One of the side effects of the arrival of Lumia Denim and Lumia Camera 5 to the likes of the Lumia Icon, 930, 1520 and 830 was that a bizarre auto-rotation issue crept in for many users. I've included a video below to show the problem - up to five seconds to switch between portrait and landscape. It wasn't a complete showstopper, but was frustrating on a day to day basis. However, it turns out that this is an artefact of upgrading from Lumia Cyan/Windows Phone 8.1 and that a careful backup/reset/restore cycle fixes the issue for good. If you too are affected, time for a spring clean?
By popular demand, another camera phone head to head using our comparator. With the launch of the Lumia 640 XL with '13MP' ZEISS camera, in a budget phablet frame, quite a few people seem to have been eyeing up the 640 XL as a cheap replacement for their older high end Lumia. The obvious comparison is the mid-tier 830, which also uses ZEISS optics and also eschews oversampling. And then I threw caution to the wind and chucked in the cheaper Lumia 640 as well. Read on for my verdict...
With the main review of the Lumia 640 out of the way, it's time to pitch it against one of its main competitors from the Android world, the Honor Holly, roughly the same price (depending on where you look), almost identical specifications, and yet still plenty of detail to differentiate the two handsets, not least the choice of OS.
After my last batch of camera phone imaging comparisons, there were a few requested in the comments and, with some nice weather in the UK spring, I wanted to tackle a few over the next few weeks. Starting with the classic Lumia 1020 (no compromises but a little old and slow) versus the Lumia 930 (fitted out with the latest Lumia Camera 5, blazingly fast, background processing and 'next gen' algorithms).
Mentioned in passing in all the Windows 10 Insiders fun at the weekend was that for many Windows Phones, the transition to '10' couldn't be achieved without an intermediate update, to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. Which is interesting for several reasons, not least because this wasn't scheduled to come to most handsets (outside the USA) at all. And because it provides a unique opportunity for anyone with a Lumia 930. Grab it with both hands.
Yes, yes, don't shout at your screens or blow a gasket, on the face of it this comparison is an almighty mismatch of ambitions and target market, but hold on. Both the Lumia 640 XL and iPhone 6 Plus have 5.5"-5.7" screens, both are the same height and weight, both have great cameras, super contrasty screens, great speakers, plenty of software (yes, yes, coming to that below) and both cost £700. No wait, that's just the iPhone. The Lumia costs just over a quarter of that, making the comparison rather eye opening.
The apparent duplication in having both Windows Phone 'Photos' and 'Lumia Storyteller' on most Lumias is a little confusing, but a little investigation reveals that the latter can on the whole be used as a replacement for the former, and with significant extra features and tie-ins. It doesn't make much difference for the everyday Lumia, but for the Lumia Camera 5-compatible smartphones, it's very worthwhile making the switch, opening up the full gamut of modern features.
With the One M9 in for review, from the Android world (here's my main general 930 vs M9 comparison), the very latest iteration of HTC's famous design but with, for once, a traditional high megapixel camera, an obvious test was to pitch the device against the similarly specced Lumia 930/1520 camera unit. Now that HTC has moved from its disappointing 'ultrapixel' units to something more competitive, does it leapfrog the 930/1520 by virtue of being newer, or is the old Nokia unit still more capable? Let's find out.
It's fair to say that the Lumia 930 is already looking long in the tooth - yet it remains the 5"-screened flagship in the Windows Phone world. Go pester Microsoft about there not being anything newer! In the meantime, the arrival of the HTC One M9 for review (and with a guess that a Windows 10 version of the latter might just turn up in the Autumn) gave us the chance to put the two smartphones head to head in traditional fashion.
Group tests of Twitter clients on any platform are always a little transient on any platform because of Twitter's own (crazy) client token limits, meaning that any third party application that gets really popular effectively gets shut down when it gets to 100,000 users. Such was the fate of several applications on Windows Phone, with Mehdoh and Rowi bowing out for this and other reasons. Begging the question at the end of March 2015, with a very serviceable first party client for the platform, of whether it's worth going third party at all any more and if so, which application to choose? This is my much updated look at Twitter clients, now with six apps in the mix.