Most Lumias were produced under the Nokia brand, of course, with the final generation under 'Microsoft'. But I still find it interesting how the Nokia name has risen back up into the public consciousness under the seemingly capable hands of HMD Global, still based in Finland. I've covered the (disappointing) Nokia 9 PureView here before, but I now have in for review something that sits at the budget end of the spectrum (£230), yet is robust (plastic chassis, think Lumia 1520) and capable. And still has a 48MP camera. Here's my first look at the 'Nokia 7.2'.
Out and about with the new (and diminutive) iPhone 11 Pro (i.e. the smaller variant), I get the same feeling as when I used to carry the Lumia 1020 - a desire to take photos. The idea that every time I see something that I'd like to snap I know I'll be able to get the shot, quickly and comfortably. No precarious perching of a phablet-sized phone, just a pocket-sized smartphone with the best camera in the world doing what it was born to do. 2013 to 2019 should mark a lot of progress in image quality, so let's try and quantify that with some challenging 1020-esque test shots. I think you'll be surprised.
In my video stabilisation feature here, I was asked in the comments to do a test of audio capture in video mode - i.e. how good are modern microphones in smartphones? The short answer is: very good. Gone are the bad old days of Nokia being the only manufacturer that cared enough about audio to put decent high amplitude microphones in its smartphones. See below for video and audio proof.
Just a quick thing, but after four years of the Lumia 950's existence, I only just realised something - and I figured that if it were new to me then it might be to you too. You see, I knew that when shooting video on the 950, going to 4K (2160p) capture would scotch any digital/software stabilisation since there's just too much data for this 2015 phone's hardware to handle. But I always assumed that the (optional) digital stabilisation would work at 60fps - and it seems not. Maybe this too is too much for the Snapdragon 808/810's chipset to handle?
Whether you're wiping a Lumia to give it to someone else, or to sell it, or you're just being super-cautious about which devices have your data on, there will be occasions when a phone needs a full factory reset. Yes, there's a finnicky button sequence to do this on a Windows 10 Mobile phone, but don't worry, there's also an official way, through Settings. Here's a walk-through...
In advance of Remembrance Sunday, a nice little installation is in place at St Mary's, in Bishops Lydeard, in the UK, and I attempted to get a shot of this (unlit) piece against the traditionally floodlit church at night. I succeeded, but I did an iPhone too, as I'll explain!
You may have noticed that when Google launched the Pixel 4 series recently, it emphasised the 'astrophotography' capability. Essentially, when the phone's mounted in a tripod of some kind (and thus not moving), the software switches into 'astrophotography' mode and allows exposures (presumably at crazy low ISO) of up to four minutes. Does this work? And what happens if you try the same on an iPhone 11 Pro? Or even... a Lumia 950? In short, don't get your hopes up for any of them!
This could be the one readers have been waiting for. The classic modern day PureView Lumia camera phone versus the upgraded (Deep Fusion) iPhone 11 Pro versus the brand new Google Pixel 4 XL. All three employ multi-exposure, multi-pixel sampling and other computational tricks. The Lumia is obviously the old boy here, hailing from 2015, but as I start the shootout I've still no idea which will win out. I guess it depends on how much zooming I test! (PS. I include a Halloween bonus shot, just for fun!) (Updated: with 'party' shot, by request)
A couple of days ago I included the brand new Pixel 4 XL in my top five Lumia replacement phones - despite the much publicised shortcomings in terms of battery life and lack of ultra-wide camera lens. I believe Google can fix the battery drain in software and I've always prioritised zoom over ultra-wide imaging anyway. And now it's time to dive into detail - if you're thinking of jumping ship to Android and availing yourself of the latest in PureView-esque imaging and zoom facilities, then here's my comparison between Google's latest and the classic Lumia...
Four months is a long time in the phone world - I last opined on this topic in (only) July, yet my picks have changed significantly! I've pitched this as my top picks for smartphones to replace a Lumia 950/930 or perhaps an IDOL 4 Pro or Elite x3, going forwards into 2020 as Windows 10 Mobile stops being supported and as services gradually start to wind down. I've tested just about everything on the market and here's my verdict, with just one eye on price and value for money as well (though this isn't critical).