Yes, yes, Windows Phone 8.1 is now classed as 'retro', but as a followup to my piece on choosing it for the Lumia 1020, I wanted to emphasise one aspect that still works rather well... with a twist that I hadn't realised* was there. Live traffic graphical views on 'ye olde' WP8.1? No problem.
Somewhat handily, just as the cameras in the Lumia 950 and 950 XL are identical, so are those in the Sony XZ Premium, XZ1, XZ1 Compact (shown below), XZ2, and XZ2 Compact. So a range of sizes and general specs then, for anyone to pick from. And, with the chance to do a shootout, I grasped the bull by the horns, as it were...
Two years ago, in May 2016, I wrote about staying with Windows Phone 8.1 in an era of Windows 10 Mobile, in the context of some services working better on the old OS than the newer one. Since then, we've had Windows 10 Mobile mature and fill out, though there's one phone for which I stand by my original piece 100%. You may not be surprised that it's the classic and much-loved Lumia 1020, from 2013, which still feels 'right' on Windows Phone 8.1. If you have this Xenon-flash, monster-camera-ed device then here are the pros and cons, plus suggestions for use in the modern age.
In the past, I've mentioned a few examples of possible smartphones to consider jumping to if you reach the end of the road with your Windows phone, but I wanted to amplify this and give you the full picture. Yes, Windows 10 Mobile still has at least a year of updates and support left, but at some point even enthusiasts may reach the point where it becomes appropriate to wonder what might be next in our lives...
Restoring a Windows 10 Mobile phone from a backup, perhaps after a problem or a device replacement, isn't too problematic these days - most things are back where you expected, with only a few gaps. But the restore isn't 100%, in part because of the sheer diversity of what's on our phones. Prompting me to sacrifice a fully loaded and working Lumia to establish once and for all what comes back and what gets 'lost'.
With the start of unavailability for sale of the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, we're left with just the one current Windows 10 phone on the market, the Wileyfox Pro. But this is an opportune moment for an update to our device table, looking at all Windows phone hardware that's Windows 10 Mobile-compatible. What's the current status for each?
The arrival of the Huawei P20 Pro in the Android world is significant for people who have used the Nokia (808 and) Lumia 1020 and Lumia 950 range, since Huawei's head of imaging is one of the ex-Nokian co-creators of the PureView concept and technology. So we see a 40MP and physically large sensor again, but with extra sauce from other lenses. But how does this new 'PureView' implementation compare to those of previous generations?
Yes, I'm comparing a 2015 phone with one from 2018, so it's not a fair fight. Yet in the interests of showing Windows 10 Mobile users/fans one of the more likely Android phones that they might like to move to in the next 12 months, here's a blow by blow comparison of the ageing but classic Lumia 950 XL against the brand new (40MP-sensored, triple lens) Huawei P20 Pro. And yes, a full-on imaging comparison is next...!
Last covered here in Autumn 2017, Instagram's official UWP application has effectively been pulled in the last day or so, thanks to the new version being compiled for Redstone 3 and above (i.e. for PC/x86), meaning that the 'feature2' branch that Windows 10 Mobile maxed out on doesn't qualify. However, all is not lost and Edge handily comes to the rescue if you still want to access Instagram on your Lumia or similar. [UPDATED BELOW]
My response to any oddity in the operation of a Windows 10 Mobile phone is usually to suggest a 'refresh'. The usual cause of the oddity is that the phone has been taken through multiple OS branches and/or Insider rings, and it's time to have a managed clearout. In the FAQ below, I cover most of your questions about backing up and refreshing.