Attending the launch of the 4.8"-screened Samsung Galaxy S III in London last Thursday, I was struck that the borders of the smartphone world have changed yet again. At some point though, surely, enough is enough? Yes, we get it that smartphones are now personal computers in our pockets, as opposed to simply being 'converged devices', but have we already passed the point where the mass populace will start to revolt against the 'march to large' and vote with their wallets?
Modern mobile platforms tend to dumb down their interfaces as time goes on, in an attempt to bring ever more 'feature' phone users into the fold. And rightly so, easier to use is usually 'better', but that doesn't mean that clever features and tricks don't still lie beneath the surface, ready to be brought into action by informed power users like you. Here are our top 20 Windows Phone tips and tricks for your reference and enjoyment. An article to bookmark and to share with others, hopefully?
Last week's tweaks to the Windows Marketplace show Microsoft taking one more tiny step to detaching Windows Phone from the desktop experience and creating a standalone smartphone system. While there's nothing inherently wrong with having a connection to a desktop, there is a drive to have your smartphone work as a standalone experience, with no need for any other device or symbiotic relationship. How close are Microsoft to this, and what still needs doing?
With the HTC Radar in one hand and the Nokia Lumia 710 in the other, both second generation Windows Phone handsets at something of a budget price, what's a geek to do but compare them directly? At first glance the pricier and sleeker Radar should walk off with the honours, but in practice the garish plastic Lumia 710's innards outclass those of the aluminium-clad HTC contender. There's definitely still a use case for the Radar, but the old adage applies: it's horses for courses, etc.
Thanks to the Mango update, Windows Phone 7 was transformed from a glorified feature phone platform to a fully featured 'smartphone' operating system. I say that in inverted commas because, for me, a true smartphone has to be able to be used independently of a desktop or laptop computer, which in theory disqualifies Windows Phone 7. I digress though, because however you define a smartphone, Windows Phone 7 has come on in leaps and bounds.
One of the strengths of Windows Phone at the moment is the lack of fragmentation on the platform. But fragmentation isn't restricted to the OS or the hardware, it can apply to software as well. And if Windows Phone isn't careful, then it risks upsetting the unified nature of the platform through first and third party software titles.
It was tempting to put 'in the last decade' in the title, but in fact we've only had cameras in our phone for ten years, amazingly enough, starting with the Nokia 7650 back in 2002... Nokia features heavily in the top 20, as you might expect, the company has been somewhat trail blazing in imaging, as acknowledged even by Nokia haters, but watch out for the iPhone, plus a Samsung and several Sony (Ericsson) models, too. Enjoy this camera tech-heavy trip down memory lane....
Anyone who has been following Nokia's fortunes over recent years knows it was losing ground at an alarming rate since Q4 2010. By the time of the Microsoft partnership, Nokia's U.S. market had all but gone. Meanwhile, Microsoft was on the long road of trying to get into the mobile market and to have Windows Phone taken as a serious player. As of February 11th 2011, the conversation changed when the two companies teamed up, with Nokia going 'all in' on the Windows Phone platform. To be successful, operators need to play a part though.
There's a certain class of mobile game that's often ignored. One that gets overlooked in favour of all-singing, all-dancing 3D-rendered RPG slash-em-ups and orgies of feathered destruction. It's not - quite - casual games. It's not - quite - sports games. It's not - quite - board games. Though many of those titles qualify. I'm talking about infinite games. By which I mean mobile games that you can happily play every day - forever - literally.
Everyone loves a good head to head. Especially when it involves current champions from three different mobile ecosystems, in this case Symbian, Android and Windows Phone. Leaving aside the slightly larger form factor of the One X, how well do these three phones with exemplary build quality compare?