Although there's life left in Windows 10 Mobile in terms of updates and support, new hardware is almost non-existent, plus repairs and spares for older hardware are becoming tricky - so it makes sense for everyone to be aware of the best of the rest, flagships from other platforms. And with the productivity-centric Blackberry KEY2 in the office, it seemed appropriate to put up a direct comparison with a Windows 10 Mobile handset, an OS which is itself - these days - equally centred on 'getting things done'.
After several enquiries as to the latest table I'd put together for all the various Windows 10 Mobile-compatible smartphones, and realising that I'd lost track myself, I thought that a refresh was appropriate, approximately three months on from the previous incarnation and with several updates applied, not least confirmation of the extended support and special treatment given all Windows 10 Mobile branches (when compared to the appropriate Desktop branches).
You may remember that, around a month ago, Uber dropped its UWP application for Windows 10 devices (including phones), switching to a PWA (Progressive Web Application) that worked on all devices via their embedded browser engines. Including Windows 10 Mobile, though there are some wrinkles to overcome if you want the best experience. Here are a few pointers.
A slightly depressing subject on which to start the week, but recent activity (or rather lack of it) by Microsoft has led even me, one of the most enthusiastic supporter of Windows on phones, to wonder whether the creeping neglect of the OS by Microsoft in terms of its ecosystem and services, amounts to a 'death of a thousand cuts'...
OnePlus has carved up a reputation for 'no fuss, affordable Android flagships' and this makes it a prime candidate for a starting Android handset for someone coming from a different ecosystem, such as Windows 10 Mobile. Yesterday I pitched the OnePlus 6 against the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, this time I wanted to pitch its rather good camera against one of the best, the classic Lumia 950 XL. Buckle up, for this one's closer than you might think!
In our continuing efforts to provide comparisons for those trying to match up Windows 10 Mobile smartphones to possible Android-running upgrades, here's the latest, with the last sold Windows phone (Wileyfox Pro aside) pitched against the very latest OnePlus 6.
It's tough to compare large numbers of camera phones at the same time - four is about the limit in terms of coverage on the web. But it's perfectly valid to pick out interesting groupings. In this case, the classic Lumia 1020 and 950 (this being AAWP, and yes, I'm still flip-flopping on which is 'best' for imaging) versus modern flagships which have just had updates. The Galaxy S9+ has just had its second system update, while the Pixel 2 XL hasn't been tested here for six months and now runs a whole new OS, Android P(ineapple), and with its 'Visual Core' chip activated. Whatever happens, it's going to be a power imaging shootout...
Articles such as this from the Microsoft Windows team, announcing push notifications from web pages in Edge, are all very well, but there's a key phrase used in this post:"via the Push API, beginning with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update". Now, you probably hate web pages sending notifications as much as I do, but the technology is important for when you really do want it to work, e.g. for a social client like Twitter and its new PWA (Progressive Web Application). At which point, what we need for Windows 10 Mobile, as one last 'hurrah', is a final branch update - to the 'April 2018 Update', or branch 1803.
Every time I pick up a Windows phone there's a certain air of 'getting things done' - it's that sort of OS. But even Windows 10 Mobile is limited in the applications it can run, whereas most predictions of the upcoming 'Surface Mobile' (Andromeda) are for full Windows 10 on ARM in a folding experience. But for the moment, what if you were to do without the 'folding' bit?
Brand new this week is the Honor 10, which - despite its sub-£400 price tag - boasts a ground-breaking new 'AI-based' camera. Software-based stabilisation, analysis of scene details to adjust processing for each interpreted depth layer, and to enhance subjects according to how people like seeing them. But how does all this hold up to the classic Lumia 950 - can all this new computational tech beat a quality classic?