The arrival of the Realme X3 SuperZoom, another smartphone with much hyped zoom camera system had me scurrying for some zoom favourites of yesteryear for AAS and AAWP readers, plus I also threw in the current champions, the iPhone 11 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro, for good measure. Six contenders then and I'll throw various zoom and low light use cases at them. Note that it's not all about extreme zoom, as I contended in an editorial last week, sometimes it's about zoom versatility.
A few days ago I pitched the new POCO F2 Pro against the Lumia 950 XL, spec for spec, with a view to it perhaps being a viable across-the-board upgrade. Its imaging system seemed a bit limited in terms of raw specs (no OIS, no telephoto lens), which is why I present my usual multi-scene pixel analysis below - can the POCO F2 Pro get close to the Lumia in terms of image quality?
The choices of which Android smartphone to jump to are legion, of course. But I do try and provide some useful hands-on comparisons, with this week's instalment looking at the brand new (Xiaomi-made) POCO F2 Pro, providing top internal specs for a relative pittance. Here's how the specs match up, and don't worry, imaging is core for most of us, so there will be a camera head to head in a couple of days. Coming right up!
OK, this is extremely geeky, but if you're a Windows 10 enthusiast then the chances are that you know how to bring up Task Manager on a Desktop PC. But what about on Mobile? As it turns out, there's a hidden, browser-accessible task management interface in Windows 10 Mobile. You just have to know how to get to it! So if you're on the hunt for a rogue, battery-draining process on your phone then try this little known troubleshooting technique...
Three years ago, I let the world know what was in my mobile IT kit, the accessories I group together in the house and take with me on any serious journey to family etc. What inevitably happens in all locations is that, as the 'tech guy', I'm the one people turn to connect A to B, to adapt C to D, to provide power in the middle of nowhere, you get the idea. I'm sure the same is true for you! In compiling this, hopefully of interest and with helpful hyperlinks, I was surprised by just how much had changed, with more capable items replacing older tech, etc.
One of the jewels in the Lumia 1020's imaging workflow was something called 'reframing'. By keeping a high resolution (34/38MP) photo behind the scenes, the selected 5MP output could be 'reframed' after the fact - cropping differently, rotating, and so on. And although this system isn't quite matched these days, I wanted to give a glimpse into what Apple's done with the iPhone 11 Pro, offering reframing of sorts with its 'crop/discard' (after the fact) function and with its unique expandable frame system. Pictures being worth a thousand words here, see the examples and explanations below.
We're used to 2020 services not being available to 'ye olde' Windows 10 Mobile, but in fact the new Disney+ streaming system works perfectly on the platform (even though it's not advertised as such). Now, there's a slight caveat in that it runs inside the Edge browser, i.e. it's not an 'app', so you get a browser UI while choosing something to watch, plus Disney+ isn't expecting a phone (even a Lumia 950) with such a relatively slow processor to handle its streams, so the experience isn't exactly snappy. But it does work and you'll be watching Disney+ movies in under 30 seconds from logging in. Who knew? (Certainly not Disney!)
Two months on from the previous update, and now moving to a 'quarterly' update schedule, here is the 'Summer 2020 directory', the AAWP directory of curated UWP applications, those with native Windows 10 UI and which support different orientations, Continuum and even use on laptop or tablet. Do please get involved in the comments to this new URL (the number on the previous story was getting too cumbersome) to let us know of anything which has stopped working.
A blast from the past, but I had the pleasure of interviewing Juha Alakarhu on my most recent Phones Show Chat podcast, published yesterday and embedded below. Juha is, of course, the man who co-crafted the cameras in the Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020 (and various Nseries and the Lumia 950 before and after) - and is respected as something of an imaging guru in the industry. Do have a listen, he reveals some of the background to the two champion 41MP camera phones, including just how hard the 1020 was, in particular, having to combine the 808's power with the expected OIS after the Lumia 920's release.
After my head to head imaging comparison between the Lumia 950 XL and Find X2 Pro, in which we learned that OPPO's image processing from its main 48MP pixel-binned camera leaves a lot to be desired, it seemed appropriate to show how well oversampling from a 40+MP sensor should be done, by pitching the Find X2 Pro against the classic Lumia 1020. But another current benchmark device needs to be in the mix too, to push both of these somewhat unbalanced contenders, so I'm putting in my iPhone 11 Pro. In other words a tough three-way fight and as I write this intro I have absolutely no idea which of the three might emerge the winner.