Possibly the most unusually timed gallery ever put on AAWP, this is the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, brand new in Europe, a Windows 10 Mobile flagship in mid-2017, against all the odds, or at least against the perception of the tech media. Following an (initially) one carrier, USA-only release in late 2016, we now have a tweaked version for the rest of the world, here in full retail form.
AAWP Insight #238: Top apps, Microsoft on iOS and Android
It's true that this gallery is somewhat out of time - the 'Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10' has been out for T-Mobile in the USA since November 2016 and available SIM-free in the USA generally for around a month. However, AAWP is based in the UK and we've had no access to this new Windows 10 Mobile flagship... until now. Guest contributor (and ex-pat) Anthony Fear lives in North America and brings us an initial IDOL 4S gallery, ahead of more detailed review coverage.
View additional galleries here.
In a special AAWP podcast, Neil Gilroy steps into Rafe's shoes, delivering a verdict on the state of Windows 10 Mobile and the Lumia 950 XL, from the point of view of someone usually found at the cutting edge on iOS and Android. How well does Windows and the new hardware stack up?
In AAWP Insight #167, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about Windows 10 Mobile updates, both in terms of versions for existing devices and the stability of the latest Insider releases and along the way we mention a few feature highlights plus recent built-in app updates. We follow this up with imaging chat around bracketing and Force HDR (rich capture and related topics), comments on recent Lumia 950/950 XL price drops, and answer a listener question on the app gap.
In AAWP Insight #166, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk CES 2016 and the latest Windows 10 Mobile topics. Rafe reports back from his recent trip to CES, outlining some broad themes and overall thoughts, before moving on to highlight some Windows specifics in the form of new hardware from Alcatel (including the first 8 inch tablets to run Windows Mobile 10) and how the Lumia 950 XL performed at the show. We also cover off the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile (10586.63) and Microsoft's details on the official Windows 10 Mobile roll out.
With Rafe missing-in-action, prowling the halls at CES in Las Vegas looking for new Windows 10 Mobile hardware (of which... not so much), I drafted in semi-regular Stephen Quin to fill his boots. It's mainly a catch-up with how Stephen is getting on with the Lumia 950 XL, with Continuum and with the OS in general. Given that my own views and verdicts are well known on the site, this is a chance to get someone else's take on the state of the hardware and software offerings from Microsoft.
In AAWP Insight #164, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we have a (longer than usual) Christmas edition of the podcast. We continue our coverage of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. This time Steve shares his thoughts after a few weeks with the new flagships, with dives deeper into design, camera performance and software readiness (or lack of it). We also discuss the Microsoft HD-500 Display Dock and the related Continuum functionality of Windows 10 Mobile, plus answer a listener letter on the app gap.
In AAWP Insight #163, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we kick off our detailed coverage of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. Some of the key topics covered include design, performance, and imaging, with plenty of chat on other topics interspersed. We also look to set the new flagships in the context of the Nokia and Microsoft Lumia eras and the respective contribution of each to both these and future devices.
In AAWP Insight #162, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about some of early (US) Lumia 950 review coverage, while awaiting the UK arrival of Microsoft's new flagship smartphones. As well as debating who is going to buy the devices, we also cover the latest Windows 10 Mobile Build and camera related app updates. We also find time for a OneDrive mention (again), a quick heads up on a Xiaomi tablet device, and a freemium busting game pick.
In AAWP Insight #161, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by revisiting Microsoft's recent quota changes to OneDrive, prompted by some listener feedback. We also discuss when existing devices will get the Windows 10 Mobile update, whether you should choose the Lumia 950 or 950 XL (and when they are likely to arrive in shops). The other major topic in the podcast is the Microsoft Band 2, following on from Steve's review of Microsoft's second generation wearable.
In AAWP Insight #160, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the top 0.1% of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile apps (as seen in our recent directory/list of top apps). We also share some thoughts on the Lumia 950 and Continuum after some hand on time at Microsoft's recent Future Decoded event. We also talk about experiences with the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile (10581) and note the "retail" release is just around the corner.
In AAWP Insight #159, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about the recently announced changes to Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage space quota, considering both the "levels" of changes, the way Microsoft communicated them, and the potential long term impact. In the second half of the podcast, we discuss Steve's recent feature that compared the speed of various tasks and activities on Windows Phone 8.1 versus the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile.
In AAWP Insight #158, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about Lumia 950 / 950 XL pre-orders, which are now live (and have a price adjustment) in the UK. That leads to a conversation about Microsoft's latest set of results and the poor Lumia sales numbers, which leads us back to the Lumia 950. We also cover some updates for the Maps and Calendar apps for Windows 10 Mobile. We finish by talking about zoom on camera phones through the years and what the best approach is for today's devices.
