Recent Features

'LumiaPhoneTest' and proving your Lumia's hardware is fully working!

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It's not often that I come across a utility that I really should have known about already - in this case it's Microsoft's own 'LumiaPhoneTest', and dates from "2013-14", implying that it's not under current development anymore. Still, it seems to work fine and gives you low level access to hardware tests that would otherwise require a trip to a repair centre of some kind. In this case, I was verifying that my Lumia 930's four microphones all worked...

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How to: shoot better videos on your Lumia 950 or 950 XL

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Although I covered something along these lines almost two years ago and, let's be honest, a lot of the basics of video shooting haven't changed much, I wanted to update my feature for 2016 and the much newer devices and their capabilities. In other words, all the best of our smartphone camera video capture tips in one piece, in one place. Hopefully something worth bookmarking and pointing people towards?

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In Case of Emergency: ICE Lock Screen and other solutions

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It's all very well having helpful ICE (In Case of Emergency) data inside your phone, even in a dedicated application, but if you're involved in a car crash or similar, perhaps unconscious or incapable, and your phone is locked with a PIN then the rescuers won't be able to access it. With potentially distressing consequences. One answer, if this worries you, is to have your ICE information right there on your phone's lockscreen. Below, I take a look at a few Windows Phone applications which claim to help achieve this.

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Smartphone camera head to head: Lumia 950 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (vs 1020)

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With the very latest Android superphone in my hands, in this case the Samsung 'Galaxy S7 edge', equipped with a f/1.7 1/2.6" 12MP OIS-equipped camera, what's an AAWP writer to do but pitch this new technology against some established camera champions from the world of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile? In this case the similarly-sized Lumia 950 and the slightly smaller and much older 'classic' Lumia 1020. Heading into this particular headline imaging feature and writing this paragraph, I have absolutely no idea which of the three will emerge the winner. No idea at all...

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Video capture head to head: Lumia 1020 and 950

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I often use the phrase 'by popular demand', but this time it really is. The Lumia 1020 was praised for incredible, stabilised, noise-free video capture, while the Lumia 950 sits two years on and a much more advanced smartphone in other ways - but can its video capture best the large-sensored 1020? I put both through their paces, the 1020 under Windows Phone 8.1, the 950 under its native Windows 10 Mobile.

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Get a lot of email on Windows 10 Mobile? How to double your battery life...

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The disparity in battery life experiences of those testing out Windows 10 Mobile, especially on the new 'native' devices like the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, has been very interesting. "Goes one and a half days" says one person. "Dead by teatime" say I. Happily, I've discovered the culprit, and I thought I'd share the screenshot proof for anyone else who happens to get quite a bit of email (genuine/promos/etc.), especially via IMAP from the likes of Google (Gmail)...

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The back of one envelope later, I calculate 31% adoption from WP8 to Windows 10 Mobile

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It's notoriously hard to get a mass of users to upgrade to a new version of an OS, especially when you consider multiple regions and multiple devices, of wildly different specifications. Apple does it best, with a very limited set of device variants and simultaneous availability across the world, but even iOS usually gets stuck at about 75% adoption for any new major version. Android is massively fragmented and its latest, v6.0, has only 1% adoption after four months. And in between the two extremes lies Windows Phone and the big upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile. Seven months ago I estimated that adoption would be only 15%. I'm prepared to go a little higher now...

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