Rolling up some ideas and accessories from previous AAWP coverage, if you're planning on staying with the wonderful Lumia 950 camera and Windows 10 Mobile as long as possible, then you may feel the time is right to 'spoil' your technology a little. Can the 950 be kept going for another year or more? True, some services may start to drop off in 2020, but 99% of the phone's functionality will keep going for a lot longer.
Recent Features - Hardware
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.
I've often put up the now somewhat ancient (late 2015) Lumia 950 XL against modern flagships, but here's something genuinely different. £470 inc VAT, pure Google and Android, guaranteed updates for three years, 3.5mm headphone jack, plus the much-acclaimed (including by me) 'PureView take 2' Pixel Camera, doing all the oversampling in the time domain rather than across a physical sensor. This, perhaps more than any other current phone, is the natural destination for a Lumia 950 XL owner, I contend...
Although I regularly pitch the PureView over-sampled Lumia 950 XL stills up against the best of 2018 and 2019, video capture is a whole other area. The Snapdragon 810 chipset in my 950 XL just can't compete in terms of real time noise reduction and software stabilisation with the Snapdragon 855 (and Kirin 980 here), which - at 1080p here, at least - have oodles of headroom in the processing department - and it shows when testing modern Android flagships. Even more so the Lumia 1020-inspired Huawei P30 Pro, which also throws a genuine 5x 'periscope' telephoto into the mix.
I've not tested the cameras of any of the Samsung S10 range up until now, not least because the main camera and telephoto are identical to those on my personal Galaxy S9+, already tested here, here, here, here, here and here (no, really - it's had a lot of competitive coverage!) But, after much zoom coverage recently (950 XL/P30 Pro), I thought I'd go in the other direction - what does a wide angle lens bring to the table? Here I pitch the 2015 Lumia 950 against the 2019 Galaxy S10e, both mid-sized phones rather than giants/phablets. For a change!
Following his intriguing part one, guest writer By Michael 'Mivas_Greece' (surname withheld by request) brings us the second part of a tale of prototypes (one of which he has access to) and what might have been, featuring some of the various uses of Nokia's 'Pre-Touch' technology. A Lumia 1030 anyone? The final part of this feature will be published in due course.
With Microsoft sadly pulling development of the Surface Mobile project mid 2018, for reasons which did (in fairness) seem reasonable, it did rather leave the patented and much-rendered hardware design out in the cold. Which turns out to be even more of a crying shame, since the 2019 'folding phone' season of designs seem doomed to failiure. You heard it here first.
I wasn't even going to do this one, as is, but popular demand in previous feature comments show that you want it anyway. Having already put the 2013 Lumia 1020 against the P30 Pro because of its zoom functions, here's a similar set of shots for the 2015 Lumia 950 XL against the newcomer.
I've been out and about shooting the same test scenes with Lumia 1020, P30 Pro and three other devices. And I have hundreds of JPGs totalling several GB. But the first data point for this new (PureView) flagship from Huawei is the second part of my 'Evolution' feature, with this being the spiritual successor, I contend, to the Lumia 1020. Knock yourself out below with our interactive comparator and see my comments as we move from scene to scene. Just how well have Huawei done?
Launched last month in Paris, the Huawei P30 Pro represents in many ways the pinnacle of smartphone imaging. And appropriately so, since one of the original Nokia PureView leads, Eero Salmelin, has been head of imaging at Huawei for long enough that he's now into his second generation of imaging phones there. Which is why I wanted to draw an affectionate and illustrative comparison between his (and Juha Alakarhu's) masterwork from 2013, the Lumia 1020, my (and many others') favourite smartphone of all time, arguably.