Recent Features

Learning to live with a sealed design? Yes. Loving it? Not really, but....

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Most readers know me as someone prepared to enter into debate on the subjects of form factor and smartphone design, but also having my own distinct preferences. You'll remember an in depth feature I did on the subject of sealed vs removeable batteries? It's fair to say that, personally, I come down on the 'removeable' side of the fence - yet I find myself, in December 2013, using a sealed design for my primary device. In this feature, hopefully of interest to both AAS and AAWP readers, I examine my objections to 'sealed' and ask which of them, if any, are still showstoppers.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Let's kill Xbox Live once and for all

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Here's a thought. Instead of wasting a brand, instead of making an implicit promise of quality and failing to deliver, instead of giving hope to gamers out there, instead of teasing us that something interesting might happen... Xbox Live on Windows Phone should simply disappear. The lack of engagement from Microsoft and third party developers is frankly embarrassing, and the service needs put out of its misery.

# Posted by Ewan in Features || Comments

Smartphone camera shootout: the Z1/N8 update edition!

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You love smartphone camera shootouts - you know you do. Especially with champions in both the Symbian and Windows Phone world. We've compared most of these devices to one of the Android world's camera champions before - the Sony Xperia Z1, but that device was hampered by poor initial firmware and reports of the most recent Z1 update have been promising. Which means (in conjunction with reader Adam Pino) a new head to head: Nokia N8 (12MP, Xenon flash, Symbian), Nokia 808 (5MP oversampling, Xenon, Symbian), Nokia 1020 (ditto, Windows Phone) and the Z1. Fight!

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Video: Lumia 1020 and 1520 camera speed compared

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In this video-based feature we compare the camera speed of the Lumia 1020 and 1520 in terms of both start-up time and shot-to-shot time. While some of the differences between the two devices can be explained by the relative size of the camera modules (41MP versus 20MP) the processor powering each device (Snapdragon S4 versus Snapdragon 800) is also an important factor.

# Posted by Rafe in Features || Comments

How to: Produce perfect high resolution 'panoramas' - by cheating!

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I had a crazy idea a while ago, after trying to get a decent 'panorama' shot on my Nokia smartphone and finding the stitching flaky and the resolution low every single blessed time. Yes, yes, calm down Apple fans, I know the iPhone does this out of the box, but here I'm talking Nokia. Symbian and Windows Phone, and the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 specifically, since the high resolution available (typically 7700 pixels-ish wide) opens up the possibility for a huge, massive cheat. As [cough] detailed below. 

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Living with compromise: Some thoughts on the Lumia 625

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The Lumia 625 is an interesting addition to the line up of Windows Phone devices. It makes some assumptions about the form factors that customers would want (specifically around the size of their smartphone), and applies every trick in the book to bring the cost down to a level that allows networks to offer the large screened handset at a minimal up front cost. Retailing in the UK for 'free' with a £20-£30 monthly contract, that goal has been achieved. But is the Lumia 625 a handset that works in practice?

# Posted by Ewan in Features || Comments

How is Windows Phone 8 optimised for large screen devices (Lumia 1520)?

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In the screen section of our Nokia Lumia 1520 review we noted in passing that Microsoft has, in the Windows Phone 8 Update 3 release, changed the way some of the apps apps are displayed on devices with large screens. The most obvious example is the addition of an extra column of Live Tile on the Start screen, but there are a number of other more subtle change too, as demonstrated in this video-based feature article.

# Posted by Rafe in Features || Comments

Trust, the intangible factor that drives smartphone sales

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Once again I'm on the road (Junior Eurovision), but unlike other trips, something is a little different. With no current Windows Phone device ready to be reviewed, or interesting and notable devices from the other platforms, I had a free choice on which handset to pick up. And it has to be a handset that I trust. Just as countless people walking into a phone store to buy a new handset, trust is a key component in any piece of mobile technology, and something that Windows Phone still needs to work on.

# Posted by Ewan in Features || Comments

How to: Make sure ALL your pixels are shared (and backed up...)

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It's all very well shooting 5 or 8 megapixel photos on your Windows Phone, but don't assume that all the pixels are making it online when you share your photos or send them on to others. In fact, your photos are almost certainly being dramatically shrunk - I do a little investigating and offer some tips below. Why settle for second best?

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Video: Nokia Lumia 1520 review

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In this video we offer a summary review of the Nokia Lumia 1520, complementing our in-depth hardware review and editorial coverage from last week. The video starts with a brief unboxing, before going on to offer an overview of the hardware and new software features of the device. Also included is some commentary on the practicality of size of the device, illustrated by a comparison with the Lumia 925 and Lumia 620.

# Posted by Rafe in Features || Comments

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