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.
Recent Features - Hardware
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.
Obviously, the Lumia 950 (and 950 XL) have replaceable batteries and these are trivial to physically replace (if not finding a 100% genuine source), but what about other components? It turns out that almost everything is very easily accessible, whether you're replacing an individual parts or merging two 'donor' broken 950s to make one working unit. In fact, this latter approach often works out simpler and cheaper, with Lumia 950s available on the likes of eBay at very low cost.
With all this talk of imaging, let's switch to a parallel track and something which I've never tested in depth here on AAWP: headphone audio, across a range of smartphones from all OS. Listening to music is something we all love to do and, while I've also been having some Bluetooth adventures (here, here, here and here), you can't beat the simplicity of just plugging in headphones. Nothing to recharge, no latency, whatever the application or use case - and, usually, the best audio quality too. But that's what I'm here to test!
At the risk of AAWP turning into 'All About Imaging', I conclude my Nokia 9 coverage here with some thoughts on RAW capture and a response to various comments on last week's mega-comparison. In short, RAW capture and processing is not the be all and end all, and the results may even be worse, despite all the time and hard work. Using extreme examples from the Lumia 950 XL as well, I show what's involved and the (usually) ultimate futility. In my humble opinion!
I've simplified the title slightly, of course. The Lumia 950 wasn't a 'Nokia' product, but a Microsoft branded one by the ex-Nokia engineers. Still... the last one, the Nokia 9, is named accurately, though it's the 'new' Nokia under HMD's management. Everything's 'bought in', with the imaging here licensed from Light, though HMD is keen to apply the old 'PureView' brand. Ensuring that yours truly resurrects the PureView classics of old to carry out a detailed camera (stills, video may come after) comparison. Let the PureView battle commence!
For the last six months (at least) the Wileyfox Pro (WFP, for short!) has been the only Windows 10 Mobile smartphone that's still available to buy 'new' in an official capacity. It's still available today, in March 2019, amazingly, with a dozen or so kept in stock at any given time by Wileyfox, it seems. I was impressed by quite a few aspects of the WFP when I reviewed it, despite the budget specs - but the big question is how well does it perform with a year of Windows 10 Mobile branch and Microsoft core UWP application updates under its belt? I investigate...
My initial analysis of photo samples from the new Nokia 9 PureView and the classic Lumia 950 received a mountain of comments, not least because of the terrible performance of the '9' in very low light, at night. A common objection was 'Well, who would shoot photos at night?' and, leaving aside that many people do, for arty reasons(!), AAWP collaborator Mark Swidler and I have done another short photo set, this time with more common light levels: sunny and then dusk. So no complaints about bias against the newcomer this time, please.