There’s a ton of good things to be said about Microsoft’s mainstream budget device of last year and my current Windows Phone device of choice, the Lumia 640. But to my mind, what makes it most compelling is how much of the Lumia 950 experience you're getting for a tiny fraction of the cost.
In story after story, in comment after comment, on site after site, there seems confusion as to the various versions and branches available for Windows Phone, Windows 10 Mobile and beyond, especially in terms of which devices can get be upgraded to which platform levels. Always of the belief that a really good diagram is worth a thousand words, I've laid it all out, for 'Lumia' devices, at least. If nothing else, bookmark this URL to get back to the diagram in future to clear up any misunderstandings with friends or colleagues.
It's tempting to blame the iPhone yet again for the modern trend towards 'sealed' phones, with no user-repairable parts, but that wouldn't be fair. Going right back to the start of the smartphone age (20 years!), there have always been some designs which are easy 'to get into' and some which most definitely... aren't. Here, with examples, are some of the pros and cons that the designer of a new smartphone has to take into account...
I really, really wanted to fall in love with Windows 10 Mobile. But it’s just not happening yet. Windows 10 Mobile has been a long time coming. Never mind the regressive name change bringing to mind the hoary days of Windows Mobile 6 and bloated bricks made by HTC; this is arguably the operating system that Microsoft has dreamed of all this time. A unified platform across all possible form factors playing host to a singular repository of feature-rich, beautiful applications that magically scale across different screen sizes and different processor architectures.
It's not often that I come across a utility that I really should have known about already - in this case it's Microsoft's own 'LumiaPhoneTest', and dates from "2013-14", implying that it's not under current development anymore. Still, it seems to work fine and gives you low level access to hardware tests that would otherwise require a trip to a repair centre of some kind. In this case, I was verifying that my Lumia 930's four microphones all worked...
Although I covered something along these lines almost two years ago and, let's be honest, a lot of the basics of video shooting haven't changed much, I wanted to update my feature for 2016 and the much newer devices and their capabilities. In other words, all the best of our smartphone camera video capture tips in one piece, in one place. Hopefully something worth bookmarking and pointing people towards?
In all my years writing about mobile technology, I’ve come to stand firmly by an old adage regarding a software update: don’t believe it until you see it. In light of the recent news regarding the rollout of Windows 10 Mobile to existing devices running Windows Phone 8.1, this is perhaps more apt than it ever was.
I'm back, this time with a DIY tale that involves me refreshing an old 'special edition' Lumia 930, with a little help from Steve's own pioneering journeys into the metal and plastic. Are you brave enough to follow in our lead? Any 930 tales you want to share?
It's all very well having helpful ICE (In Case of Emergency) data inside your phone, even in a dedicated application, but if you're involved in a car crash or similar, perhaps unconscious or incapable, and your phone is locked with a PIN then the rescuers won't be able to access it. With potentially distressing consequences. One answer, if this worries you, is to have your ICE information right there on your phone's lockscreen. Below, I take a look at a few Windows Phone applications which claim to help achieve this.
With the very latest Android superphone in my hands, in this case the Samsung 'Galaxy S7 edge', equipped with a f/1.7 1/2.6" 12MP OIS-equipped camera, what's an AAWP writer to do but pitch this new technology against some established camera champions from the world of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile? In this case the similarly-sized Lumia 950 and the slightly smaller and much older 'classic' Lumia 1020. Heading into this particular headline imaging feature and writing this paragraph, I have absolutely no idea which of the three will emerge the winner. No idea at all...