When I'm using Windows 10 Mobile full time, I can truthfully say that the OS and its applications satisfy all my smartphone 'needs', but there's a huge caveat implied. 'Needs', after all, implies 'necessities', the basics that have to be in place in order for a smartphone to be a smartphone. I get by - I even enjoy the phone and the UI. But there's an unstated reach that lets those with other mobile OS go further, whether its paying for things with their phone in a shop, playing the latest blockbuster games, or streaming video from a particular commercial movie service. Below, I chart the shortfall - how critical is it to you?
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Sometimes you can't always get what you want, but.... you might just get what you need. So sang The Rolling Stones and a bit of a life lesson, but borne out by several technological trends, not least something that had been close to my heart, the subject of replaceable batteries in smartphones. See below for links, quotes, and current thoughts on the reality.
If you're watching intently then you may have noticed that March's 'Patch Tuesday' updates haven't (so far) included Mobile. Sod's law says that Microsoft will issue them right after this article goes live, but in the meantime I can't help but feel frustrated about the lack of TLC given to Windows 10 Mobile and the immense resources being ploughed by Microsoft into gimmicks elsewhere.
It's perhaps the imaging shootout that many have anticipated, at least here on AAWP - the classic Lumia 950/XL camera against the very latest pretender, the Galaxy S9, with a triple 'layer' sensor (see below), dual aperture and hyper-multiple exposure system driven by a Snapdragon 845 chipset or equivalent. Surely, surely the 2015 Lumia can't defeat a flagship that's two and half years newer? Let's find out.
It's a fair cop - I'm comparing a 2015 phone with one from 2018, so it's not a fair fight. Yet in the interests of showing Windows 10 Mobile users/fans one of the more likely Android phones that they might like to move to in the next 12 months, here's a blow by blow comparison of the ageing but classic Lumia 950 XL against the brand new Galaxy S9. And yes, an imaging comparison is next...!
If the table below looks familiar then that's because it's adapted from a feature I wrote just after the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro's release, in August 2017, i.e. seven months ago. With some new information, some new context and some new links, here's a fresh 2018 look at where these two consumer Windows 10 Mobile handsets sit with respect to each other. Tough choices this way lie....
Windows 10 Mobile's imperfections are well known, at least around these parts, since we're intensive users. (Ask the wider world and they probably think the OS is dead.) And, while waiting for Microsoft and an all-singing folding phablet, there's a very real temptation to switch over to Android as your phone OS of choice. But is the grass any greener on that side of the fence? In this feature, I present, hopefully honestly, the various pros and cons.
The Insiders programme came with a number of warnings, along the lines of 'by opting in, you agree that things may go horribly wrong and you may need to wipe your device at some point in the future'. Now, most of us ignored this glibly, upgrading away, switching Insiders rings without a care in the world, and usually without incident. But glitches do happen, not just in The Matrix, but also in the Windows 10 Mobile Insiders programme. And here's the full tale of how my 950 XL was restored to 100% functionality...
Almost a year ago, I covered this very topic, but it's just as relevant today, if only to answer the question of whether you can still bring an older Windows Phone up to the last major practical branch, the Creators Update, giving you updates until Autumn 2019. See below for some recommended prerequisitive reading, but the short answer is that yes, you can. No need to be stuck on the Anniversary Update!
I can't quite believe that I'm having to write a tutorial based on getting round a bug in a Microsoft service, but while the company thinks about a fix, in the meantime regular users of Windows 10 Maps (typically on the phone) can't actually find the addresses they're looking for.