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?
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Brand new this week is the Honor 10, which - despite its sub-£400 price tag - boasts a ground-breaking new 'AI-based' camera. Software-based stabilisation, analysis of scene details to adjust processing for each interpreted depth layer, and to enhance subjects according to how people like seeing them. But how does all this hold up to the classic Lumia 950 - can all this new computational tech beat a quality classic?
It won't have shocked anyone during the week when Webrox's (makers of Tubecast and other well known Windows 10 Mobile applications) CEO, Stéphane Graziano, was quoted on MSPU as saying that 'nobody cares' about the Microsoft Store and that the current situation is 'a disaster'. Unsurprising, I contend, because people use the desktop/laptop very differently to their phones. But although it's unlikely that PWAs could help Webrox, they could help bridge the gap for many others.
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!
Somewhat handily, just as the cameras in the Lumia 950 and 950 XL are identical, so are those in the Sony XZ Premium, XZ1, XZ1 Compact (shown below), XZ2, and XZ2 Compact. So a range of sizes and general specs then, for anyone to pick from. And, with the chance to do a shootout, I grasped the bull by the horns, as it were...
18 months ago, in May 2016, I wrote about staying with Windows Phone 8.1 in an era of Windows 10 Mobile, in the context of some services working better on the old OS than the newer one. Since then, we've had Windows 10 Mobile mature and fill out, though there's one phone for which I stand by my original piece 100%. You may not be surprised that it's the classic and much-loved Lumia 1020, from 2013, which still feels 'right' on Windows Phone 8.1. If you have this Xenon-flash, monster-camera-ed device then here are the pros and cons, plus suggestions for use in the modern age.
In the past, I've mentioned a few examples of possible smartphones to consider jumping to if you reach the end of the road with your Windows phone, but I wanted to amplify this and give you the full picture. Yes, Windows 10 Mobile still has at least a year of updates and support left, but at some point even enthusiasts may reach the point where it becomes appropriate to wonder what might be next in our lives...
Restoring a Windows 10 Mobile phone from a backup, perhaps after a problem or a device replacement, isn't too problematic these days - most things are back where you expected, with only a few gaps. But the restore isn't 100%, in part because of the sheer diversity of what's on our phones. Prompting me to sacrifice a fully loaded and working Lumia to establish once and for all what comes back and what gets 'lost'.
With the start of unavailability for sale of the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, we're left with just the one current Windows 10 phone on the market, the Wileyfox Pro. But this is an opportune moment for an update to our device table, looking at all Windows phone hardware that's Windows 10 Mobile-compatible. What's the current status for each?
The arrival of the Huawei P20 Pro in the Android world is significant for people who have used the Nokia (808 and) Lumia 1020 and Lumia 950 range, since Huawei's head of imaging is one of the ex-Nokian co-creators of the PureView concept and technology. So we see a 40MP and physically large sensor again, but with extra sauce from other lenses. But how does this new 'PureView' implementation compare to those of previous generations?