After a few questions on social media, I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about Microsoft's Continuum feature for phones, announced at BUILD a few months ago. The idea was that 'new premium phones' plug into HDMI-capable screens, hook up to Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, to run their applications at full desktop resolution. And, most importantly, none of the existing Windows Phone hardware will be compatible with Continuum, but there are good technical reasons for this.
Recent Features - Hardware
There's something of a blanket assumption that everyone currently using Windows Phone 8.1 will upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile - after all, Microsoft has been promising that 'majority' of users will join the Window 10 ecosystem. But, after a few recent experiences of mine with budget devices, I thought it worth sounding a note of caution and reality - I'd put money on the actual conversion numbers to Windows 10 Mobile being significantly less than 50% and maybe as low as 15%...
Having decided a year or two ago that we can talk about unreleased products on AAWP, provided that there's enough evidence to support them, and with a wave of confirmations about an imminent Lumia 950 and 950 XL (note the next-gen renaming, signifying a generational jump from the current x40 devices), along with most of the specifications, it's time to look at what the new devices will bring to the table, over and above the existing Lumia 930 (the '2014 flagship', if you will) - which itself will get Windows 10 Mobile within a couple of months.
The titular question was from an extended family member on Saturday and followed an afternoon of similar enquiries and expressions. You see, it was the school summer fayre, the sun was beating down, photo opportunities were everywhere and yet tricky at the same time, and somehow I managed, thanks to the unique hardware in the Nokia Lumia 1020. We. Need. A. New. Imaging. Flagship. A real one. With Xenon. And all the trimmings.
Yesterday, I looked at the performance of Windows 10 Mobile (at least, at the current build) in terms of RAM, and concluded that, web browsing aside, the user experience on devices with 'only' 512MB (of RAM) was going to be absolutely fine. Perhaps more serious is the situation with respect to the chipsets used under the hood, with so much of Windows Phone 8.1 and beyond optimised for the Snapdragon x00 series - just how slow are the 'S4 Plus' series (Lumia 520 right up to the 1020) going to get with Windows 10 Mobile and how much of a problem will it be?
Having lost count of the number of people saying how much they were looking forward to putting Windows 10 Mobile on their Lumia 1020 - and then seen equally as many people say they were dreading it, I thought a FAQ was in order. What will you, and won't you gain from the the step change in the OS, in terms of experience and - crucially - in terms of imaging, this being the 1020s core speciality.
Having explored the storage needed by typical users here, one of the takeaways was that having microSD support in your Windows Phone was 'a very good thing'TM. But what exactly should you put on it and what will happen if you do things wrong? In this feature, I look at how things are, and aren't, supposed to work, plus I cover how to upgrade one card to a higher capacity - seamlessly.
In a previous feature, a week or two ago, I took a bunch of smartphones to a local gig and did some direct comparisons - very high volume, low and changeable lighting, challenging environments, all make for an ultimate cameraphone video capture test. The main Windows Phone I was testing - the Lumia 1020 - fared sub-optimally because of the default audio filtering in Lumia Camera. So I headed out again, with this feature turned firmly off... then threw in the latest iPhone 6, the Lumia 930 running Windows 10 Mobile and even Android M(!) for good measure.
While it's true that we're all different and have slightly different needs when it comes to what lives on our smartphones, there are some common strands and requirements. Each of which has been growing over the last few years, begging the question of how large internal storage needs to be in today's (and tomorrow's) Windows Phones? The answer, as you can imagine, is especially relevant to those designed with no microSD expansion.
Now, I've saved this for a Friday because it's a little bit controversial. As in 'voiding-your-warranty' naughty. Mind you, if the problem described here occurred while under warranty you'd presumably avail yourself of a Care Point of some kind, so my caution is perhaps moot. The issue is that, on some Lumia 930s, the Qi charging is erratic. Typically it starts OK and then stops after a few minutes. Here's how to fix it.