Maybe it's just me that argues inside my head... with (ahem) myself, as to which is the best Windows Phone. At least, with my AAWP hat on... Will the question of the 'best Windows Phone', at least at the end of 2014, come down to 'best Lumia'? Enter the debate zone...
One aspect of the Lumia 930 and 830 which I haven't commented on so far because I'd thought that it was either me being too fussy or that maybe my review hardware was less than perfect, was that of noisy Qi wireless charging. No, not electrically noisy - audibly noisy. I've even tried to record the sound (using my trusty Lumia 1020, of course), so that you can hear what I hear. Others have confirmed the issue, begging the question: what's going on? It turns out that a) this is 'normal' and b) there's a perfectly good (if technical) explanation. Read on....
A few days ago, on another story, one of the comments (from 'deekbee', to give them a name check!) struck a chord, since I'd been thinking along exactly the same lines myself. With the wealth of newly cross-platform Microsoft services, with the 'app gap' still present, it seems, and with apparent reasons to not go with Windows Phone at an all time high, maybe Microsoft and its partners should be centring on the message that the OS is simply better - at least by the metrics in the title above?!
Is Apple's iPhone 6 Plus a 'phablet'? No, let's not go down that naming route. The Lumia 1520 definitely feels bigger in the hand though, and more deserving of the term. But the two are most definitely close enough for a detailed comparison, in terms of specs, features and imaging abilities. Even as a Windows Phone enthusiast, the iPhone 6 Plus does feel more mature, thanks mainly to its ecosystem and ability to work completely in landscape/tablet mode and with the likes of Bluetooth keyboards. But let's look in more detail. A lot more detail.
Apple's iPhone camera image processing algorithms have gotten really good in recent years, certainly up with Nokia's, though of course the hardware hasn't always been quite to the same level. With the iPhone 6 Plus, though, a 1.5 micron 1/3" sensor with OIS looks like it could provide a good challenge. With some tech sites proudly proclaiming the iPhone 6/6 Plus to be the best phone imaging in the world, I thought I should pitch in with the Windows Phone champion, the (famous) Nokia Lumia 1020. Below is my analysis, complete with interactive comparators to help you see the imaging differences for yourself.
Buried in the apologetics table in my article looking at the pros and cons of AMOLED versus LCD screen technology (summary: LCD wins overall) was a specific AMOLED advantage that deserves its own highlight spot. Is it enough to tip the balance for most users? Probably not. Is it enough for yours truly? Absolutely yes, and this time I have photographic proof...
Having set out 10 reasons why someone might want to choose Windows Phone, even in the face of quite a few previous Unique Selling Points becoming less err.... unique, with Microsoft's new cross-platform pushes, I thought it only fair to also identify 10 reasons why Windows Phone might not be a good choice, i.e. current possible showstoppers, though in the spirit of constructive criticism, I do offer possible ways forward.
“What an oddball pair of smartphone cameras to compare!” I hear you say. “One from several years ago, one with greatly different ambitions from the current month!” Indeed, though the question I was really asking myself was whether improvements in sensor technology and image processing since about 2011 could compensate for a seven times smaller sensor. In other words, could refined tech and intelligence trump physics?
The question came in Just before our last Insight podcast, and a very pertinent one it was too. Given all the cross platform releases by Microsoft and Nokia's HERE, surely many of the unique selling points of Windows Phone have now been removed - why would anyone now buy a Lumia, for example, rather than an Android or iOS smartphone for the same money? Great question, and it deserves a great answer... Here are 10 reasons why you might still want to go down the Windows Phone route.
As an AMOLED fan for years, it's been fascinating seeing the way technology in the LCD world has caught up in terms of contrast and colours. In fact, judging from my tests and tables below, it seems that the choice of screen technology for smartphones is now pretty clear cut. My advice to go for AMOLED three years ago was sound, but it seems that things are now reversed. This article features the Lumia 1020, 830 and 1520, by the way.