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?
Microsoft's holistic approach to the Windows platform will bring people to Windows Phone, just as Windows Phone will bring people to RT, Xbox to Windows 8, along with all the other combinations. But Microsoft can look beyond that, and use their online services such as Xbox Music to reach out to a new platform. Apple's platform.
Following the launch of Windows Phone 8, I had the chance to spend some time with the first smartphone announced as a WP8 device, the Samsung ATIV S. Both Nokia and HTC have been pushing their new handsets hard, while Samsung has been, well, focussing on the new Galaxy devices, running Android.
The big question, the thing everyone (around here) wants to know. How does the Nokia PureView 'phase 2' camera in the Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia 920 compare to that in the 'phase 1' camera unit in the Symbian-powered Nokia 808? In the seven comparisons below, Rafe and I try to answer the question, and throw in comparisons with the Lumia 900 and HTC One X camera at the same time, where appropriate. This feature represents our 'first look' at the 920 hardware - there will be formal review parts coming your way very shortly, including a broader look at its camera in all modes and settings.