Recent Features

Camera head to head: Nokia Lumia 930 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (part 1)

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With the Galaxy Note 4 in hand, armed with a first for Samsung on pure phones, OIS, it seemed appropriate to pitch it against a Windows Phone in our interactive comparator. But which one? The obvious choice is the Lumia 1520, i.e. also a 'phablet', but the Note 4 is quite a bit smaller than the 1520, with smaller bezels, it turns out that it's just as close to the Lumia 930. Given that we haven't featured the 930 much on AAWP since the initial review, and given that the cameras in the two units are identical, I thought I'd give the 930 a crack at the competition this time.

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Benchmarking the various generations of Lumias...

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I was interested to see the availability, a few days ago, of GFXBench, a cross-platform utility that hammers the processor and graphics systems of smartphones and tablets and then reports back. The core use is to compare devices in the Android and iOS worlds, I suspect, i.e. the mainstream, but with Windows Phone availability, I thought it might be interesting to compare the metrics for some of the various generations of Nokia Lumia that I have lying around...

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That '1030' proto and why Xenon flash will be a no-show in 2015

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The Interwebs have been awash with snaps of a prototype from China, ostensibly a yet-unannounced high end PureView Windows Phone. Is it the hoped-for Lumia 1030? Is it the (allegedly cancelled) 'McLaren' flagship? Or both? Or is it something in the test labs that may not appear at all? Either way, one aspect of its imaging has got me thinking and, I now believe, Xenon flash may not appear on a Microsoft Mobile (née Nokia) imaging flagship in 2015.

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Tell me about my photos... Photo utility options

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We all know that the Windows Phone range often has a pretty good camera in its attached hardware - heck, I'm using a Lumia 1020 for this article. But, having taken a good photo and having perhaps shared it and received some comments, a common requirement is to look at the EXIF data, the metadata stored in each JPG taken with a digital camera that describes the settings used by the capturing software. If this sounds like photo-geekery then you're right, feel free to move right along. But if seeing 'inside' your photos seems like a great facility to you then read on....

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Picking the best budget Windows Phone in November 2014

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Last week I looked at the 'best' Windows Phone, without specific merit given to price, but here I want to look at the options for someone on a budget. Say anything available on pay-as-you-go or SIM-free under £150? In the UK, obviously, though most of these models are also available around the world and at comparable local prices. Is there an outright winner? Well, yes, but it's almost cheating - happily there's a great choice in the middle of the range and an even better one coming up on the rails...

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Persistent controls/lights when playing media - how has this 'feature' lasted this long?

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This could well be one of the shorter editorials on this site, because it's essentially talking (ok, more like complaining) about one aspect, and one aspect only in Windows Phone. Yet one which drives me bonkers. In fact, I can only think that something inside the OS makes fixing it architecturally impossible, because I've been irked by it for years. Repeat years. And there's still no sign of a fix on the horizon. Will Windows 10 see a change? I'm not holding my breath.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Light challenge - testing dynamics and optics: Lumia 1020 vs Samsung Galaxy K Zoom

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You'll remember that I previously did a camera head to head between the Lumia 1020 and the Android-running Samsung Galaxy K Zoom (along with a Nokia 808, for good measure), looking at all subjects and scenes, including exercising the zoom capabilities of each? This is something slightly different - using source photos from friend 'wireduser' and using the famed AAWP interactive comparator, we look here at photos shot under typically sunlit conditions but with dramatic lighting (i.e. contrast) challenges. Which device's optics and sensor coped best?

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Picking the best Windows Phone at the end of 2014

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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...

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The noisy mystery of Qi charging circuitry - solved!

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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....

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Fresher, more Finger-friendly and more Foolproof: how Windows Phone SHOULD be marketed

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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?!

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