Recent Features - General

WOA gets HDMI/Continuum for the Lumia 950 XL, a progress report

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We haven't mentioned the Lumia Windows on ARM (WOA) project for a long time, but that doesn't mean progress isn't being made. The idea, you may recall, is to hack Windows 10 on ARM (which exists for 'Desktop') onto a Lumia 950 XL (or 950), which has a modestly powerful ARM processor and should be up to basic tasks. No, this will never be useful day to day, but it's very definitely a cool and geeky project. The latest news/photo proof is of HDMI out (and thus Continuum of sorts) working, but we're using this opportunity to bring you bang up to date with the project.

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Camera head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

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It's the one you've been waiting for. The highest end (in terms of imaging) iPhone ever against an AAWP stalwart. Last year's iPhone 11 Pro managed to win out against the Lumia 950, thanks to triple camera, restrained image processing, loads of horsepower, and some very clever multi-frame software. So the 12 Pro Max, with larger sensor, new OIS system, and longer lensed telephoto should do even better, right? Well... Let's find out.

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Head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs iPhone 12 Pro Max

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It's the big one... the largest iPhone ever with the largest, most sophisticated camera ever. In an iPhone, at least. But it looks pretty good so far - an imaging shootout is coming next (of course), but in the meantime here's a specs feature. Yes, the 2015 Lumia's outgunned, but it gives me an opportunity to go over what's in the new iPhone flagship against a known bookmark. 

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Smartphone wired audio/DACs... (2020 update)

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Despite Apple's (and then Google's) attempts to quosh the humble wired 3.5mm audio jack on modern smartphones (and copied by many others), plenty of decent smartphones are still sold with jacks and with DACs feeding whatever wired headphones you care to plug in. Potentially higher quality, and certainly no issues with drained batteries or lost AirPods (etc.) In this update of an article from 18 months ago, I test some of the 'jacked up' smartphones that I've had in for testing in 2020. Any conclusions, any winners?

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Camera head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Sony Xperia 5 ii

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A few days ago I pitched the new Sony Xperia 5 ii against the familiar Lumia 950 XL and I did promise an imaging head to head at the time. This is lockdown Britain and weather conditions haven't been ideal, but I do have enough comparison images and crops below to be able to deliver thoughts and a verdict. Tldr? The Xperia 5 ii wasn't quite as impressive as the specs and hype would suggest.

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Head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Sony Xperia 5 ii

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Cross posted here to AAS as well, because the Sony Xperia 5 ii is possibly the Android phone that most closely matches how I'd hope a classic Nokia smartphone would have turned out after half an extra decade of evolution. Think of it, perhaps, as a modern day Nokia N8 or how the Lumia series might have ended up if it gone down the multi-camera route. From display to multimedia to overall performance, the Xperia 5 ii is a bit special. Here's my initial impressions and specs round-up, watch this space for an imaging head to head as well.

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Status report for November 2020: services and apps on Windows 10 Mobile

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Here, for November 2020, is the refreshed/latest news and comment on applications and services on Windows 10 Mobile - the OS itself has now had its very last security update, but it still works on the whole. This feature will summarise what's broken and what's not, along with workarounds where possible. Details and links have all been updated throughout. Note that I've kept the URL the same, so the last seven months of comments are all still here.

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2020 imaging head to head: Lumia 950, Pixel 5, iPhone 12

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Something a little different here, with a three way test - just because I have the very latest from Google and Apple here. Pitched against the classic Lumia 950 (from 2015), because this is AAWP, after all, I've taken a number of test scenes in all light conditions - which will be the purest of PureView cameras? Do note that the 'big one' on the iPhone 12 imaging front is November's 12 Pro Max, so that'll have its own camera showdown in due course...

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Mid-priced head to head: Lumia 950 vs iPhone 12

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OK, it's a fair cop, the comparisons are starting to get a little stretched now in terms of raw power, but the brand new (out today) iPhone 12 is almost the same size as my trusty Lumia 950 and might well be a device that many are aiming for, or at least aspiring to. No, it's not the iPhone 12 Pro Max with the next-gen camera stuff, but it's not a million miles off. So how does it spec up to a Lumia that you'll all know and love?

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In the wake of the Lumia 950: all aboard into a Type C world

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It's a fair cop, the Lumia 950/XL wasn't the very first smartphone (or indeed device of any kind) to use USB Type C, but it was in the first handful. A 'LeTV' phone got there first, a few months earlier, then the Google Nexus 5X and 6P pipped the Lumias by a month. But, for a change, back in 2015, Microsoft's Lumias were just about on the cutting edge. And now Type C is back in the headlines, controversially so, though the adjective 'courageous' is possibly apt... this time around.

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