Recent Features

Camera shootout: Low light/zoom. Samsung S20 Ultra, Lumia 1020/950, iPhone 11 Pro

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So... the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is in for review. With 108MP giant main sensor and 9-to-1 oversampling. Sound familiar? And then there's the use of PureView-like smart cropping to provide zoom on both the main and telephoto systems. Loads of Lumia similarities, even if the tech is much faster now, and I couldn't decide which Lumia to do the comparison against. So I picked both of them, the 1020 and 950. And threw in the champion iPhone 11 Pro for good measure!

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A COVID-19 tracker PWA for Windows 10 Mobile

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They're depressing statistics to want to visualise, but things are so wild at the moment that the more information available, the better. In this case, a look at two PWA (Progressive Web Application) URLs, one for the world, one for the UK, that track the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (a.k.a. 'CoronaVirus', leading to COVID-19) currently a major source of concern to most of the world), both based on the Johns Hopkins GIS data engine. In each case, I've linked to the right URL, so viewing this page in Edge or using the AAWP Universal application should get you to the right places with one tap.

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The curated UWP app directory for W10M: March 2020 update

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Two months on from the previous update, here is the March 2020 update (two additions, two apps removed, several links tweaked) to 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 let me know of anything which has stopped working.

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Head to head: Lumia 950 vs latest from Samsung: the S20

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There are two points through the year that really matter in terms of comparisons. One is the release of a new iPhone, the other the release of the new Samsung Galaxy flagship. In this case it's the S20, arriving here in the next day or so for review by me, and I'm choosing to compare the smaller (non-Plus) version because there's almost no spec compromise for going 'cheaper and smaller' this year - and I'm comparing to the Lumia 950 because it too is very close to its XL counterpart while remaining pocketable.

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Windows Phone - a slice of the future... from 7 years ago!

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The more time goes on, the more I appreciate what Microsoft and Nokia did all those years ago. In a big update to a previous article, I'm still amused that the tech industry is falling over itself in the modern era to embrace concepts that were commonplace back in the early days of Windows Phone - from well over seven 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, offline maps, augmented reality mapping, and social integration!

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How to: sideload classic Windows Phone 8 games onto a modern Lumia

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The really interesting thing about Windows 10 Mobile is that it's fully backwards compatible with old Windows Phone 8 software. Even for games. Which you really wouldn't think after browsing the Microsoft Store, since many of the classic titles aren't there anymore. But that's no reason to be disheartened, especially if you're prone to a little installing and unzipping, since there are archives of classic WP8 games online and it's the work of moments (once you've got everything in place) to 'sideload' these titles to your Lumia 950 or similar in the current day. 

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It's obvious, but... Don't use WDRT on older Lumias - anymore!

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This is somewhat obvious if you think about it, but it's worth expanding on anyway, since it almost caught me out yesterday. There are a number of readers with older phones - Lumia 640/XL, 730/735, 830, 930 and 1520 is a good (though not definitive) list - which started out on Windows Phone 8.1 but which were offered Windows 10 Mobile, at least via Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor utility. And have been running W10M smoothly. But now in 2020, in the event of problems, don't even think of using long time stalwart utility WDRT (Windows Device Recovery Tool) to restore your phone's original OS in order to 'rebuild'. Let me explain...

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Life after Lumias? My top 4 smartphone replacements (Feb 2020)

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Four months is a long time in the phone world - I last opined on this topic in October, yet my picks have changed significantly! I've pitched this as my top picks for smartphones to replace a Lumia 950/930 or perhaps an IDOL 4 Pro or Elite x3, going forwards into 2020 as Windows 10 Mobile is now unsupported and as services gradually start to wind down. I've tested just about everything on the market and here's my updated verdict, with just one eye on price and value for money as well (though this isn't critical).

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