Recent Features - Hardware

No new flagship Lumia? Give your 950 XL some Mozo loving!

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The disappearance of the Lumia 950 XL from sale across the world over the last three months has been disappointing, not just because it was Microsoft's flagship phone but also because the 950 XL is still a terrific smartphone. A market-leading phone camera, a glorious screen, plenty of RAM, a decent speaker (after it has been tweaked) and, best of all, the nigh on unique feature (in 2017) of having a user replaceable back and battery. Making it a doddle, in the absence of a new phone replacement, to simply freshen up with some Mozo (and battery) love. 

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Camera head to head: Lumia 950 vs KODAK EKTRA

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Yes, that capitalisation in this new camera-centric smartphone's name is intentional - it's how KODAK itself refers to it. Sigh. Anyway, with retro camera styling and 21MP 1/2.4" six-axis-OIS specs, it's an unashamedly imaging-focussed (ahem) device and, with the Lumia 950/XL being arguably top dog in the world of phone imaging still, I thought an interactive head-to-head was in order...

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Installed/active base: how many phones run Windows 10 Mobile?

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Just a few back-of-envelope calculations that I thought you might like to follow along with. With the withdrawal of Microsoft from selling first party smartphones (for the time being), I wondered whether it was time to take stock of some numbers. In particular, the figure I wanted to get to was how many people out there, across the world, are actively using Windows 10 Mobile, i.e. the new OS that Microsoft is updating, that devs are writing for, and that we're covering. Some guesswork is needed, but bear with me.

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PureView zoom vs 10x optical zoom, the Hasselblad edition

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Three years ago, I pitched the last Android phone with 10x optical zoom, the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, against the Nokia Lumia 1020, with mixed results, though the comparison was very interesting. The huge caveat with the K Zoom was the device's relative bulk in all modes and, to be honest, this is the same problem with the otherwise pretty impressive Hasselblad Moto Mod, which becomes the back half of the Moto Z (also running Android), see below for a new shoot-out!

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Xenon and zoom: the Hasselblad takes on the Nokia 808/Lumia 1020 (etc.)

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Yesterday I looked at the arrival, in for review, of a rather rare thing - a Xenon-flash-equipped, zoom-equipped camera phone, competing (obviously) with such (also rare) Nokia classics like the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020. But never mind the bulk (in this case, removeable, but still...), never mind the form factor, how do these ultra-camera-phones perform against each other in a variety of challenging tests? Let's find out...

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HP responds to specific user complaints about the Elite X3

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Thanks to AAWP reader Alex in Russia, and his persistence across multiple conversations with (escalated) HP support in his native country, we have a translated transcript of HP's official responses to his complaints about the Elite X3 he had bought. Of course, these are (naturally) very defensive, but there are some insights worth commenting on.

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Camera head to head: HP Elite X3 vs Xiaomi Mi Mix

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Following on from my detailed head to head between the current Windows 10 Mobile flagship and the highest end Android flagship in the world, I had requests for more details on how their cameras perform. Heading out into the Christmas wilderness, I plied the two phablets with some varied lighting use cases. Neither phone camera is world-beating (at least one notch beneath the Lumia 950s of this world), but both do a decent enough job most of the time. Can I pick a winner? Oh yes...

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Futuristic phablet head to head: HP Elite X3 vs Xiaomi Mi Mix

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So here's the funny bit.... Here we have a perfectly valid comparison between two visionary phablets and... the HP Elite X3 is better value, i.e. the cheap one! But the legendarily pricey business smartphone is up here against something rather exclusive. Albeit partly because it has 18 karat gold inlays and a massive 256GB internal disk, but there's still a lot here that's worth comparing, like for like. Let battle commence...

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The Top 5 Windows phones... ever!

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At the end of another transitional year for Windows Phone, in which Windows 10 Mobile became ubiquitous away from the bottom end phones. In which Microsoft announced one possible future for Windows 10 as a whole, running on the same ARM processors as phones, in which all PCs may be folded into the same architecture (eventually) yet the very term 'Mobile' may end up being deprecated. Confusing! And all the while Microsoft massively scaling back its first party phone hardware and support ambitions. It all adds up to a confusing year for the platform, yet - with Lumias no longer being made - also a good point in time to look back and pick my favourite phones running Windows in the modern era*.

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Experimenting with Type C-to-HDMI and 'Continuum Lite'

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Yes, I know there have been cabled ways to hook up monitors to smartphones for years, for echoing media content if you're lucky and a straight screen mirroring if you're less so. But I did wonder what would happen if I wired a Continuum-capable phone from its USB Type C jack to a monitor or TV's HDMI port directly, i.e. without a Continuum Dock. The result surprised me...

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