A month ago I compared the classic 2015 Lumia 950 XL with the Samsung Galaxy S9, with the idea being 'in the interests of showing Windows 10 Mobile users/fans one of the more likely Android phones that they might like to move to in the next 12 months'. Though valid, this was something of a mismatch of form factors, at least visually - but now we have the larger S9+. And a new set of pros and cons all round!
Technology, as they say, marches on. In terms of image quality, the Nokia 808 camera was top of the phone imaging tree for a couple of years. The Lumia 1020 was top for another couple, then the Lumia 950 inherited the crown for two years more until eventually just pipped - arguably - by the Apple iPhone X, thanks to its extra telephoto lens. And now the pack has starting to overtake the champion 950, with the mass market Galaxy S9 drawing level and now this, the Galaxy S9+, moving some way ahead.
With the news that the recently acquired Ring (IoT doorbells) is stopping access to its hardware from Windows 10 Mobile in April, I find myself musing, not for the first time, about moving goalposts. Without active development, an OS these days will find itself dropping seriously behind the pack, and IoT support is a good example of this. On the other hand, are we 100% sure about IoT and its integration being a good thing in the first place?
Having completed my in-depth Lumia 950 XL versus Galaxy S9 shootout here, resulting in an overall tie, what struck most people about the results was test 5 in my line-up, where the new S9 made a truly horrible mess of 'natural' detail, i.e. grass, shrubs, trees. However, given that both the classic Lumia 950 XL and S9 support the saving of 'RAW' images, i.e. before all the image processing and sharpening, then that was the next thing in my review sights.
With the infrastructure changes at F1, the UWP app for Windows 10 has been withdrawn, as already reported. But, with the first Grand Prix (Australia) happening this weekend, what are your other options? It turns out that there's a wealth of information available for Windows 10 to accompany your race viewing in 2018. In part 1 of a staggered two part feature, I introduce the current state of affairs.
When I'm using Windows 10 Mobile full time, I can truthfully say that the OS and its applications satisfy all my smartphone 'needs', but there's a huge caveat implied. 'Needs', after all, implies 'necessities', the basics that have to be in place in order for a smartphone to be a smartphone. I get by - I even enjoy the phone and the UI. But there's an unstated reach that lets those with other mobile OS go further, whether its paying for things with their phone in a shop, playing the latest blockbuster games, or streaming video from a particular commercial movie service. Below, I chart the shortfall - how critical is it to you?
Sometimes you can't always get what you want, but.... you might just get what you need. So sang The Rolling Stones and a bit of a life lesson, but borne out by several technological trends, not least something that had been close to my heart, the subject of replaceable batteries in smartphones. See below for links, quotes, and current thoughts on the reality.
If you're watching intently then you may have noticed that March's 'Patch Tuesday' updates haven't (so far) included Mobile. Sod's law says that Microsoft will issue them right after this article goes live, but in the meantime I can't help but feel frustrated about the lack of TLC given to Windows 10 Mobile and the immense resources being ploughed by Microsoft into gimmicks elsewhere.
It's perhaps the imaging shootout that many have anticipated, at least here on AAWP - the classic Lumia 950/XL camera against the very latest pretender, the Galaxy S9, with a triple 'layer' sensor (see below), dual aperture and hyper-multiple exposure system driven by a Snapdragon 845 chipset or equivalent. Surely, surely the 2015 Lumia can't defeat a flagship that's two and half years newer? Let's find out.
It's a fair cop - I'm comparing a 2015 phone with one from 2018, so it's not a fair fight. Yet in the interests of showing Windows 10 Mobile users/fans one of the more likely Android phones that they might like to move to in the next 12 months, here's a blow by blow comparison of the ageing but classic Lumia 950 XL against the brand new Galaxy S9. And yes, an imaging comparison is next...!