Recent Features - General

Zoom, PureView, and more: Lumia 1020, 950 versus the Huawei P20 Pro

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The arrival of the Huawei P20 Pro in the Android world is significant for people who have used the Nokia (808 and) Lumia 1020 and Lumia 950 range, since Huawei's head of imaging is one of the ex-Nokian co-creators of the PureView concept and technology. So we see a 40MP and physically large sensor again, but with extra sauce from other lenses. But how does this new 'PureView' implementation compare to those of previous generations?

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Flagship head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Huawei P20 Pro

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Yes, I'm comparing a 2015 phone with one from 2018, so it's not a fair fight. Yet in the interests of showing Windows 10 Mobile users/fans one of the more likely Android phones that they might like to move to in the next 12 months, here's a blow by blow comparison of the ageing but classic Lumia 950 XL against the brand new (40MP-sensored, triple lens) Huawei P20 Pro. And yes, a full-on imaging comparison is next...!

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The curated UWP app directory for Windows 10 (Mobile)

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Over the last 18 months I've been adding to my curated directory of applications for Windows phones, including both 8.1 and Windows 10 versions. But, as we head into 2018 and with the latter really all that most currently active Windows phone users care about, I've whittled it all down to UWP applications, those with native Windows 10 UI and which support different orientations, Continuum and even use on laptop or tablet. Without ever having to worry about the UI dropping back to 2013's 8.1 UI elements and controls. This is the mid-April update of the directory.

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How to: use Instagram under Windows 10 Mobile

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Last covered here in Autumn 2017, Instagram's official UWP application has effectively been pulled in the last day or so, thanks to the new version being compiled for Redstone 3 and above (i.e. for PC/x86), meaning that the 'feature2' branch that Windows 10 Mobile maxed out on doesn't qualify. However, all is not lost and Edge handily comes to the rescue if you still want to access Instagram on your Lumia or similar. [UPDATED BELOW]

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A Windows 10 Mobile Backup, Reset, and Restore FAQ

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My response to any oddity in the operation of a Windows 10 Mobile phone is usually to suggest a 'refresh'. The usual cause of the oddity is that the phone has been taken through multiple OS branches and/or Insider rings, and it's time to have a managed clearout. In the FAQ below, I cover most of your questions about backing up and refreshing.

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Zoom, zoom, zoom: by popular demand, the 808, 1020 and Galaxy S9+

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Zoom is one of the few really diffentiating factors in phone imaging these days, with 'simple' photo taking now being mastered in almost all light conditions. However, no sooner do I mention a telephoto zoom lens in a smartphone, such as the iPhone X or (here) the Galaxy S9+, than people pipe up with requests for comparisons to 'zoom champions' of the past. I maintain that, classy though these might have been, there's an element of rose-tinted memories creeping in. But let's find out, with some examples of camera phone zoom under a wide variety of situations and use cases. 

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Head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S9+

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A month ago I compared the classic 2015 Lumia 950 XL with the Samsung Galaxy S9, with the idea being 'in the interests of showing Windows 10 Mobile users/fans one of the more likely Android phones that they might like to move to in the next 12 months'. Though valid, this was something of a mismatch of form factors, at least visually - but now we have the larger S9+. And a new set of pros and cons all round!

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S9+:The imaging tipping point - I (and the 950) finally give in

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Technology, as they say, marches on. In terms of image quality, the Nokia 808 camera was top of the phone imaging tree for a couple of years. The Lumia 1020 was top for another couple, then the Lumia 950 inherited the crown for two years more until eventually just pipped - arguably - by the Apple iPhone X, thanks to its extra telephoto lens. And now the pack has starting to overtake the champion 950, with the mass market Galaxy S9 drawing level and now this, the Galaxy S9+, moving some way ahead.

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Windows 10 Mobile, those moving goalposts, and IoT

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With the news that the recently acquired Ring (IoT doorbells) is stopping access to its hardware from Windows 10 Mobile in April, I find myself musing, not for the first time, about moving goalposts. Without active development, an OS these days will find itself dropping seriously behind the pack, and IoT support is a good example of this. On the other hand, are we 100% sure about IoT and its integration being a good thing in the first place? 

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More natural processing needed? RAW comparison: Lumia 950 vs Galaxy S9

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Having completed my in-depth Lumia 950 XL versus Galaxy S9 shootout here, resulting in an overall tie, what struck most people about the results was test 5 in my line-up, where the new S9 made a truly horrible mess of 'natural' detail, i.e. grass, shrubs, trees. However, given that both the classic Lumia 950 XL and S9 support the saving of 'RAW' images, i.e. before all the image processing and sharpening, then that was the next thing in my review sights.

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