Anyone following the world of mobile phones will know that 'something' is up from Facebook on Thursday. The chances are we're going to see an updated Android application, potentially one that takes over the launcher UI of a handset, thus creating a 'Facebook phone'. We might even see a handset with this code bundled in from the factory. But if you want to see what a Facebook Phone would be capable of, you should be reaching for a Windows Phone.
So 2013 saw the first 6"-screened 'phone' (the Huawei Ascend Mate). Greeted with a degree of shock by most, would you be surprised to know that my 'smart' device of choice back in 1997, a whopping sixteen years ago, also had a touchscreen with a 6" diagonal? Now that your jaw has hit the floor, let me suggest you glance at the chart below, proposing that large screened devices have, for tech fans preferring to live on the cutting edge, always been available and that impressions of a gradual size creep are more for the wider market.
The rush of games coming to Windows Phone from the Game Developer Conference is welcome, but what does this mean for the platform? I would say it's good news, and we can expect more from the big mobile developers... but there are signs that XBox Live is still unsure what it wants to be on Windows Phone 8.
The arrival of devices like the HTC One, with its built-in 'burst' mode photography (a.k.a. 'HTC zoey') has perhaps brought to the fore a trend in mobile photography which has been growing for several years. As phone cameras have got faster and faster, and as processors have sped up, it has become quite practical now, for transient subjects, to shoot 'bursts' of photos rather than put all your eggs in one basket for that single, special shot. So how does that work out on Windows Phone? Here are four applications that might fit the bill....
Throughout the history of PDAs and smartphones (so we're talking 20 years), one particular design battle has been raging, seemingly without a victor. From which you have to conclude that the battle is quite evenly matched. Yet I disagree, arguing that, from the user's point of view, there's a very definite winner, while manufacturers have a different preference and slant on this particular aspect of design.
I'm back home from Austin and the SXSW Conference, and it's time to look back at how well the Lumia 620 performed. If you've been following these video diaries then you'll know that I've been enjoying my time with the budget handset, and it will be no surprise that I'm going to be recommending it, but what strengths and weaknesses have I found?
With the arrival of the HTC One for Phones Show review, and with its imaging pretensions ("ultrapixels"!), what better opportunity than to put it up against the best camera-toting smartphones on both Symbian and Windows Phone? In the shape of the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 920. Oh yes, and, by popular request, I introduce an imposter from 2007 to the competition, the Nokia N95 classic, the world's first smartphone with a decent camera (and sensor size and megapixel quotient that's still comparable). How will that fare against the class of 2012 and 2013?
Up till now the Lumia 620 has proven to be a little powerhouse of a smartphone. The specs might be a touch depressed compared to the larger handsets like the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, but it's coping with every task that I've asked of it here on the streets of Austin and the SXSW Festival. It's time to look at the camera now, both for stills and video.
PocketNow seems to be the first major web site to get both a Nokia Lumia 920 and a HTC One (both with optical image stabilisation and imaging pretensions) in the same place at the same time and take some meaningful low light photo examples. We have our own HTC One (running Android, you may remember) arriving tomorrow, so do watch this space for more detailed comparisons in due course, including against the Nokia 808 PureView. In the meantime, here's my analysis of three of the example photos, chosen for the ease of comparing detail...
Continuing with my real world review of the Nokia Lumia 620 around Austin and at the SXSW conference, I turn the attention today onto social media tools, and the People Hub.