Mobile World Congress 2017 is upon us then. Which means Rafe Blandford is prowling the halls (with his various hats on). And every manufacturer under the sun is bringing out unibody metal-and-glass touch slabs with near ubiquitous feature sets. Which, as a contrast, got me pondering about the Lumia 950 XL, whose USPs seem to grow monthly!
The 'Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10' is the latest W10M flagship on the scene - and it's fair to say that its strengths lie in materials and in audio. Imaging isn't its strongest suit, but as Anthony Fear and I show below, in most light conditions, it's not too bad. Putting it against the Lumia 950 XL, here's our interactive head-to-head.
The disappearance of the Lumia 950 XL from sale across the world over the last three months has been disappointing, not just because it was Microsoft's flagship phone but also because the 950 XL is still a terrific smartphone. A market-leading phone camera, a glorious screen, plenty of RAM, a decent speaker (after it has been tweaked) and, best of all, the nigh on unique feature (in 2017) of having a user replaceable back and battery. Making it a doddle, in the absence of a new phone replacement, to simply freshen up with some Mozo (and battery) love.
Last week's mini-review of Car Dash and my bemoaning of a Windows 10 Mobile equivalent to 'Android Auto' sparked a storm of comments, not least from those who pointed out that some of what I was asking for can already be done - in Cortana... if you know the right setting to turn on. So here's more comment on the idea, along with the vital 'how to', to make sure that you too touch your phone as little as possible when driving!
Never mind niche or boutique applications which are missing from the world of Windows 10, there's one whopper which affects me daily and - if you stop and think about it - probably affects you too. At the very least it could make you safer when driving. Read on for my thoughts on the lack of a decent in-car mode in Windows 10 (Mobile)...
We've now got to the point where Windows 10 'Redstone 2', a.k.a. 'The Creators Update', is feature-locked, meaning that it's time to assess what's new and different from the 'Anniversary Update' (Redstone). And there's quite a bit - here's AAWP's breakdown. This OS release is due to hit production phones on Windows 10 Mobile in about two months time.
Yes, that capitalisation in this new camera-centric smartphone's name is intentional - it's how KODAK itself refers to it. Sigh. Anyway, with retro camera styling and 21MP 1/2.4" six-axis-OIS specs, it's an unashamedly imaging-focussed (ahem) device and, with the Lumia 950/XL being arguably top dog in the world of phone imaging still, I thought an interactive head-to-head was in order...
Well done if you spotted the title change - 'Anatomy of a Lumia photo' (here's #1!) just got widened because, in this case, I was using the HP Elite x3 instead! The software and platform are the same though. I do wonder whether these occasional smartphone photography tutorials are too 'basic', but they do seem to be popular. So here goes another!
It's been a long time since I revisited this topic (16 months)... Just where does Windows 10 Mobile (née Windows Phone) stand in terms of third party applications, compared to the competition? I mean, first party, in-the-box offerings are outstanding, with Outlook, Skype, Maps, Office and much more, but what about the third party 'app gap', as popularly characterised? How bad is it, compared to iOS and Android? I took the current 'Top 40' from the application charts from the latter two platforms, as of January 2017, and tried to find equivalents.
Just a few back-of-envelope calculations that I thought you might like to follow along with. With the withdrawal of Microsoft from selling first party smartphones (for the time being), I wondered whether it was time to take stock of some numbers. In particular, the figure I wanted to get to was how many people out there, across the world, are actively using Windows 10 Mobile, i.e. the new OS that Microsoft is updating, that devs are writing for, and that we're covering. Some guesswork is needed, but bear with me.