small, yet it's - literally - a full PC. Not quite in my pocket, but close. It's certainly trivial to add to any folio or carry bag. Here's part one of my multi-part review for AAWP.
I've talked before about how Google's HDR+ software is effectively the latest generation of Nokia's original PureView concept. Except that instead of amalgamating pixel data from a high resolution to a lower resolution, all with a single exposure, HDR+ takes pixel data from many separate exposures at the same resolution. The former is - in theory - superior. But put the latter together with a modern fast chipset and all of a sudden multi-frame PureView becomes practical and with decent results. Taking the Lumia 950 as my modern era gold standard for imaging, can the brand new Google Pixel 3 really compete?
No, this isn't a phone. It's not even a 'communicator' in the purest sense, since the LTE version hasn't appeared yet. But the Surface Go is a half way house between a smartphone and a full-on laptop or even a 'Pro' hybrid. Paired with a phone (to provide mobile bandwidth), the Surface Go is quite a lot of computing power and familiar interface in a surprisingly small and light package, offering something different from traditional Macbooks, laptops, even Chromebooks now, and letting you bring the power of a traditional Windows PC everywhere you go.
One of the reasons why there has always been a big debate as to what exactly constitutes "a smartphone" is that the definition itself keeps changing. Once we had dumb phones, then high end communicators and touchscreen multimedia gadgets for geeks, and then - by 2010 or so - enough people had what we had been calling 'smartphones' that they became mainstream and just 'phones'. But just what functions got added in each era, where are we now, and where do the different platforms stand?
My camera (phone) comparisons over the last few years have been gradually stymied by manufacturers choosing to over-sharpen, to edge enhance, and to reduce noise. All in the name of producing 'wow' images for social media. Yet, living in the UK, greenery - so trees and grass - and nature generally form part of many test scenes. And it's nature itself, with all its incredible textures, that proves hardest of all to capture using modern camera phones. By way of some data points, I investigate!
A few days ago, in part 1 of this feature, I looked at the imaging specifications of the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro, relative to the 'benchmark' Lumia 950 XL. My conclusion that the former outgunned the latter and I went into some detail, especially looking at the 5x hybrid zoom. But in this, part 2, I go through a dozen or so test cases, lighting and subject scenarios. Can the Lumia's imaging 'purity' win out over the 2018 flagship's higher horsepower and extra lens options? PS. Please be patient while this page loads - there are LOTS of test images!
One of the last great strongholds of Windows Phone and then Windows 10 Mobile is imaging, of course, thanks to the insane work done by the Nokia engineers in creating the Nokia 808 PureView, the Lumia 1020 and then the Lumia 950/XL (the latter under Microsoft branding). To such an extent that the Nokia 808 was five years ahead of the competition and even today the three year old Lumia 950 camera is beating off most of the 2018 competition. But PureView tech's creators have scattered, to Apple and Huawei notably, with Eero Salmelin heading up imaging for the latter and here's his latest creation, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
I get pitched power banks every week for review - and I only ever look at the best and more innovative. In this case, the Tronsmart is brand new, super slender, the same size as a smartphone in every dimension - and yet high capacity, with Power Delivery and Quick Charge compatibility. And it looks and feels a million dollars, yet is only actually just over £20 - this is the power bank to get if you're not sure which one to buy! [PS. I've added some offer codes below]