Recent Features

Cross-generational shootout: 1020, 950 vs Galaxy S9+ and Pixel 2 XL

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It's tough to compare large numbers of camera phones at the same time - four is about the limit in terms of coverage on the web. But it's perfectly valid to pick out interesting groupings. In this case, the classic Lumia 1020 and 950 (this being AAWP, and yes, I'm still flip-flopping on which is 'best' for imaging) versus modern flagships which have just had updates. The Galaxy S9+ has just had its second system update, while the Pixel 2 XL hasn't been tested here for six months and now runs a whole new OS, Android P(ineapple), and with its 'Visual Core' chip activated. Whatever happens, it's going to be a power imaging shootout...

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Baffling branches: what we need is '1803'

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Articles such as this from the Microsoft Windows team, announcing push notifications from web pages in Edge, are all very well, but there's a key phrase used in this post:"via the Push API, beginning with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update". Now, you probably hate web pages sending notifications as much as I do, but the technology is important for when you really do want it to work, e.g. for a social client like Twitter and its new PWA (Progressive Web Application). At which point, what we need for Windows 10 Mobile, as one last 'hurrah', is a final branch update - to the 'April 2018 Update', or branch 1803.

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Camera head to head: Lumia 950 vs Honor 10

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Brand new this week is the Honor 10, which - despite its sub-£400 price tag - boasts a ground-breaking new 'AI-based' camera. Software-based stabilisation, analysis of scene details to adjust processing for each interpreted depth layer, and to enhance subjects according to how people like seeing them. But how does all this hold up to the classic Lumia 950 - can all this new computational tech beat a quality classic?

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Mid-price head to head: Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro vs Honor 10

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Just to ring the changes, with a new mid-priced 'flagship' coming along from the Android world, I had the usual choice of what to compare it to from the Windows side - in the end, I plumped for the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, being of similar size, weight, style, and with similar levels of err... compromise. They're a good match overall, I think. Yes, Android is the smartphone OS of the modern age (90% market share?), but how does the Windows 10 Mobile offering compare?

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24 hours with Windows Phone 8.1 - in 2018: the trials... and successes

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Two weeks ago, I posted about considering the Lumia 1020 under its original Windows Phone 8.1 as a viable set-up, even in 2018. And it is, on the whole, I stand by everything I said in the original post. However, while it may be a viable set-up, it's most certainly not optimal, five years after launch, and six years after the launch of the Lumia 920, the archetypal 8.1 device. In an attempt to see just where the pain points are (other than the obvious, like no biometrics), I set about using Windows Phone 8.1 exclusively for 24 hours. And no cheating.

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How to: Investigate and save a great Microsoft image of the day

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Whether you're using Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10 Mobile, the chances are that you've settled on the 'Bing image of the day' as your lockscreen. Stunning curated images from commercial collections, every day that are, seemingly, just as well suited to the portrait phone screen as to the landscape desktop aspect ratio - thanks to some clever selection and even more clever cropping. But a day later and they're gone. How can you enjoy them after the fact?

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PWAs and traversing the great desktop-mobile divide

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It won't have shocked anyone during the week when Webrox's (makers of Tubecast and other well known Windows 10 Mobile applications) CEO, Stéphane Graziano, was quoted on MSPU as saying that 'nobody cares' about the Microsoft Store and that the current situation is 'a disaster'. Unsurprising, I contend, because people use the desktop/laptop very differently to their phones. But although it's unlikely that PWAs could help Webrox, they could help bridge the gap for many others.

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SteveMark? Two completely different smartphone imaging Top 10s!

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By popular request, and in particular response to the arguably incomplete results coming out DxOMark in the last few years, I immodestly present what has come to be called 'SteveMark', as in a compilation of results of the real world tests I've been doing with a wide range of smartphone flagship cameras. Is there a top dog? Unsurprisingly, it depends on what you want from a phone camera, and also unsurprisingly, I present to you not one, but two Top 10 lists. Take your pick!

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