Recent Features

'There's a Favourite for that!' (2016 edition)

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A couple of years ago I updated a long running theme and series, given that I/we usually cover platforms for which 'apps' (i.e. dedicated, iconed, optimised third party applications) seem to be in shorter supply than for other mobile platforms. So here's the updated version for 2016, pointing out that using the Web can be just as effective for many services as having an 'app' (many of which are merely wrappers around mobile web sites anyway). True, there are some 'misses' here, feel free to suggest your own, but it's not all bad news.

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Camera phone head to head - Lumia 950 vs Sony Xperia X

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Another Android 'flagship' in for Phones Show review, another chance to pitch its camera against a decent data point in the Windows 10 Mobile world. In this case the 8MP output matches up almost exactly with the oversampled photos from the Lumia 950 (and 950 XL), meaning that I can make abundant use of our interactive comparator tool (woohoo!) Oh, and take a shot of whisky before reading on if you're a Sony fan....

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Hiking (cough - 'Exploring') with the Microsoft Band 2

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You may remember that a recent update to the Microsoft Band 2 added a new hiking tile? Well, there was a corresponding update to the Microsoft Health application and I've been trying the whole system out when off for a walk in my local area and, though I'm yet to test it on an all-day hike (I'll leave that to Rafe and the wilds of Wales!), I've been quite impressed. Here's a write-up of what to expect with the Band 2 in 'hiking' mode.

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Rumours of Windows 10 Mobile's death 'have been greatly exagerated'

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I have to confess that I’m getting more than a little tired of the "ha - it's dead“ headlines across the tech press. They’ve been saying this for a year now - if it was true then, how is Windows Phone/W10M's status still newsworthy now? The problem is, I contend, that there’s a fundamental lack of understanding of how Microsoft, Windows 10 and mobile fit together in the phone world. Windows 10 Mobile - as an operating system - is alive and kicking, and has the exact same lifespan as Windows 10 on the desktop - by definition.

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The search for a good Windows 10 Mobile podcatcher: call for data points!

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Back in the mists of time (2014) I created a massive round-up of podcatchers, i.e. podcast-grabbing applications for Windows Phone. I'm not even going to link to this here because it's now so out of date, but now that Windows 10 Mobile is well and truly out for most people, I thought a look at each of the 2016 contenders was in order. Well, that's the plan, over the next few weeks. Alas, I hit a few roadblocks, which is why I'm starting this series with a call for data points from you, the AAWP community - what are you using on Windows 10 Mobile?

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Time's running out to decide on an OS for your 1020, 925, 920...

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I realise I've been sitting on the fence a bit with regard to whether to upgrade these older (1GB+ RAM) smartphones to Windows 10 Mobile, against Microsoft's recommendation. On the one hand, we have a confusing imaging workflow and mono audio in videos on the Lumia 1020, on the other hand we have a barrage of benefits of being on much newer apps and OS (and damn any UI slowdowns). Yet time is running out in terms of making up your mind...

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The AAWP guide to PureView smartphone zoom

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I have to confess - even after writing hundreds of articles about smartphone imaging I still get confused sometimes about digital zoom, especially in the realm of PureView. Exactly how far can you zoom in, on each device, for stills or video? What are the limits and what happens if you go beyond them? Here’s a helpful guide that I prepared earlier.

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Phone makers in the new Windows 10 Mobile ecosystem

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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.

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Camera phone head to head - Lumia 950 vs LG G5

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Yes, it's the second imaging shootout of the week, sometimes these things get bunched up and the LG G5 and HTC 10 arrived on the same day - both with pretensions at the Lumia 950's imaging crown. With totally different native resolutions though, meaning that in order to use our comparator I had to go out and shoot different test scenes at different times - here's the result of the 16MP fight between the Lumia 950 and LG G5.

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Camera phone head to head - Lumia 950 vs HTC 10

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With the HTC 10 now in for review on The Phones Show, I couldn't resist pitching it (it claims camera prowess) against the Lumia 950, looking at image quality. And, me being me and this being AAWP, I couldn't resist throwing in some comparisons with the classic Lumia 1020 as well - a different beast, but it does provide a known benchmark of sorts for what a phone camera can do.

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