In AAWP Insight #157, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about some new Windows 10 Mobile handsets that were shown off in Japan recently, the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile (10549) and look ahead to the next build (10572), and muse on the state of readiness of Windows 10 Mobile (for new devices and in place updates). We also contrast the Lumia 1520 with the 950 XL and run through our latest camera features.
In AAWP Insight #156, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we continue the discussion about Microsoft's big October 6th event. Following some comment on future devices and design, the main focus is on the entry level Lumia 550 and the Microsoft Band 2 wearable. In the second half of the podcast, we talk about the state of the Windows Phone app ecosystem, following on from Steve's recent feature on the same subject, and look ahead to some future content topics.
In the bumper length AAWP Insight #155, hosted by Steve and Rafe, it is all about Microsoft's big October 6th event, which saw the announcement of new Lumia and Surface devices, together with a number of related accessories. We cover the launch of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, walking through the specifications and key experiences, including connectivity, camera and Continuum. We also touch on the Lumia 550 and Microsoft Band 2, before concluding with a summary of the new Surface (PC) devices.
In AAWP Insight #154, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about Steve's recent comparison of voice assistants for mobile platforms and the role voice may play in the future. There's the usual commentary and thoughts on the latest Windows 10 Mobile build (10536), plus related app updates (Maps, Office, Photos, and more). There's also time for a rant (on finding battery spares) and a quick look ahead to next week's announcement of new Lumia phones from Microsoft.
In AAWP Insight #153, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk through a week's worth of news. First up is some information on the latest Insider Build (10536) of Windows 10 Mobile. We also look forward to October 6th, which is the anticipated announcement day for Microsoft's new premium smartphones (and some other devices), chat around some updates to the Photos app (and related improvement in the imaging flow for Windows 10 Mobile), before finishing with a discussion about "long press", "force touch"/"3D touch" in the light of Apple's iPhone 6s event.
In AAWP Insight #152, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we round up ten days worth of news and views. Topics covered include a series of Windows 10 Mobile app updates (Messaging Skype Beta, .NET runtime, Photos), the recent BBC iPlayer update, the Acer Jade Primo and some thoughts on Continuum, and some comments on phase 1 on the Windows 10 Mobile roll out. In the middle, we also find time to grumble about quality assurance issues related to the Microsoft app Store.
In AAWP Insight #151, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about Windows 10 Mobile performance on lower end devices (build 10512), Windows 10 Mobile compatible phones (and upgrading low storage devices), and the leak of upcoming flagships (Cityman and Talkman). We also touch on ARCHOS' recently announced Windows 10 Mobile device and Steve's most recent camera head to head (Moto X Play versus Lumia 930).
In AAWP Insight #150, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we cover a number of topics including the latest Insider release of Windows 10 Mobile (Build 10512), a tutorial of how to do the upgrade (covering some useful tips and caveats to be aware of), and how Windows 10 Mobile is growing up. We also talk around a number of other recent content items, such as Steve's recent review of Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard.
For our weekly podcast, with Rafe temporarily out of action (he'll be back next week!), I recruit long time Windows Phone enthusiast Stephen Quin to have a chat about some of the recent features and stories. Thanks to Stephen for his time and to you the listener for your patience! Stories covered include Windows Phone competing at the budget end of the market and the 'so near so far' issue of the Lumia 1520....
In an extra length AAWP Insight #148, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start with a wide ranging discussion around Microsoft's Q2 results (8.4 million Lumia phones sold, up 10% year on year) and some thoughts on what comes next. The second part of the podcast is devoted to answering a number of listener questions, ranging from thoughts on Lumia 1320 performance to whether (in the future) other manufacturers will fill the gaps left behind in the Lumia line.
In AAWP Insight #147, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by considering how many existing device owners will upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile (and think about some of the obstacles and motivations). Other topics include our experiences with the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile (including praise for the transparency on IAPs), problems with video streams in the BBC iPlayer app (and implications for testing apps), and a series of app picks.
In AAWP Insight #146, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk through the implications of Microsoft's recently announced job cuts to the Devices Group and the associated $7.8 billion write down linked to the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business. We also cover the latest Windows 10 Mobile Build (10166) and highlight Steve's recent investigation of Windows 10 Mobile's performance on different processor/RAM configurations (from Lumia 520 to 1520).
