Guest writer By Michael 'Mivas_Greece' (surname withheld by request) brings us the first part of a tale of prototypes (one of which he has access to) and what might have been, featuring some of the various uses of Nokia's 'Pre-Touch' technology. A Lumia 1030 anyone? Part two of this feature will be published in due course.
Recent Features - Windows Phone 8
This is an experiment I come back to roughly once a year here on AAWP, but the placement of Windows Phone 8.1 in the context of modern Internet services changes every time, usually for the worse, which is why the experiment bears repetition. As ever, my trusty Lumia 1020 from 2013 will be my steed, since I still adore the way imaging was handled (zoom, reframing, etc.) on this unique smartphone. But how much of the modern world is now off limits to the venerable OS, for which support ended in mid-2017, almost two years ago?
Guest writer Ow Kah Leong brings us a little smartphone-centric travelogue...(!) He's comparing camera snaps from his 2014 Lumia 1520 with those from his 2017 Samsung Galaxy Note 8, all from the perspective of a normal mobile user - a 'normob'. Summary? The more modern phone gets some shots the Lumia wouldn't, but the Lumia still competes for sheer quality and creativity.
I think I can be allowed a little backwards-gazing now that we're into 2019 and the (nominally) last year of Windows 10 Mobile support from Microsoft*. Which is why I'm going to be gazing at the array of Windows-powered phones on my desk and picking a few standouts. Starting with my current favourite Windows phone, heck I was salivating the moment it was rumoured - the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro. No, don't laugh, please read on. I have my reasons...!
A debate on Twitter earlier in the week (see below) put up one of THE most frequently asked questions about phone imaging. Why do I/we both pixel peeping when most phone-shot photos are only ever seen on 5"/6" phone screens? It's a good question, but I think I have a great answer. If you're a phone imaging enthusiast then you'll know where I'm going with this already, but for the casual user, here's why I do what I do and here's why enthusiasts care...
The Lumia 830 (and the 735, for which all this also applies) aren't exactly computing powerhouses, with only 1GB RAM. However, they're not only compatible with Windows 10 Mobile, they work just fine for casual use right up to the very latest Fall Creators Update (1709) - if you know the tricks and hacks. Early in 2018 I covered how to take the much more powerful Lumia 930 (and 1520) on this journey, but I've had requests from readers for the exact sequence for the Lumia 830 (and 735), so here goes...
With the Pixel 3 in for review for a short period, and with a glimpse of sun here and there in November in the UK, I wanted to pit PureView phase 1 (Nokia 808) and phase 2 (Lumia 1020, adding OIS) with the Pixel's (as good as) PureView phase 3, doing all the pixel combination in the time domain rather than across a high-res sensor. There's a lot to compare, it's our biggest and longest imaging comparison piece ever, so let's press on and do allow time for the page to fully load!
One of the reasons why there has always been a big debate as to what exactly constitutes "a smartphone" is that the definition itself keeps changing. Once we had dumb phones, then high end communicators and touchscreen multimedia gadgets for geeks, and then - by 2010 or so - enough people had what we had been calling 'smartphones' that they became mainstream and just 'phones'. But just what functions got added in each era, where are we now, and where do the different platforms stand?
The Lumia 950 and 950 XL were announced almost exactly three years ago, in October 2015. Not exactly to huge fanfare, and they needed six months of Windows 10 Mobile updates for the phones to really fly. And, for a short period, they were competitive with the best of iPhone and Android, but the pace of hardware development on the latter has been astonishing and unrelenting. Even imaging, the Lumia 950/XL's star feature, has now been overtaken. Where will it all end?
It's a fair cop, Windows 10 Mobile is still alive, so maybe it's too early to do a little grave-jumping. And devices like the Lumia 950 are still eminently useable and even enjoyable. But at the same time, there have been some stinkers in Windows phone history - and I've never compiled an list... until now. Whatever you might think of the development of the OS itself, there's little to excuse some of the hardware below.