You can't move in our corners of the Internet without some debate springing up about which is best: hardware keys, virtual keys, T9 or Swype. It's almost a religious thing, with devotees of one solution or another. So I thought I'd devote a little effort to a data point for each system, in my hands at least. Yes, personal preference will play a huge part in the solution you end up with. But which, from a statistical point of view, is fastest at the end of the day?
One of the quiet triumphs of the Windows Phone system, at least for gamers, was the regularity of the Xbox Live releases. For almost all of 2012, gamers could expect a new branded title on Wednesday evening (depending on their time zone). But the last four weeks have seen a rather lacklustre line-up from Xbox Live. With a renewed focus on Windows Phone, and the increased sales of new handsets, this is the worst time to destroy the unwritten agreement of a regular release schedule.
In my latest comparison, I take the Lumia 920, which I've now used for a month, the Nokia 808, which recently had its upgrade to Belle FP2, and the hot-off-the-press Google Nexus 4, an Android flagship in terms of pretensions and core specifications. Three platforms at different stages of their lives, three different form factors and user experiences. Let's put them head to head...
How many Windows Phone 8 devices will be enough Windows Phone 8 devices this Christmas? I don't mean under my tree, because that's an easy answer... it would be one very small, very high spec, WP8. I actually mean on a global sale. It's clear that Windows Phone devices are selling, that much we can gather from Microsoft's announcements, extrapolated advertising inventory, and how many people are publicly using the Facebook app. The question I have is how many would be a good number?
Another smartphone announced, another moment of crossing my fingers as the news loads and I look down at the specification list of the latest WP8 handset. And with the Lumia 620, I managed to get past the physical dimensions while still smiling. And then I was let down by everything else. Why can't there be a small, top of the line, smartphone?
Touchscreens may have changed the way we interact with smartphones, but they do have one significant drawback. You have to touch the screen... and that almost always leaves behind a fingerprint, formed from secretions of the eccrine glands (water, salt and oils). All smartphone screens have coatings that mitigate against this, generally falling into the lipophobic or oleophobic categories. However, not all coatings are created equal and in this mini-feature we compare the Lumia 900, Lumia 820, Lumia 920 and HTC 8X in the fingerprint test.
If there's one comparison I keep getting asked for, it's putting the cameras of the Nokia N8 and Lumia 920 up against each other. And for good reason - the N8 is now two years old and those on contracts, in particular, are wondering if now is the time to jump from the End Of Life Symbian to the latest Windows Phone 8, buoyed up by the hope of 'PureView' photos from the 920's camera. Here, then, is a blow by blow real world photo shootout between the two phones, aided by a rough and ready scoring system, just to try and keep things objective.
In this video feature we take our first look at the Lumia 820, Nokia's second Windows Phone 8 device. We cover the box contents, offer a visual tour of the device, comment on the removable back covers, highlight the expandable memory, and compare the size of the device to other Lumia devices.
With light levels going down every day, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, it's perhaps only natural to start experimenting with some of the Nokia 808's and Lumia 920's 'Creative' controls for getting better photos despite the absence of strong light. But what effect does fiddling with 'ISO' have? In part 1 of a two part feature, I look at how ISO adjustment works, with the aid of some extreme low light photos from Siraj Hassan Mohideen....
Smartphone market analysts have been presenting low market share figures for Windows Phone. Almost anywhere around the globe you'll find that its market share is still in single figure percentages. Of course, there was a similar story for iOS and Android when they were the same age. Despite this, it still attracts lots of press attention, and Microsoft and Nokia are spending big money on eye catching TV advertising. Should Windows Phone have had higher market share by now, and if so then why doesn't it?