With tech media now into its fourth year of 'pronouncing Windows Phone as dead', with even some Windows phone (note lower case 'p') enthusiasts now transitioning over to Android OS, and with mass market favourite applications like Snapchat still unavailable for Microsoft's platform, the headline question is more relevant than ever. And the curious thing is that for some people the answer is "Yes". Let me explain...
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Over the years I've reviewed dozens of smartphone accessories, maybe even hundreds. And I've reviewed a fair number formally here for AAS and AAWP. But, of this mass of plastic, metal and, often, lithium, which accessories really made the grade? Which ones do I personally carry around with me on any trip out of the house of more than a few hours? Here's a glimpse into my standard kit.
On the eve of general availability of the latest* flagship for Windows 10 Mobile across Europe and the wider world, it seems appropriate to recognise the significance of the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro's chipset and where it fits into the wider picture of Snapdragon chipsets used in Windows on phones through the last five years. Will the extra power make much difference?
It's not often a smartphone flagship comes along that claims to match the Lumia 950's camera capabilities, but the brand new Android-powered Honor 9 has just such a unit, albeit needing two physical cameras to match the 950's one. The benefit is that they can be smaller and thinner, but can all the dual camera trickery match the 950's ZEISS optics, OIS, and so on?
In a previous editorial almost two months ago, I looked in text and diagrammatic form at Windows 10 Mobile's future through the 'Redstone 4' era, concluding that a perhaps surprising amount of commonality will still exist with its desktop counterpart, through all the UWP applications and the Universal App Platform (UAP). Looking further ahead, another full quarter, I want to see what happens as we head into 'Redstone 5', in Autumn 2018.
Reader Richard Kooij, from The Netherlands, setting off for his vacation, sent in an involved question all about the best settings for Windows 10 Camera on the Lumia 950 range - and, rather than replying just to him, I thought the points raised were interesting enough to warrant a full feature/tutorial that everyone might like to keep bookmarked.
Upon the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro's official announcement, tech blogs were quick to ridicule the product's existence and price point and, while I can see where they're coming from, I think they're absolutely wrong. At least for the Windows phone enthusiast (they do exist, our own AAWP community is evidence of this) - here's my thinking. And the reasons why I just put down £420 of my own money...
The tech media has been falling over itself in the last week to talk about the ten year anniversary of the Apple iPhone, that moment when Steve Jobs revealed the shape of smartphones to come. All singing, all dancing? It really wasn't. Revisionist history says that the iPhone introduced all the features we see in today's smartphones, but that's not accurate...
In terms of imaging, the legendary Lumia 950 XL is still very relevant in terms of specs in 2017, I'd argue, even if it's hard to buy one new. In this case it's pitched at the new imaging darling of the tech media, the HTC U11, with multi-frame exposure and combination, latest GPU, OIS, large 1.4 micron pixels and a f/1.7 aperture. Can the 950 XL maintain its crown as the best camera phone in the world?
"Microsoft abandons Windows 10 Mobile" is a news headline that we've heard a lot over the last year, fuelled by the tragic termination of first party hardware. And by a third party scene that's almost non-existent. But what's interesting is how the OS updates have continued. Anniversary Update (Redstone), Creators Update (Redstone 2) and beyond, with a thriving Insiders test build scene. So has Microsoft really abandoned the OS?