Recent Features - Windows Phone 8

The Lumia 1020 (/920) and continuing Store access in 2020 via W10M...

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With the Store for Windows Phone 8.1 stopping working in a couple of weeks, users of the very popular Lumia 1020 have a problem. Yes, being love-smitten on the 1020 is an issue in itself, though you might also now consider the iPhone 11 Pro. But if you want to give the 1020 (or 920) a little more life in terms of applications then force-upgrading it to Windows 10 Mobile is about the only option, since the W10M Store is 'good' until at least 2021. My own 1020 has flip-flopped a few times between 8.1 and W10M, I always got put off by the latter's restrictions for the 1020 hardware, but it seems like Microsoft is now forcing our hand for good.

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The (crowd-sourced) Top 10 Windows-powered phones... ever!

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Exactly two years ago I presented my own 'Top 5', but the ecosystem is about to start winding down, the last branch of Windows on phones is about to receive its final update, so now would be a good time for a massive update to the idea. This time going with crowd-sourced data and not just my own prejudices! You might still not be surprised at the no. 1 below, but at least it's not just my own PureView love affair - several hundred others voted, with results below.

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Replacing a Lumia with a new Nokia: the 7.2, a cheap way to try Android?

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Most Lumias were produced under the Nokia brand, of course, with the final generation under 'Microsoft'. But I still find it interesting how the Nokia name has risen back up into the public consciousness under the seemingly capable hands of HMD Global, still based in Finland. I've covered the (disappointing) Nokia 9 PureView here before, but I now have in for review something that sits at the budget end of the spectrum (£230), yet is robust (plastic chassis, think Lumia 1520) and capable. And still has a 48MP camera. Here's my first look at the 'Nokia 7.2'.

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The new 1020? My vote goes to the iPhone 11 Pro

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Out and about with the new (and diminutive) iPhone 11 Pro (i.e. the smaller variant), I get the same feeling as when I used to carry the Lumia 1020 - a desire to take photos. The idea that every time I see something that I'd like to snap I know I'll be able to get the shot, quickly and comfortably. No precarious perching of a phablet-sized phone, just a pocket-sized smartphone with the best camera in the world doing what it was born to do. 2013 to 2019 should mark a lot of progress in image quality, so let's try and quantify that with some challenging 1020-esque test shots. I think you'll be surprised.

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Status report for November 2019: Services on Windows 10 Mobile

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With some social applications, comms apps and Microsoft services being phased out through 2019 and beyond, I thought a ready reference table of where Windows 10 Mobile stands would be useful. And I'll try to revisit this every few months to update each section as needed. In summary, there's likely to be little disruption to 'normal' activities this year but a few more caveats in 2020, when Windows 10 Mobile will be out of official support. Anyway, see below for details!

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Life after Lumias? My top 5 smartphone replacements (end 2019)

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Four months is a long time in the phone world - I last opined on this topic in (only) July, yet my picks have changed significantly! I've pitched this as my top picks for smartphones to replace a Lumia 950/930 or perhaps an IDOL 4 Pro or Elite x3, going forwards into 2020 as Windows 10 Mobile stops being supported and as services gradually start to wind down. I've tested just about everything on the market and here's my verdict, with just one eye on price and value for money as well (though this isn't critical).

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Save HUNDREDS of pounds in the Store! (ps. not really)

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Forgive a little rant, but I thought my general level of 'cross-ness' over the behaviour shown below might a) help guilty developers mend their ways, and b) attract your attention to what I consider to be shady practice when getting users to download applications from the Microsoft Store. PS. This news post is normally £399 to read, but today it's absolutely free!!

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Imaging excellence opens up iPhone 11 Pro switch possibilities

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Whether you have/had a Lumia 1020 or 930 or 950, one of the core 'must haves' for you is probably cutting edge imaging - the absolute best photos possible from a phone. iPhones have been gradually 'coming up on the rails' in this regard and with the new iPhone 11 Pro I showed a few weeks ago that its cameras are right up there, and even exceeding those of the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 950. I'll revisit the subject when the 11 Pro's 'Deep Fusion' update hits, but in the meantime here's a feature comparison across the board between the flagship iPhone 11 Pro and the similarly sized previous camera champion, the Lumia 950. Cost notwithstanding, maybe the time is now right to move to an iPhone (and not just the cheaper '11')?

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Windows Phone - a slice of the future... from 6 years ago!

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I have to say that I find it quite amusing that the tech industry is falling over itself in 2019 to embrace concepts that were commonplace back in the early days of Windows Phone - from well over six years ago. For every naysayer that slams Windows Phone for its weaknesses, remember that it also led the world in several ways, not least UI responsiveness, dark themes, and augmented reality mapping!

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By popular demand... the Lumia 1020 - iPhone 11 Pro shootout!

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Yes, yes, another imaging feature... I wasn't planning on including the (now) six year old Lumia 1020 in my round of relevant iPhone 11 Pro imaging comparisons, but AAWP readers asked for it and so here goes! As it happens, there's common ground, since both offer zoom, both offer reframing (in different ways), and both phones are, I argue, unashamedly camera-centric.

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