Possibly the sternest test the Lumia 950 XL has ever had in the phone camera world, I'm genuinely afraid for its crown as we head into a showdown with the very latest Apple iPhone, the 8 Plus, with dual cameras, including a genuine 2x zoom, hardware-driven noise reduction and a truly powerful ISP to combine images and generally deliver 'perfect' shots. Can the two year old Lumia compete?
2017's iPhone is now here and, not least due to its imaging prowess, the inevitable comparison with the Windows 10 Mobile champion, the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, is also here. First in this general head-to-head and then in a dedicated imaging contest, coming early next week...
What's a guy to do? Sent a drone to review and needing an OIS-equipped camera to sling underneath it, I realised that I had numerous Windows Phones from the last few years that had both OIS, decent frame quality, and were err... disposable if the worst happened. As it happened, there were no disasters, but the Lumia 830 seemed to fit the bill across the board.
It's a fair cop. With a dozen Lumias spread around the AAWP office, we can afford to have phones on every possible OS variant/ring/branch. But what if you only have the one Windows-running phone? What should it be running? As you might expect, it depends on your preferences and situation, but I've tried to break down the relevant factors for you below...
So I've put forward the case for Windows 10 Mobile in video form, plus I've shown that W10M is still relevant in 2017. But - like any intelligent person - you'll have been looking around at other smartphone platforms, eyeing up shiny new phones. It's only natural. Which is why I wanted to set down my thoughts on how the three* main platforms compare - which way should you jump?
Here's the latest in my growing series of cameraphone 'tutorials', or at least explaining the thought behind various successful phone-shot photos. In this case, a sunflower shot early in the morning down in the West Country, with the petals literally and metaphorically reflecting the sun itself(!)
The very idea seems ridiculous to the world at large in late 2017. Who on earth would buy or hang onto a smartphone running Windows anymore? Yet, despite obvious market share metrics in a world where iOS and Android dominate new phone sales, there are still major USPs that appeal to me - and which I document below in video form...
Back in the day on Windows Phone, HERE Transit was part of the built-in apps suite and effectively did route planning around urban public transport systems. In theory, the same is available in Windows 10 Maps, but there are some functionality holes, one of which just got filled. You can now plan from transit stops and stations directly, in a version of Maps that has just hit (or is about to hit*) your Windows 10 Mobile smartphone. Here's how it works.
Here's the latest in my growing series of cameraphone 'tutorials', or at least explaining the thought behind various successful phone-shot photos. In this case, something slightly different in that it was shot by an AAWP reader, not me. The result is spectacular though.
I've done numerous head to head comparisons between the Lumia 950 XL and other top end smartphones, but every now and then I get the chance to do one between phones in the same ecosystem. In this case, of course, answering the question of which is 'better', the 22 month old 950 XL or the brand new Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro?