I often get asked which accessories I recommend - power banks, keyboards, headphones - and I've tested quite a few, so I thought it would be useful if I listed my Top 5 accessories, the ones I use day to day and which travel with me, either in a pocket or in my briefcase. All highly recommended, and I'll link back to my original reviews, for more information. In no particular order...
Recent Features - Comment
I realise I'm the lone voice shouting in the wilderness here, but after multiple comments on multiple imaging features here on AAWP I wanted to respond - with a real world example - of why higher contrast and sharpening may look better on the phone screen but they're 'damaged' photos and greater purity (yes, yes, 'PureView') is where phone camera makers should be aiming their shots...
With some social applications, comms apps and Microsoft services being phased out in 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 a little disruption to 'normal' activities this year and a few more caveats in 2020, when Windows 10 Mobile will be out of official support. Anyway, see below for details!
Four totally different smartphones, with two things in common - they can all be obtained for less than £400 and they all still - justifiably - claim to have world class imaging. And, with some decent weather in the UK for once, it's a golden opportunity to do a four way camera shootout. Can the AAWP champion Lumia 950 be bettered by such 'budget' Android imaging pretenders? Let's find out.
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, as of July 2019. Yes, Windows 10 Mobile still has six months of 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... Here are my Top 5 suggestions.
Despite my comparisons of current imaging flagships with the classic Nokia 808, Lumia 1020 and 950, people rightly point out that these 'benchmark' comparisons are just that - benchmarks. What about pitching potential Android purchases against each other? i.e. if imaging is your top concern, how does the highly rated Google Pixel 3 XL camera (now with Android Q under the hood) fare against the PureView-evolved Huawei P30 Pro, now with its new '161' imaging update?
As you might imagine, I get quite a bit of stick on social media from Windows-haters, wondering why AAWP still exists, wondering why I still write here, pointing out that Windows on phones isn't relevant in the marketplace anymore. Here's my answer - it's all about support and the installed base of users.
I've already pitched these two phone camera systems head to head, but Huawei claims significant photo quality improvements for its new firmware, now in place, so I thought a re-test was in place. The P30 Pro is essentially a modern day Lumia 1020 and is the de facto natural place for Nokia/Lumia imaging fans to end up in the modern Android world. So, how good is the P30 Pro now?
I was fascinated to read a rundown of Microsoft's vision of the future with 'modern OS' (name to be finalised, no doubt!), based on what we'd been calling 'Core OS' and with CShell covering the UI needs on various hardware form factors. Not least because it reminded me quite a bit an awful lot of what Microsoft had in Windows 10 Mobile in 2015 and which they've been trying to distance themselves from ever since. But... why, Microsoft, why? You had almost everything you needed already, four years ago.
I looked at this earlier in the week - a brand new smartphone for well under £500 that had the equal of the Lumia 950 XL's camera, in theory, yet with no strings attached in other areas. With the latest Google Camera algorithms under its belt, let's put this to the test. My gut says that the Google imaging is the purest of the current crop (though still crude by PureView standards) and thus perhaps the best fit for a Lumia owner. See below for my testing.