We hear a lot about Windows Phone and then Windows 10 Mobile having 'an app gap', but this glib phrase, often tied into the apparent failure of the OS commercially, doesn't really tell the whole story. With examples below, I explore when it does and - interestingly - when it doesn't apply...
Guest writer Matthew Weflen is back, this time with a phone camera shootout between the mighty Lumia 950 and the brand new Sony Xperia XZ Premium, the top of the line in Sony's Android line-up - has Sony finally managed to fix its imaging woes? (Certainly Matthew hopes so, since he's considering jumping ship to Android with it.) Anyway, let's find out.
Although much talked about (mainly) on other sites, the 'app gap' isn't the biggest issue that Windows on phones faces*. Neither is 'lack of a future'**. Rather the biggest issue - somewhat obviously, but it needs restating - is that by pulling out of first party hardware altogether when it did, Microsoft opened up (i.e. self-inflicted) a gaping (and possibly) fatal wound in its mobile ambitions.
Despite losing to the Lumia 950 XL in the stills shootout, the new A11-powered iPhone 8 Plus gets its revenge when capturing video, where the sheer processing power it brings to bear pays more dividends. See the split-screen proof below. Who says the Lumia always wins on AAWP?(!)
Possibly the sternest test the Lumia 950 XL has ever had in the phone camera world, I'm genuinely afraid for its crown as we head into a showdown with the very latest Apple iPhone, the 8 Plus, with dual cameras, including a genuine 2x zoom, hardware-driven noise reduction and a truly powerful ISP to combine images and generally deliver 'perfect' shots. Can the two year old Lumia compete?
2017's iPhone is now here and, not least due to its imaging prowess, the inevitable comparison with the Windows 10 Mobile champion, the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, is also here. First in this general head-to-head and then in a dedicated imaging contest, coming early next week...
What's a guy to do? Sent a drone to review and needing an OIS-equipped camera to sling underneath it, I realised that I had numerous Windows Phones from the last few years that had both OIS, decent frame quality, and were err... disposable if the worst happened. As it happened, there were no disasters, but the Lumia 830 seemed to fit the bill across the board.
It's a fair cop. With a dozen Lumias spread around the AAWP office, we can afford to have phones on every possible OS variant/ring/branch. But what if you only have the one Windows-running phone? What should it be running? As you might expect, it depends on your preferences and situation, but I've tried to break down the relevant factors for you below...
So I've put forward the case for Windows 10 Mobile in video form, plus I've shown that W10M is still relevant in 2017. But - like any intelligent person - you'll have been looking around at other smartphone platforms, eyeing up shiny new phones. It's only natural. Which is why I wanted to set down my thoughts on how the three* main platforms compare - which way should you jump?
Here's the latest in my growing series of cameraphone 'tutorials', or at least explaining the thought behind various successful phone-shot photos. In this case, a sunflower shot early in the morning down in the West Country, with the petals literally and metaphorically reflecting the sun itself(!)