Recent Features

Windows 10 Mobile and... CPU speed and bandwidth

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Yesterday, I looked at the performance of Windows 10 Mobile (at least, at the current build) in terms of RAM, and concluded that, web browsing aside, the user experience on devices with 'only' 512MB (of RAM) was going to be absolutely fine. Perhaps more serious is the situation with respect to the chipsets used under the hood, with so much of Windows Phone 8.1 and beyond optimised for the Snapdragon x00 series - just how slow are the 'S4 Plus' series (Lumia 520 right up to the 1020) going to get with Windows 10 Mobile and how much of a problem will it be?

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Windows 10 Mobile and RAM - maintaining the user experience

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With Windows 10 Mobile coming to virtually all Windows Phones over the next few months as an over-the-air update, seemingly independent of RAM and specs, it does beg the question of how much will be sacrificed in terms of day to day experience on the lower end phones. With this in mind, I've been benchmarking the top end Lumia 1520 (2GB RAM, Snapdragon 800) and the budget Lumia 630 (512MB RAM, Snapdragon 400) for various common operations, both with the latest (pretty stable) W10M build.

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Flickr's dedicated groups: havens for Lumia imaging fans

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There are, of course, lots of ways to upload photos, lots of places to share them from - but one which has stood the test of time, in terms of users and support, has been Flickr, now online for more than a decade. Even better, the 'groups' facility means that, in addition to simply searching Flickr for a particular phone name, you can also browse through, or be part of, a particular community for a specific camera phone. With the emphasis for many Lumia Windows Phones on imaging, this provides a great way to see what others are doing with the same hardware as you, and to share yourself and find out what others think of your Lumia-shot photos.

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How to 'unstick' your OneDrive application

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Now, this isn't that common, but it happened to me - my OneDrive client, even on my recently reset Lumia 930, started playing up on Windows Phone 8.1. Essentially it had stopped showing any photos after a certain date, even after restarting the phone, trying to sync by adding new images, and so on. It was well and truly stuck. Happily, I also subsequently hit upon the solution, of which you might like to make a mental note.

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The Nokia Lumia 1020 FAQ for Windows 10 Mobile

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Having lost count of the number of people saying how much they were looking forward to putting Windows 10 Mobile on their Lumia 1020 - and then seen equally as many people say they were dreading it, I thought a FAQ was in order. What will you, and won't you gain from the the step change in the OS, in terms of experience and - crucially - in terms of imaging, this being the 1020s core speciality.

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Windows 10 Mobile: 'Grown up' mobile OS, but the higher your resolution, the better?

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Playing with Windows 10 Mobile as my primary smartphone platform, I'm struck by how 'grown up' it feels. Partly this is because I'm using the Lumia 1520 with its 6" 1080p screen, but partly it's because this is, at heart, a desktop-class OS. Below, I list some of the more impressive aspects of Windows 10 Mobile, as at build 10149, reported on here. Is the OS ready for the mass market yet? Absolutely not. Is it ready for use by someone who knows how to work around the odd glitch? Definitely. Plus there's a real sense of community to how the Feedback and Insiders programmes are being handled, each of us really can have our say.

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Gig video capture, take two! (Unfiltered, plus iPhone 6, Windows 10 Mobile, Android M)

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In a previous feature, a week or two ago, I took a bunch of smartphones to a local gig and did some direct comparisons - very high volume, low and changeable lighting, challenging environments, all make for an ultimate cameraphone video capture test. The main Windows Phone I was testing - the Lumia 1020 - fared sub-optimally because of the default audio filtering in Lumia Camera. So I headed out again, with this feature turned firmly off... then threw in the latest iPhone 6, the Lumia 930 running Windows 10 Mobile and even Android M(!) for good measure.

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State of readiness - Windows 10 Mobile, mid June 2015

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Build 10136 of Windows 10 Mobile, announced here, is significant because it marks the point in the latest evolution of Windows Phone where the next-gen builds are good enough for serious testing. I hesitate to say 'good enough for day to day use' because, like all early OS builds, battery life is questionable. But it's certainly good enough to load on all your applications and data (on a sacrificial device) and to, metaphorically, kick the tyres. Which is what I've been doing for the last 48 hours. Here's my report, caveats, warts and all. [Updated 23rd June with extra screens and amendments.]

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Chess, chess, chess... playing against your Windows Phone

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It's chess all the way, perhaps the archetypal game on any computer platform - or in this case on the computer in your pocket - your smartphone. With a multitude of chess options on Windows Phone, I've picked out the best - and, because we don't do things by halves here, then pitted the two best against each other, to find a champion. Note that this is all playing against your phone - I'll cover playing online against other humans ('by post') in a future feature.

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