Ah, the best laid plans. Regular articles have had to be put to one side after a deluge of reaction and over-reaction to various happenings in the world of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 10 Mobile over the weekend. The Easter weekend. When hardly anyone's at work at Microsoft to respond or fix things. It's their own fault, really, for releasing new builds and a confusing statement mere minutes before disappearing off to family Easter events. Anyway, below I attempt to summarise the dozens of stories and thousands of comments from around the Internet from the last three days, along with my own take on it all.
This is a topic that we've all been speculating about for a while - how will Microsoft introduce 'Windows 10 on ARM' in terms of phone/phablet hardware that already uses ARM chips? Are the likes of the Lumia 950 XL and HP Elite x3 suitable for upgrading and, if so, how will it all work? What about lesser/older phones and Redstone 3? Please find below my educated guesses.
My series 'Anatomy of a Lumia photo' (here's #1!) has proved popular, even though I cheated with the HP Elite x3 instead for #2. #3 had a lovely clock and here goes another hopefully good photo, reverting back to the Lumia 950 XL again - this time, framing is the key theme.
Six months ago I did a shootout between the two Nokia camera phone classics, the 808 PureView and the Lumia 1020, and the newer Lumia 950 XL and Google Pixel XL. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the first two triumphed, despite their age, but at some point one has to let go - and there has been renewed interest in a new 950/Pixel shootout, with latest versions of the relevant Camera software. So here we go.
'Google on Microsoft' should work as well as 'Microsoft on Google', in terms of accessing services on smartphones, and yet it doesn't. Microsoft's applications are uniformly excellent and available on Google's Android OS, yet there are almost no Google applications available for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. For anyone trying to keep 'in' with both ecosystems, what are the options in terms of accessing Google-hosted content on Microsoft's OS?
Yes, the new Galaxy S8 won't be on sale for another month yet, but it represents the current cutting edge of smartphone technology. Which is why I thought it worth doing one of my tabular head to heads with the faithful old Lumia 950 XL - how does a device 18 months older stand up, spec by spec?
It's no April Fool. I really think that next month should be the time when Microsoft finally pulls its finger out in terms of actually telling regular users about Windows 10 Mobile (W10M). In Creators Update (Redstone 2) form, it's now pretty mature, it works more smoothly than ever before, there are ever more UWP applications for it - and yet the vast majority of people who could be running W10M don't even know about it.
The Android-running ZTE Axon 7 was perhaps the 2016 'superphone', at least in terms of value, with super high end specs at relatively rock bottom prices. I did a full comparison with the Lumia 950 XL here, but there was demand for an imaging head to head too so... here it is!
A trifle and alarmist for a headline, admittedly, but there is a time sensitive element to this. Two weeks ago, Opera Software took the Windows logo off their 'mobile' information page. Odd, I thought. A couple of days ago, Opera Mini, their headline Windows Phone 8.1 browser, stopped appearing in Store search results. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to spot what you might like to do next...
OK, ok, to bring out 'part 2' of a feature nine months after 'Windows 10 Mobile flagships compared, 2016 (part 1)' is a little careless, but the intervening months were deemed necessary in order to add perspective - and, in this case, replace one of the phones altogether. With patchy availability all round (to say the least), here then is the long delayed 'part 2'!