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.
It's the very latest kid on the smartphone (flagship) block and it has got a much better than expected camera. But can the OnePlus 3 defeat the Lumia 950 XL in terms of imaging? I've already compared the two devices in detail, but it's time for the cameras to shine. And they do - the OnePlus 3 is no slouch in this regard!
When it comes to 2016 specifications at the flagship level, we're talking screens up in the 5.5"+ region, fast processors, killer cameras, and so on. Microsoft's Windows 10 Contender is the Lumia 950 XL and seemed relatively competitive until I put it side by side here with the very latest bargain du jour, the OnePlus 3. How do the two flagships stack up, blow by blow?
One aspect of the Microsoft ecosystem which we've never covered on AAWP is Microsoft Family. This is a cross-device, cross-account monitoring system for you to manage what your family gets up to on their Windows smartphones. It had been heavily re-engineered and rebranded for Windows 10 and, thanks to reader Julian Grail, we've been sent a real world report of what one of his kids has been getting up to (suitably redacted). Very interesting.
In a blog post, Microsoft has announced that the old Windows Phone 8.1 'Kids Corner' feature is to be retired for the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update (a.k.a. Redstone), citing low usage. Hardly surprising, since Apps Corner, also built in, is more flexible and can do the same job for most people. Here's how to get going with it.
I'm sorry, but I've been patient long enough. I've suffered through a dozen builds under various Insider 'rings', installed on at least six different phones in varying states of readiness. And there's one bug in Windows 10 Mobile which I just can't keep silent about any longer. And oddly I've not seen anyone else complain about it, at least not yet, which is why I wanted to vent here and check that I'm not totally alone. The issue is that Windows 10 Mobile's pop-up (volume button) media controls are utterly broken.
Although it's noteworthy that Daniel over at WC in the USA, armed with an internal build of Microsoft Wallet on the latest Insiders build of Redstone and with the very latest Bank of America UWP, was able to buy a hamburger using just his Lumia 950, it's fair to say that it'll be several months at least (if not years) before this hits the mainstream, i.e. Windows 10 Mobile devices around the world with appropriate banking applications on the platform and with the service enabled in their home countries. But a recent deficiency in the Lumia 950 XL reminded me of another really convenient use (or two) for NFC in our modern smartphones....
Although not directly relevant to Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile, the drop in Microsoft's bank balance of $26.2 billion is certainly significant in the wider scheme of things and I wanted to at least link to this story, adding some quotes from people and sites in the industry that I trust. What does it all mean? I'll be asking Rafe that on the podcast very shortly too, of course.
It's all very well having been accustomed to the Microsoft pairing of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, but there's a good chance that we won't see any new hardware from Microsoft until 2017, in which case any upcoming device excitement will come from Microsoft's partners. We already know of a few of these, so I thought a detailed comparison might be in order. Is the 950 XL still going to be top of the heap or are there other subtleties involved?
I've flip-flopped a number of times on the advisability of going with Windows 10 Mobile (via the Insiders Release Preview ring) on the classic Lumia 1020. And you've all had your say a few times. But I wanted to revisit the subject again. Partly because of the sense of urgency - this month may be the last in which it's possible to do the upgrade (before the Release Preview ring gets switched to 'Redstone' and the 1020 is de-provisioned from the programme) - but also partly because of the impressive number of new builds and core application updates that have appeared in the meantime.