Mini-review: Photo Box Pro UWP

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Classing Photo Box Pro UWP as a money-making exercise for the developers more than a serious imaging tool is perhaps stating it too strongly, but there's certainly a case to be made for smoke and mirrors. Heck, until this morning's update, Photo Box Pro was still outputting unusably small sub-1MP photos. Yet with more ways to spend money than you can count. Happily, this new UWP application now produces (up to) 4MP output and there's no reason why it couldn't output at full original resolution in a future update. Plus most people will only need to spend just over £3 to remove the intrusive ads and get most functions working, which doesn't exactly break the bank.

From the Store description (and a hat tip to WC for alerting me to the app a few days ago):

Photo Box Pro is a great photo editor with a full set of photo enhancement tools, and a lot of photo filters, effects and adjustments (more than 100 filters for professional results). The photo editor workflow allows you to save or undo each photo edition step for any kind of photo enhancement, photo filter, photo effect and shot settings adjustment. It provides for free a full set of dynamic photo adjustments including brightness, contrast, exposure, sharpness, white balance, color, noise and blur and vintage (more than 50 free effects).

  • The application provides also paid extension packs for additional professional results. From the main page you can crop and edit your photo, take a picture with the camera and go directio to the photo edito mode, browse your photo gallery, calculate DOF (depth of field) depending on the subject distance, photo sensor and photo lens.
  • With the photo detail view, by analyzing photo exifs and shot settings of your photos you will discover the key elements that allow to produce very beautiful and attractive pictures. The detailed views let you see every detail in full size, access to zoom by double tap on the photo and share by email your beautiful photos.
  • The main page give direct access to a slideshow based on your latests photos or on a random selection of your photos. The slideshow is also accessible for the detailed photo view browsing on your selection.
  • Photo box acts also as a great share target for extending any of your applications that can share photo, and it's a great share source for sharing photo with SMS, Mail and to other photo applications...

It's true that quite a bit of the basics here can be done for free, out of the box, in the likes of Lumia Creative Studio, so Photo Box Pro doesn't really break new ground until you start using some of the wackier filters and effects. Plus the UI and workflow is somewhat clunky - it all seems like a pet project that is in need of a serious rework. Still, updates are coming along quickly and who knows where this will be in a month or two's time?

Here's Photo Box Pro in action:

Screenshot, Photo Box Pro UWPScreenshot, Photo Box Pro UWP

The combination of Windows Controls (removed by the usual swipe), tool bar (minimised with the '...' control) and 'advert' plus nag/reminder, all mean that the working space in Photo Box Pro is more limited than it should be - or until you pay to get rid of the ads and nag at least.

Screenshot, Photo Box Pro UWPScreenshot, Photo Box Pro UWP

Here I'm playing with filters on one of my photos - they work well enough but you can't customise or tweak them - you either accept them or don't use them at all. Note the typically irrelevant (and corrupt) ad at the bottom - far more care should be taken for mobile advertising to produce something of at least vague relevance to the consumer; (right) another example - one of the adverts included in this UWP app pronounced that my Lumia 950 XL was 'seriously infected' with '3' viruses. This is misleading and dodgy scamware activity of the highest order. The developer needs to change ad supplier ASAP.

Screenshot, Photo Box Pro UWPScreenshot, Photo Box Pro UWP

You can also get more screen real estate by switching Photo Box Pro UWP into a dedicated full-screen mode - the the controls top right.

Screenshot, Photo Box Pro UWPScreenshot, Photo Box Pro UWP

This being a UWP app, there's an overarching hamburger menu, including a rather out of place Depth of field calculator that knows precisely zero about phone cameras - it's clearly a DSLR utility that has been shoehorned in at the last minute.

Screenshot, Photo Box Pro UWP

The obligatory 'proof' shot of Photo Box Pro UWP running on a Continuum display!

You can grab Photo Box Pro here in the Store.

Source / Credit: Store