Recent Features - Comment

Audio matters: late 2019 video data point

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In my video stabilisation feature here, I was asked in the comments to do a test of audio capture in video mode - i.e. how good are modern microphones in smartphones? The short answer is: very good. Gone are the bad old days of Nokia being the only manufacturer that cared enough about audio to put decent high amplitude microphones in its smartphones. See below for video and audio proof.

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Lumia Camera stabilisation but NOT at 1080/60fps - who knew?

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Just a quick thing, but after four years of the Lumia 950's existence, I only just realised something - and I figured that if it were new to me then it might be to you too. You see, I knew that when shooting video on the 950, going to 4K (2160p) capture would scotch any digital/software stabilisation since there's just too much data for this 2015 phone's hardware to handle. But I always assumed that the (optional) digital stabilisation would work at 60fps - and it seems not. Maybe this too is too much for the Snapdragon 808/810's chipset to handle?

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Anatomy of a (Lumia) photo #17: Remembrance

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In advance of Remembrance Sunday,  a nice little installation is in place at St Mary's, in Bishops Lydeard, in the UK, and I attempted to get a shot of this (unlit) piece against the traditionally floodlit church at night. I succeeded, but I did an iPhone too, as I'll explain!

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Astro-what? Shooting for the stars - don't get your hopes up!

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You may have noticed that when Google launched the Pixel 4 series recently, it emphasised the 'astrophotography' capability. Essentially, when the phone's mounted in a tripod of some kind (and thus not moving), the software switches into 'astrophotography' mode and allows exposures (presumably at crazy low ISO) of up to four minutes. Does this work? And what happens if you try the same on an iPhone 11 Pro? Or even... a Lumia 950? In short, don't get your hopes up for any of them!

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Imaging showdown: Lumia 950, iPhone 11 Pro (with Deep Fusion), Google Pixel 4 XL

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This could be the one readers have been waiting for. The classic modern day PureView Lumia camera phone versus the upgraded (Deep Fusion) iPhone 11 Pro versus the brand new Google Pixel 4 XL. All three employ multi-exposure, multi-pixel sampling and other computational tricks. The Lumia is obviously the old boy here, hailing from 2015, but as I start the shootout I've still no idea which will win out. I guess it depends on how much zooming I test! (PS. I include a Halloween bonus shot, just for fun!) (Updated: with 'party' shot, by request)

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Head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs latest from Google: Pixel 4 XL

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A couple of days ago I included the brand new Pixel 4 XL in my top five Lumia replacement phones - despite the much publicised shortcomings in terms of battery life and lack of ultra-wide camera lens. I believe Google can fix the battery drain in software and I've always prioritised zoom over ultra-wide imaging anyway. And now it's time to dive into detail - if you're thinking of jumping ship to Android and availing yourself of the latest in PureView-esque imaging and zoom facilities, then here's my comparison between Google's latest and the classic Lumia...

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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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Camera head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs LG V50 ThinQ

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Last week, I pitched the new LG V50 ThinQ, with its Dual Screen system, against the Lumia 950 XL, showing that the LG flagship is a fast and capable Android device with interesting, if quirky, possibilities. But there was a question mark over its camera system, so let's rectify that now with a traditional imaging head-to-head against the 950 XL. Has LG messed up its image processing, or is this a return to form?

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Continuum vs Dual Screen? Lumia 950 XL vs LG V50 comparison

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It's a fair cop, the headline is a bit sensationalist, but it does link the two smartphones after a fashion, in that they each do interesting things with extra screens. Plus there's the extra link in that Microsoft's new Surface Duo ('Surface Phone') will be a two screened hinged affair, albeit available in a year's time, and the LG V50 Dual Screen is available right now, but with some of the same ideas.

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