In AAWP Insight #145, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we open by responding to a listener question around the BBC's support of Windows Phone (apps). Our second major topic is a discussion around Build 10149 of Windows 10 Mobile, which leads to a follow on topic around RAM configuration and performance. We also cover the rebrand of Xbox Music and Xbox Video to Groove and Movies & TV, trail some off-road mapping apps, and pick out two apps that have caught our attention.
In AAWP Insight #144, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we open with some commentary on the departure, from Microsoft, of Stephen Elop and Jo Harlow. We proceed through a number of news items including a third party Glastonbury app, a software update to fix "Periodic reboot" issues, new Windows 10 Mobile devices from Freetel, and the latest firmware update for Microsoft Band. Our two main discussion topics are on the state of Windows 10 Mobile readiness and Steve's gig video capture comparison feature.
In AAWP Insight #143, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we open proceedings by discussing the arrival, after a month long hiatus, of Build 10136 Insiders Preview of Windows 10 Mobile, covering the main new features, and wondering how stable it is this time round. Other topics covered by the podcast include an update around Facebook and personal data sync, some thoughts on Microsoft's new portable battery chargers, and a debate around whether 32GB storage is enough in a phone.
In AAWP Insight #142, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we open the podcast by discussing the Facebook Connect API changes, how Microsoft services are effected, and any impact on the end user. We also highlight the latest HERE Maps data update, talk about the withdrawal of Lumia Camera Classic for high end phones, talk about how Cortana can help air travellers, and share some thoughts on Condor's Griffe W1 device.
In AAWP Insight #141, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we amble through a number of topics, from timings on the Windows 10 release (29th July for PCs, later for smartphones) to Microsoft Band questions (and light sabre apps) and related topics. We also discuss news of a firmware update (and excuse to cheer for the Lumia 640), Rafe learns about Steve's adventure dismantling his Lumia 1020, and we're pleased to hear Microsoft is looking to address Store bloat.
In AAWP Insight #140, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we have two main topics, both of which lead to some extended musings and generalised mobile discussion. First up, the news of Phone Companion for Windows 10 (and cross platform Cortana), leads us to think about Microsoft's general approach and the wider way we interact with computing devices. Second, Steve's roundup of voice assistants gives us an opportunity to talk more about voice input and intelligent assistants.
In the extended edition AAWP Insight #139, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by highlighting the release of Hyperlapse (and Steve's creative tendencies). Our second main topic is some discussion around the branding of Windows 10 versions and thoughts of the latest Insider build of Windows 10 Mobile (includes access to Office Preview apps). We also take the time to highlight two apps Pocket Casts and Tubecast Pro and talk about the rise of big screen devices.
In the extended edition AAWP Insight #138, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the Lumia 540 Dual SIM, the latest Windows Phone device from Microsoft, which was announced for select markets a few weeks ago. Our second main topic is some discussion around our recent review of the Microsoft Band wearable device. Other topics covered in this episode of the podcast include thoughts on Windows 10 and ecosystem size, plus a number of app picks and related commentary.
In AAWP Insight #137, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we discuss the news out of Microsoft's biggest developer event of the year - BUILD 2015. The topic covered include Windows 10 on 1 billion devices, more on One Windows and Universal apps (which leads to a wider discussion of this topic), the announcement of Continuum for new (forthcoming) phones, the details of iOS and Android apps "running" on Windows 10 Mobile, and Microsoft Edge.
In AAWP Insight #136, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we turn our attention to the Lumia 640, pulling out some highlights from our review coverage of the latest Windows Phone device from Microsoft. We start by talking around the maps situation (HERE) on Windows Phone over the last year, also touching on the recent Maps app preview for Windows 10. We finish with some thoughts from Steve on his recent Lumia 1020 versus Lumia 930 (with LC5/Denim) imaging comparison.
In AAWP Insight #135, hosted by Steve and Rafe, the main focus is on the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL, though we also discuss its sister device, the Lumia 640. We cover our early thoughts on the hardware, make some head-to-head comparisons, and cover the basics on Microsoft UK's marketing plans for the Lumia 640. Also covered in the podcast are some early thoughts on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 (new and updated features) and a trailer for a more in depth look at the latest build of Windows 10 for phones.
In AAWP Insight #134, hosted by Steve and Rafe, the discussion nearly all revolves around imaging. Using Steve's HTC M9 and Lumia 930 camera comparison as a starting point, we cover a number of imaging related topics, including flagship performance, the importance of software, and how much the megapixel count matters. We also cover a number of imaging-related app updates (Vine and Lumia Storyteller), and look forward to some detailed coverage of the Lumia 640.