Recent Features - Hardware

The reason WHY there won't be a Microsoft/Windows Phone flagship until Autumn 2015

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There has been quite a bit of bile addressed to Microsoft after the rumour/leak from GeekOnGadgets that there wouldn't be any high end smartphone from the company until next Autumn (2015), but I'm pretty sure I know the thinking behind such a strategy. Trying to get inside the Lumia team's collective brains, here's my analysis. And, while I personally might lust after a new flagship with cutting edge camera, with a business hat on I think I'd do exactly what Microsoft is currently doing...

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I'm calling it - the age of Nokia imaging supremacy is over

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Supremacy, as used in the headline above is about absolute superiority over all others. Whether it's a kingdom or sportsman or, in this case, a range of smartphone cameras. The thing is that over the last decade I've been so used, at every stage, to my Nokia flagship smartphones having superior imaging built-in, that it has been something of a shock to realise that, with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the competition has caught up. Or at least, got close enough that for even technophiles there's no real difference in quality of results. Have the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 been dethroned? Not exactly, but the thrones are now looking within reach of a pack of status-seeking courtiers....

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Slotting the rumoured Lumia 435 into the Microsoft range

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We usually don't comment on rumours, but sometimes there's enough evidence and momentum behind one that to not mention it would be remiss. Happily, the FCC data and import documents discovered here do imply that a Microsoft (née Nokia) Lumia 435 will soon be joining the Lumia range, giving me the opportunity to revisit, update and extend my comparison table for current budget Windows Phones. How will the 435 compare with what already exists and what are its chances?

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Camera head to head: the Lumia 930 vs the Galaxy Note 4 (part 2)

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Following on from yesterday's (apparently controversial!) feature looking at seven test scenes in the unprocessed 16MP output from the Lumia 930 and the native 16MP (processed) output from the Galaxy Note 4, I present part 2 of the feature, moving away from 1:1 crops at sensor level and looking at 5MP versions of the same test scenes. Oversampled in the 930's case, downsampled (by me) in the Note 4's case. And, while I realise that this may do the latter a slight disservice, as it turns out, the Note 4's images are improved too - so it's a win-win. Literally!

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Camera head to head: Nokia Lumia 930 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (part 1)

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With the Galaxy Note 4 in hand, armed with a first for Samsung on pure phones, OIS, it seemed appropriate to pitch it against a Windows Phone in our interactive comparator. But which one? The obvious choice is the Lumia 1520, i.e. also a 'phablet', but the Note 4 is quite a bit smaller than the 1520, with smaller bezels, it turns out that it's just as close to the Lumia 930. Given that we haven't featured the 930 much on AAWP since the initial review, and given that the cameras in the two units are identical, I thought I'd give the 930 a crack at the competition this time.

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Benchmarking the various generations of Lumias...

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I was interested to see the availability, a few days ago, of GFXBench, a cross-platform utility that hammers the processor and graphics systems of smartphones and tablets and then reports back. The core use is to compare devices in the Android and iOS worlds, I suspect, i.e. the mainstream, but with Windows Phone availability, I thought it might be interesting to compare the metrics for some of the various generations of Nokia Lumia that I have lying around...

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That '1030' proto and why Xenon flash will be a no-show in 2015

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The Interwebs have been awash with snaps of a prototype from China, ostensibly a yet-unannounced high end PureView Windows Phone. Is it the hoped-for Lumia 1030? Is it the (allegedly cancelled) 'McLaren' flagship? Or both? Or is it something in the test labs that may not appear at all? Either way, one aspect of its imaging has got me thinking and, I now believe, Xenon flash may not appear on a Microsoft Mobile (née Nokia) imaging flagship in 2015.

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Picking the best budget Windows Phone in November 2014

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Last week I looked at the 'best' Windows Phone, without specific merit given to price, but here I want to look at the options for someone on a budget. Say anything available on pay-as-you-go or SIM-free under £150? In the UK, obviously, though most of these models are also available around the world and at comparable local prices. Is there an outright winner? Well, yes, but it's almost cheating - happily there's a great choice in the middle of the range and an even better one coming up on the rails...

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Light challenge - testing dynamics and optics: Lumia 1020 vs Samsung Galaxy K Zoom

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You'll remember that I previously did a camera head to head between the Lumia 1020 and the Android-running Samsung Galaxy K Zoom (along with a Nokia 808, for good measure), looking at all subjects and scenes, including exercising the zoom capabilities of each? This is something slightly different - using source photos from friend 'wireduser' and using the famed AAWP interactive comparator, we look here at photos shot under typically sunlit conditions but with dramatic lighting (i.e. contrast) challenges. Which device's optics and sensor coped best?

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Picking the best Windows Phone at the end of 2014

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Maybe it's just me that argues inside my head... with (ahem) myself, as to which is the best Windows Phone. At least, with my AAWP hat on... Will the question of the 'best Windows Phone', at least at the end of 2014, come down to 'best Lumia'? Enter the debate zone...

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