Guest writer By Michael 'Mivas_Greece' (surname withheld by request) brings us the first part of a tale of prototypes (one of which he has access to) and what might have been, featuring some of the various uses of Nokia's 'Pre-Touch' technology. A Lumia 1030 anyone? Part two of this feature will be published in due course.
This is an experiment I come back to roughly once a year here on AAWP, but the placement of Windows Phone 8.1 in the context of modern Internet services changes every time, usually for the worse, which is why the experiment bears repetition. As ever, my trusty Lumia 1020 from 2013 will be my steed, since I still adore the way imaging was handled (zoom, reframing, etc.) on this unique smartphone. But how much of the modern world is now off limits to the venerable OS, for which support ended in mid-2017, almost two years ago?
Continuum was something introduced with the Lumia 950, back in 2015, so it's been around for over three years now. The idea that you can just plug your phone into a TV or monitor and it's automatically used as a secondary and much larger display, with applications scaling up and letting you do a lot more... Of course, things aren't quite that easy in real life, and we've now had Samsung have a couple of bites at a very similar cherry, with its DeX system. Does that fare any better? I take my Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro and Galaxy Note 9 and investigate...
Guest writer Ow Kah Leong brings us a little smartphone-centric travelogue...(!) He's comparing camera snaps from his 2014 Lumia 1520 with those from his 2017 Samsung Galaxy Note 8, all from the perspective of a normal mobile user - a 'normob'. Summary? The more modern phone gets some shots the Lumia wouldn't, but the Lumia still competes for sheer quality and creativity.
Following my feature in November 2017, i.e. just over a year on, here's an update to my much-requested feature. The UWP applications here are a good place to start if you're setting up a Windows 10 Mobile handset (or, to some degree, a laptop or hybrid) from scratch.
Something of a fuss seems to have been made in the tech media in the last day or two after a Microsoft FAQ and a prominent tweet - they do like a good 'Windows Phone is dead' story, as we know, and I wanted to put the FAQ and tweet into perspective. In short, if you're an enthusiast still using Windows 10 Mobile right now, early 2019, then there's every reason you can do so in 2020, with only a couple of caveats heading into 2021.
Guest writer Arpolend Sevostyanov is back with a little hack, adding 'Glove mode' back to the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. It's a geeky hack, so only proceed if you're feeling confident, but it does add something which has previously only been seen on 950 prototypes.
Back in the Autumn, I pitched the Lumia 950 XL against the (then new) Samsung Galaxy Note 9, concluding that the Android newcomer didn't quite match up in terms of image detail and purity. But since then we've had three monthly updates for the Note 9* and, while waiting for the likes of the Nokia 9 and Galaxy S10, I thought a rematch was in order. Can the Lumia keep its crown?
I think I can be allowed a little backwards-gazing now that we're into 2019 and the (nominally) last year of Windows 10 Mobile support from Microsoft*. Which is why I'm going to be gazing at the array of Windows-powered phones on my desk and picking a few standouts. Starting with my current favourite Windows phone, heck I was salivating the moment it was rumoured - the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro. No, don't laugh, please read on. I have my reasons...!
A few months ago I pitched the (then new) Huawei Mate 20 Pro against the Lumia 950 XL and found that the former's edge enhancement rather ruined the phone's imaging scores against the purity of the classic Lumia. I suggested that software updates were key and Huawei was listening, it seems. The update that hit my Mate 20 Pro a few days ago significantly dials back the horrific image processing that the phone started with. So a re-test was in order, and I've thrown in the Google Pixel 3 XL, which has also had a big 'feature' update in the last few days. It'll be a battle royale, so sit back and let's see how the three flagship camera phones do...