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.
Is it the shiny, shiny phenomenon of something new? Or the feel of cold metal and the satisfaction of larger screen and as much storage as I wanted? Either way, I find myself compromising one of my deeply-held 'must haves' (in the 1020) and using the Nokia Lumia 830 as my main smartphone, following on from my review and other tests. It's an Autumn miracle, perhaps?
As covered here recently, (Xbox) Video now has support for subtitles, an area which I hadn't explored before on AAWP. And, in all probability, is something you haven't looked at either. Here then is how to add subtitles to a personal or commercial/public video and to view them on your Windows Phone 8.1 device.
The headline might lead you to suspect a horrendous mismatch, but there's more to the story than this. The 1020 is the gold standard in currently-sold camera phones, of course, but the new Lumia 830 turns out surprisingly well against it for most shots, despite being massively outgunned in the physics stakes. Xenon-aside, once the matching software turns up for the 830, we could have a rather tasty little 'affordable flagship', to use Nokia/Microsoft's marketing term.
Following on from last week's immediate look at the Lumia 735 and subsequent review, it's the turn of Microsoft's Lumia 830 to get double-header treatment from the All About Windows Phone team. The main review will follow next week.