Recent Features

Xenon and zoom: the Hasselblad takes on the Nokia 808/Lumia 1020 (etc.)

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Yesterday I looked at the arrival, in for review, of a rather rare thing - a Xenon-flash-equipped, zoom-equipped camera phone, competing (obviously) with such (also rare) Nokia classics like the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020. But never mind the bulk (in this case, removeable, but still...), never mind the form factor, how do these ultra-camera-phones perform against each other in a variety of challenging tests? Let's find out...

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Xenon and zoom re-enter the smartphone world, courtesy of Hasselblad

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I've periodically returned to the classic Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020, highlighting the lossless 2.5x zoom and 'proper' Xenon flash, though there's been precious little to compare these with that's camera centric from the wider smartphone world in the last five years. Yet along comes something new, the Hasselblad camera mod on the Moto Z, a late 2016 Android smartphone. Along with the 808, 1020 and also ageing Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, I couldn't resist a quick photo comparison. No, not of results (that comes soon!), this time of the hardware itself...

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HP responds to specific user complaints about the Elite X3

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Thanks to AAWP reader Alex in Russia, and his persistence across multiple conversations with (escalated) HP support in his native country, we have a translated transcript of HP's official responses to his complaints about the Elite X3 he had bought. Of course, these are (naturally) very defensive, but there are some insights worth commenting on.

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Camera head to head: HP Elite X3 vs Xiaomi Mi Mix

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Following on from my detailed head to head between the current Windows 10 Mobile flagship and the highest end Android flagship in the world, I had requests for more details on how their cameras perform. Heading out into the Christmas wilderness, I plied the two phablets with some varied lighting use cases. Neither phone camera is world-beating (at least one notch beneath the Lumia 950s of this world), but both do a decent enough job most of the time. Can I pick a winner? Oh yes...

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Futuristic phablet head to head: HP Elite X3 vs Xiaomi Mi Mix

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So here's the funny bit.... Here we have a perfectly valid comparison between two visionary phablets and... the HP Elite X3 is better value, i.e. the cheap one! But the legendarily pricey business smartphone is up here against something rather exclusive. Albeit partly because it has 18 karat gold inlays and a massive 256GB internal disk, but there's still a lot here that's worth comparing, like for like. Let battle commence...

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The Top 5 Windows phones... ever!

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At the end of another transitional year for Windows Phone, in which Windows 10 Mobile became ubiquitous away from the bottom end phones. In which Microsoft announced one possible future for Windows 10 as a whole, running on the same ARM processors as phones, in which all PCs may be folded into the same architecture (eventually) yet the very term 'Mobile' may end up being deprecated. Confusing! And all the while Microsoft massively scaling back its first party phone hardware and support ambitions. It all adds up to a confusing year for the platform, yet - with Lumias no longer being made - also a good point in time to look back and pick my favourite phones running Windows in the modern era*.

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Experimenting with Type C-to-HDMI and 'Continuum Lite'

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Yes, I know there have been cabled ways to hook up monitors to smartphones for years, for echoing media content if you're lucky and a straight screen mirroring if you're less so. But I did wonder what would happen if I wired a Continuum-capable phone from its USB Type C jack to a monitor or TV's HDMI port directly, i.e. without a Continuum Dock. The result surprised me...

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Anatomy of a Lumia photo #1: Horses in the Mist

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In the first part of an occasional series on AAWP, I'd like to look at a photo I've snapped on a Lumia, in this case the 950 XL, and talk about how I shot it and the thoughts that went through my head at the time. If you've ever wondered if your own smartphone photography could improve then hopefully this mini series will help you start thinking along the right lines.

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(Skype) Bots Rising - and starting to get useful?

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Yesterday Microsoft's Skype team made a few announcements of new 'bots' available to anyone with Skype (Preview), i.e. the UWP app on Windows - and I was somewhat surprised by how many 'bots' were now online, effectively Microsoft partners tying into the Skype conversational and multimedia interface. Initially sceptical, I look at a few of these below and I do something of a u-turn: maybe these bots could be useful after all, 'an expert in your pocket', as it were...?

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