One of the jewels in the Lumia 1020's imaging workflow was something called 'reframing'. By keeping a high resolution (34/38MP) photo behind the scenes, the selected 5MP output could be 'reframed' after the fact - cropping differently, rotating, and so on. And although this system isn't quite matched these days, I wanted to give a glimpse into what Apple's done with the iPhone 11 Pro, offering reframing of sorts with its 'crop/discard' (after the fact) function and with its unique expandable frame system. Pictures being worth a thousand words here, see the examples and explanations below.
We're used to 2020 services not being available to 'ye olde' Windows 10 Mobile, but in fact the new Disney+ streaming system works perfectly on the platform (even though it's not advertised as such). Now, there's a slight caveat in that it runs inside the Edge browser, i.e. it's not an 'app', so you get a browser UI while choosing something to watch, plus Disney+ isn't expecting a phone (even a Lumia 950) with such a relatively slow processor to handle its streams, so the experience isn't exactly snappy. But it does work and you'll be watching Disney+ movies in under 30 seconds from logging in. Who knew? (Certainly not Disney!)
Two months on from the previous update, and now moving to a 'quarterly' update schedule, here is the 'Summer 2020 directory', the AAWP directory of curated UWP applications, those with native Windows 10 UI and which support different orientations, Continuum and even use on laptop or tablet. Do please get involved in the comments to this new URL (the number on the previous story was getting too cumbersome) to let us know of anything which has stopped working.
A blast from the past, but I had the pleasure of interviewing Juha Alakarhu on my most recent Phones Show Chat podcast, published yesterday and embedded below. Juha is, of course, the man who co-crafted the cameras in the Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020 (and various Nseries and the Lumia 950 before and after) - and is respected as something of an imaging guru in the industry. Do have a listen, he reveals some of the background to the two champion 41MP camera phones, including just how hard the 1020 was, in particular, having to combine the 808's power with the expected OIS after the Lumia 920's release.
After my head to head imaging comparison between the Lumia 950 XL and Find X2 Pro, in which we learned that OPPO's image processing from its main 48MP pixel-binned camera leaves a lot to be desired, it seemed appropriate to show how well oversampling from a 40+MP sensor should be done, by pitching the Find X2 Pro against the classic Lumia 1020. But another current benchmark device needs to be in the mix too, to push both of these somewhat unbalanced contenders, so I'm putting in my iPhone 11 Pro. In other words a tough three-way fight and as I write this intro I have absolutely no idea which of the three might emerge the winner.
A few days ago I pitched the new OPPO Find X2 Pro against the Lumia 950 XL, spec for spec, with a view to it perhaps being a viable across-the-board upgrade. The huge question mark was over its imaging, which is why I present my usual multi-scene pixel analysis below - can the OPPO get close to the Lumia in terms of image quality? Also, does its 5x periscope zoom deliver, should you need this?
Another week, another comparison and possible way to go. It's raining smartphones here! In terms of raw specs, at least, this is one of the imaging flagships of 2020, though it remains to be seen how it fares in my camera testing. The Find X2 Pro impresses on almost every other level, running Android and with impeccable tech specs. The only fly in the ointment is perhaps the 'Color OS' skin on top, but at least OPPO isn't tainted by a USA trade ban and so, unlike Huawei's similar P40 Pro, this one has full Google services and applications. Phew!
Still very new, the OnePlus 8 Pro is the biggest and baddest (in a good way!) smartphone OnePlus has ever made. It's rated as perhaps the best Android phone money can buy, yet it's nowhere near the most expensive, which makes it an attractive option for an upgrade out of the ailing Windows 10 Mobile world. Here's how the classic Lumia 950 XL compares to the OnePlus 8 Pro...
Following my detailed comparison between the classic Lumia 950 and the revamped new budget Apple iPhone (the SE 2020), here's the promised camera head to head. Both are single camera systems with OIS and PDAF - the Lumia has oversampling for purity and a limited lossless zoom, but the SE has a newer sensor and far, far more powerful chipset handling the image processing. So it should be a close run thing...!
The Lumia 950 is famously compact and yet powerful (at least, in terms of imaging). But what if I said that you could switch to a brand new Apple iPhone of similar size, keep a great camera and Qi charging, add stereo speakers, and all for not much more than £400, all in? That's the beauty of the new iPhone SE, see below for a blow by blow comparison. Could an iPhone SE be the one that finally tempts you from your 950 and into a more modern ecosystem? Hey, you even (cough) get to keep the top and bottom bezels(!)