So, with my review of the very Windows 10 Mobile-friendly Fitbit Versa concluded a couple of days ago, I'm staying on a wearable theme with a look back (and forward) at the Microsoft Band 2, still a valid choice for Windows phone users - as long as you don't destroy it with your specific fitness regime. I've been using my Band 2 again and am appreciating it more than ever...
Recent Features - Windows Phone 8
This one's been rumbling around for a while, but I wanted to put it to bed... one way or another. In brief, Photos sometimes shows broken thumbnails for images on OneDrive and when you try to tap through anyway, you're told that the photo is unavailable and that you should 'check your Internet connection'. Which is quite clearly absolute tosh - but what's actually going on?
One of the jewels in the Nokia Lumia 1020 camera experience was always the UI - the way a simple swipe left from the shutter icon would bring up 'pro' mode sliders, arranged for easy twiddling, all with one thumb. This made its way through into Windows 10 Camera, of course, on the likes of the Lumia 950. And now it's reborn.... in an Android phone. With the Nokia badge. Gulp. So how has the 'new' Nokia done?
There was some confusion recently in the comments here on AAWP over whether Office applications offered full functionality (including editing and creating) under Windows 10 Mobile in 2018. I decided to investigate and the results are below. In short, as I expected (and stated originally), you can still edit and create documents for free, but in fairness there are some restrictions. Which I list/show in definitive fashion, so hopefully this page is worth a bookmark.
It's tough to compare large numbers of camera phones at the same time - four is about the limit in terms of coverage on the web. But it's perfectly valid to pick out interesting groupings. In this case, the classic Lumia 1020 and 950 (this being AAWP, and yes, I'm still flip-flopping on which is 'best' for imaging) versus modern flagships which have just had updates. The Galaxy S9+ has just had its second system update, while the Pixel 2 XL hasn't been tested here for six months and now runs a whole new OS, Android P(ineapple), and with its 'Visual Core' chip activated. Whatever happens, it's going to be a power imaging shootout...
Every time I pick up a Windows phone there's a certain air of 'getting things done' - it's that sort of OS. But even Windows 10 Mobile is limited in the applications it can run, whereas most predictions of the upcoming 'Surface Mobile' (Andromeda) are for full Windows 10 on ARM in a folding experience. But for the moment, what if you were to do without the 'folding' bit?
Two weeks ago, I posted about considering the Lumia 1020 under its original Windows Phone 8.1 as a viable set-up, even in 2018. And it is, on the whole, I stand by everything I said in the original post. However, while it may be a viable set-up, it's most certainly not optimal, five years after launch, and six years after the launch of the Lumia 920, the archetypal 8.1 device. In an attempt to see just where the pain points are (other than the obvious, like no biometrics), I set about using Windows Phone 8.1 exclusively for 24 hours. And no cheating.
Whether you're using Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10 Mobile, the chances are that you've settled on the 'Bing image of the day' as your lockscreen. Stunning curated images from commercial collections, every day that are, seemingly, just as well suited to the portrait phone screen as to the landscape desktop aspect ratio - thanks to some clever selection and even more clever cropping. But a day later and they're gone. How can you enjoy them after the fact?
By popular request, and in particular response to the arguably incomplete results coming out DxOMark in the last few years, I immodestly present what has come to be called 'SteveMark', as in a compilation of results of the real world tests I've been doing with a wide range of smartphone flagship cameras. Is there a top dog? Unsurprisingly, it depends on what you want from a phone camera, and also unsurprisingly, I present to you not one, but two Top 10 lists. Take your pick!
Yes, yes, Windows Phone 8.1 is now classed as 'retro', but as a followup to my piece on choosing it for the Lumia 1020, I wanted to emphasise one aspect that still works rather well... with a twist that I hadn't realised* was there. Live traffic graphical views on 'ye olde' WP8.1? No problem.