The dust is settling around Microsoft's shock announcement of the Surface Duo, running Android but with much of Microsoft's UI ideas. Some see the Duo as the next Holy Grail device, some see it as the ultimate betrayal of Windows Phone. As usual, the truth is somewhere in between, though I do have multiple worries over this new 'not a phone but kind of is' Surface product.
Last weekend I went hands-on with Samsung's brand new Galaxy Fold in London. Yes, it runs Android and this is being published on AAS and AAWP, but I believe it's a very relevant current data point in terms of mobile computing on the go. Not least because it's a modern equivalent to the Nokia Communicators of old. But it also paves the way for thoughts on where Microsoft is going next with its Surface Duo...
Following my detailed general head-to-head between the Windows 10-powered IDOL 4 Pro and a new budget-priced flagship, the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, earlier in the week, I did promise an imaging shootout too, this time with the Lumia 950 XL. Does the Mi 9T Pro measure up in the imaging stakes as a Lumia replacement? Let's find out...
In the continuing search for reasonably priced replacements for Windows 10 Mobile smartphones, the name Xiaomi keeps popping up, offering high end specifications at very low prices. In that vein, I've managed to get my hands on the new Mi 9T Pro, its flagship at only £350 or so in the UK, which is amazing. So how does it compare, blow by blow, with my top specced W10M handset, the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro?
I have to say that I find it quite amusing that the tech industry is falling over itself in 2019 to embrace concepts that were commonplace back in the early days of Windows Phone - from well over six years ago. For every naysayer that slams Windows Phone for its weaknesses, remember that it also led the world in several ways, not least UI responsiveness, dark themes, and augmented reality mapping!
Yes, yes, another imaging feature... I wasn't planning on including the (now) six year old Lumia 1020 in my round of relevant iPhone 11 Pro imaging comparisons, but AAWP readers asked for it and so here goes! As it happens, there's common ground, since both offer zoom, both offer reframing (in different ways), and both phones are, I argue, unashamedly camera-centric.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro is in for review for The Phones Show and its camera system is something special. Three matched and synced lenses, and with some clever software, but how do they stack up against the rest of the best in the imaging world, including AAWP's champion Lumia 950, but also throwing in Google's acclaimed Pixel 3 XL (now under Android 10) and Huawei's zoom champion P30 Pro? I'm in search of high IQ (Image Quality) here, under a wide range of lighting conditions.
Tomorrow is a big day in the phone world, of course - worldwide availability of the new iPhones. Leaving aside the 'Pro' devices, well over £1000 (though I've got one in for imaging tests and general review), the 'iPhone 11' might well be the perfect point to jump 'all in' on iOS, given the impending cessation of Windows 10 Mobile updates and given the low price on the '11' and the maturity of its internals. Yes, yes, I personally am Mr Geek and thus will always go to Android, open file systems, and customisability - but for the non-geeks, maybe Rafe is right in choosing iOS and maybe tomorrow is the day?
2019 really has been the year of the folding phone - and not for the right reasons. The idea of a phone-sized device that unfolds to become a tablet (and vice versa) is such a tempting dream that we've been talking about as an industry for the last three years. Arguably 20 years if you include the Nokia Communicators, which unfolded to become a mini-laptop, in effect. We've seen attempts at a folding phone/tablet from Samsung and Huawei and with concepts from others, yet none of these approach the common sense of what Microsoft was patenting and prototyping back in 2016 for its reputed Surface Phone. So why hasn't someone else designed along similar lines? After all, a twin glass hinged unit would be cheaper and far more durable than bending plastic.
Security and identity theft are major concerns these days, with numerous high profile attacks, making two factor authentication for all your email, PIM, banking, and even social accounts mandatory. But relying on a phone number and SMS codes as the 'second factor' has a huge weakness - 'social attacks' on your phone network, with someone pretending to be you and thus gaining control over your SMS and number via a new SIM card, inserted in their phone of choice. Enter the concept of 'authenticator' apps on your phone, which work well but are a pain to set up more than once. Well, no more, since Microsoft Authenticator can now backup and then restore your established authenticated account keys. Here's how it all works.