The dust is settling around Microsoft's shock announcement of the Surface Duo, running Android but with much of Microsoft's UI ideas. Some see the Duo as the next Holy Grail device, some see it as the ultimate betrayal of Windows Phone. As usual, the truth is somewhere in between, though I do have multiple worries over this new 'not a phone but kind of is' Surface product.
Recent Features - Previews
Following his intriguing part one, and detailed part two looking at 'Pre-Touch' technology, guest writer Michael 'Mivas_Greece' (surname withheld by request) brings us the third part of a tale of Nokia and Microsoft prototypes (one of which he has access to), focussing on the variations and specifications. And don't miss the 'bonus' part 4, also below.
With all the recent renders and patents seemingly predicting a 'Surface Mobile' this Spring, with double-hinged design allowing use as a phone or mini-tablet, I thought it appropriate to look back into the past - such a double hinged design was seen before on a business-aimed smartphone, back in 2007, just over a decade ago. And thanks to a kind reader, I've got the Nokia E90 in front of my camera again. It's not much actual use in 2018, but it's extra food for thought.
Upon the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro's official announcement, tech blogs were quick to ridicule the product's existence and price point and, while I can see where they're coming from, I think they're absolutely wrong. At least for the Windows phone enthusiast (they do exist, our own AAWP community is evidence of this) - here's my thinking. And the reasons why I just put down £420 of my own money...
We've heard a lot about 'Project Neon' and the future look and feel of Windows 10, but what it is, what it requires, and where it will appear, all seem to be subject to quite a bit of confusion. So here I'm trying to draw all the strands together - here's how 'Neon', or 'Fluent Design System' as it's now officially known, manifests itself on phones, if it's needed at all.
As I've said already, the device isn't ready for the prime time yet - it's desperately in need of optimisation, of new firmware, of the Anniversary Update, due in two weeks time. Now, we borrowed a unit from Clove (nice people, go check them out) and so are cheating slightly - the Elite X3 is meant for businesses over the next 6-12 months, as part of a larger deployment solution, by which time it'll hopefully be working properly. Still, there's enough in this early peek to be able to draw conclusions as to the X3's strengths (literally) and weaknesses.
Rafe and I were fortunate to spend some time recently with the HP Elite X3, its desk dock and lapdock. The phone itself was near final fit and finish and seemed almost ready for retail, ditto the desk dock, while the HP Lap Dock was a genuine prototype, but then this isn't scheduled to ship until (at least) a month after the Elite X3 itself. Read on for our first impressions of this 'evolution' in computing from HP.
With the movement of its feature phone business (acquired from Nokia as part of the deal) to a joint Finnish/Chinese partnership (HMD/Foxconn), Microsoft also made it clear that there won’t be any new Lumias for the time being, but that doesn’t mean no new Windows 10 Mobile smartphones. In fact, there are quite a few companies now involved in the ecosystem, so I thought I’d enumerate and introduce them. Some you’ll have heard of, some you won’t.
I was listening to a few tech podcasts from the USA (notably TWiT) and it seemed that Microsoft's message about what Continuum is (and isn't) hasn't really sunk home, unfortunately. Every journalist and blogger watched Bryan Roper's demonstrations at Microsoft's event a couple of weeks ago, was suitably wowed and then - ahem - I hear some of them saying that (I quote) "Continuum will never take off until it works with Android or iOS". This level of misunderstanding is staggering. I'm tempted to say I don't know where to start but... you know me, I'll have a go anyway!
In my editorial introducing Continuum three months ago, I took a few guesses as to what this technology might bring to Windows 10 Mobile and how it would work, but I still wanted to 'notch down the hype' a bit, describing Continuum as a 'niche' product. Below, I open up a bit more and express a few doubts - will Continuum provide enough reason on its own to 'save' Windows 10 Mobile?