Recent Features - Microsoft

Hindsight, pt 2: Windows 10 Mobile and UWP on a dual screened device (video)

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A few weeks ago I penned 'In hindsight... Microsoft really should have stuck with Windows for Surface Duo', pointing out that the crossover between trendy consumer Android applications and an enterprise/productivity-centric dual screen device is very small indeed. And to try and make this point more visually I’ve gone down the (ahem) slightly jeuvenile route of physically taping two Windows 10 Mobile phones together and videoing the result. I know, I know, rather cheesy. But my video embedded below makes the point. If this form factor had been released running the Windows and UWP apps you love, wouldn't you have dipped into your wallet?

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Surface Pen? More stuff you can do on the Go!

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Though it's not a smartphone as such (though you can get a LTE version), the Surface Go range is eminently a) ultra-mobile, being small and light, and b) Windows and UWP-powered, so I contend it's still of interest to the 'All About' audience. Despite some initial misgivings on launch (the use of Type C and cost, mainly), I've ended up loving my Surface Go and it - quite literally - goes on all trips with me. What's curious though is the Surface Pen, which I initially dismissed as a bit of a gimmick - but which I now also take with me, magnetically attached or in my briefcase pen holder. Here are my suggestions on what you can do with it - add everything below up and I think you'll agree that it's virtually a must-have.

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By popular request: 950 XL vs Galaxy S21 Ultra vs iPhone 12 Pro Max (ProRAW)

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One of the requests in the comments on my previous camera shootout was to have the iPhone 12 Pro Max thrown into the mix as well, and in full-on ProRAW shooting mode, i.e. side-stepping a final JPG and edge enhancement processing stage. Given that this phone/mode triumphed previously, I think this is a good call. And timely, with the Galaxy S21 Ultra getting a major update since my previous article. With the Lumia ready as my reference and with the new genuine budget contender, the Redmi Note 9T thrown into the mix as well, what we have here is a full-on four way contest.

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Lumia 950 XL vs a surprising 2021 counterpart - the Redmi Note 9T

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It's uncanny in some ways. Look at the similarities. Plastic body, large battery, oversampled camera sensor (with no telephoto backup), card expansion, 3.5mm jack. And coming it at (now) amazingly cheap prices - the Redmi Note 9T is just £179* inc VAT in the UK. Yet the two match up pretty well, with the usual caveat about the Lumia being five years old and out of support(!)

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Camera head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

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Having already pitched this year's new Samsung flagship darling (and arguably with good reason), the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G against the classic Lumia 950 XL, as usual for interest's sake, it's time to turn to imaging. The S21 Ultra claims the earth, but is its camera system as good as the marketing suggests? Upsampling and some computational strangeness do cast the odd doubt. And, as ever, a lot will depend on whether you need its mighty 10x periscope telephoto system.

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Head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

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The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the pick of the last three years of Samsung flagships, I contend. Imaging, performance, this gets almost everything right... at a price, both financial and in size and weight. I haven't done a straight 'head to head' for a while on AAWP, but the time seems right to feature the S21 Ultra, alongside the usual big Lumia favourite.

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In hindsight... Microsoft really SHOULD have stuck with Windows for Surface Duo

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Yes, yes, we at AAWP said this all along - Windows 10 Mobile was in pretty good shape by 2017 and was the obvious choice for the dual-screened 'Andromeda' project that was taking shape (also wistfully referred to here as 'Surface Phone' sometimes). The two big challenges were adaptation for two displays and the absence of some big name third party applications. Microsoft solved these by switching OS and going with Android, but in hindsight, amidst two years of excitement about Windows on ARM (including 10X), maybe it would have been better to have stuck with Windows after all?

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'Your Phone' vs Samsung DeX for Windows

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Last week I looked at how Microsoft's Your Phone system had been evolving over the last 12 months, but I did tease that I wanted to compare it to Samsung's DeX for Windows (or Mac) - both seem to offer functions that have overlap, to say the least. Having established that Your Phone's core features can be helpful but that the concept isn't exactly foolproof or mainstream, is DeX for Windows (or Mac) any better?

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'Your Phone' in 2021: What is it, is it finished, who's it for?

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Microsoft's 'Your Phone' software, now effectively built into Windows (in that you're prompted to 'link your phone' when first signing into Windows on a PC), has been evolving nicely through 2019 and 2020, see the linked stories below. But it's not quite a 'slam dunk' yet, partly due to mobile platform limitations, partly because it still feels a little like a solution to a problem that few people have in the real world...

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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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