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AAWP Insight #236: 'Surface Pro Mini' and Mixed Reality

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Recent Galleries

Gallery: Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro

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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.

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Gallery: Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10 (and VR)

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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.

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View additional galleries here.

Recent Podcasts

AAWP Insight #62: Nokia Lumia 720

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In episode 62 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, hosted by Rafe and Ewan, we start by talking about the latest set of mobile phone shipment numbers from IDC, which leads to a discussion of the smartphone and feature phone definition divide. Our main topics is the design and positioning of the mid-range Nokia Lumia 720, but we also cover the Xbox release schedule and some recent Windows Phone marketing initiatives. We finish, as usual, with some app picks, including some thoughts on the new Facebook beta.

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AAWP Insight #61: Nokia Lumia 520

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In episode 61 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Rafe, Steve and Ewan start by talking about the feature set, hardware, pricing, and position of the Nokia Lumia 520 (and Lumia 521). We also cover recent industry financial results, which leads to a discussion of the path ahead for Windows Phone. Recent app releases, including Tumblr and Nokia Conference Beta also get a mention before we finish, as usual, with some app picks.

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AAWP Insight #60: Instagram, HTC, Facebook

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In episode 60 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Rafe and Ewan start by talking about the forthcoming Instagraph, a third party app that aims to enable posting to Instagram from a Windows Phone device. That prompts a discussion on Facebook Home and service layers, which leads to a discussion of HTC Q1 2013 interim financial numbers. There also time for a 40th birthday party and the usual app picks.

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AAWP Insight #59: MWC and GDC (games, games, games)

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Episode 59 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, hosted by Ewan and Rafe, starts with Ewan's cultural references and a quick app competition plea. But it's not long before we dive into some final MWC related coverage. The second half of the show is all about games, prompted by a number of announcements from the Games Developer Conference in San Francisco, and we ask whether the arrival of middleware support heralds a new dawn for gaming on Windows Phone 8.

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AAWP Insight #58: Apps, Games, and SXSW

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In episode 58 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Ewan and Rafe start by discussing some recent high profile app additions to the Windows Phone Store (Pandora, United, BBC iPlayer) and the Instagram question. We then move on to games (Gameloft, 10tons, Unity engine, and more), highlighting the increasing strength of Windows Phone 8 in this department. In the last third of the podcast Ewan reports back on his Lumia 620 enabled SXSW experience, and we finish, as usual, with some app picks (although Ewan's gone a bit old school).

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AAWP Insight #57: MWC 2013

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In episode 57 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Ewan and Rafe start by discussing 1 billion Windows Phone app downloads and the "Other" space issue (prompted by the release Asphalt 7). However, the main focus of the show is Rafe's report from MWC 2013, with an emphasis on the Nokia Lumia 520 and 720. We do still find time for some app picks this week, albeit with an MWC and SXSW theme.

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AAWP Insight #56: News roundup and MWC preview

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In a longer than usual episode of the AAWP Insight (number 56), Podcast Ewan and Rafe start by talking about the UK's 4G auction and Eurovision, before moving on to talk about the installed based numbers and the continuing importance of Windows Phone 7. Ewan has the latest news on Xbox Live titles, while Rafe's being looking at some of Qualcomm's technology announcements. We also preview Mobile World Congress 2013, talking about the Windows Phone related news and the general trends we expect to see emerge at the Barcelona based event.

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AAWP Insight #55: HTC 8S and Nokia Lumia 620

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In episode 55 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Ewan and Rafe start by talking about the latest Windows Phone numbers from Canalys. We also cover the Huawei W1 in Africa and Vodafone UK's Windows Phone 8 push. The main portion of the podcast is devoted to a discussion of the merits of the first two mid tier Windows Phone 8 handsets - the HTC 8S and the Nokia Lumia 620. We finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #54: Windows Phone 7.8 and Nokia Music+

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In episode 54 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Ewan and Rafe start by talking about the start of the roll out of Windows Phone 7.8 for existing devices. We talk about what you get, focusing on the key benefit of an updated Start screen experience. We move on to talk about the Google Exchange ActiveSync deadline, the announcement of Nokia Music+, some recent Xbox released, before sharing a few initial thoughts on BlackBerry 10 and what it means for Windows Phone. We finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #53: Nokia results, Nokia Drive+

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In episode 53 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Ewan, Steve and Rafe start by discussing Nokia's Q4 2012 results, with some added thoughts on the status of the company's strategy transition. We move on to talk about the availability of Nokia Drive+ for non-Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices, plus the latest developments in the Google ActiveSync shut down situation, before talking about perceptions of app gap on Windows Phone. We finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #52: CES and bendy phones

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In episode 52 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Ewan and Rafe start by rounding up the Windows Phone related news from CES (Sprint, Huawei W1, Samsung Odyssey). We move on to talk about the upgrading of Windows Phone 7.5 device, in the light of the imminent arrival of Windows Phone 7.8. In the second half of the podcast Rafe talks about Nokia's better-than-expected preliminary Q4 2012 results and potential new Windows Phone manufacturers, while Ewan has his eyes on a bendy phone.

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AAWP Insight #51: ATIV S and ecosystem perception

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In episode 51 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Ewan, Steve and Rafe start by talking about app updates and the issue of notifications, before moving to chat about the Samsung ATIV S. The third main discussion point is the perception of ecosystem rivalry, prompted by the recent Google Maps and Windows Phone headlines. We also find time to discuss some holiday related Windows Phone highlights, before finishing, as usual, with some app picks.

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AAWP Insight #50: Updates and looking back

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In episode 50 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Rafe and Ewan start by talking about the Samsung ATIV S, which has now gone on sale in a number of countries. The second main topic we cover is the PR 1.1 software update for the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820, which is now available in the US and Canada. We also have time to answer some listener questions and talk about Google Exchange ActiveSync's withdrawal. Finally, to celebrate our fiftieth show, we share some all time hardware and app picks.

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AAWP Insight #49: WP8 in China, Nokia Lumia 820

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In episode 49 of the AAWP Insight, Podcast Rafe and Ewan start with a round of China-related Windows Phone news, the most significant of which is the Microssoft and China Unicom alliance to promote the OS. We move on to discuss the first OTA update for Windows Phone 8, as seen on the HTC 8X, before Ewan gets angry about games of the feathered and word variety. In the last section of the podcast, we begin our assessment of Nokia's "second tier" handset, the Lumia 820.

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AAWP Insight #48: Nokia Lumia 620 and Lumia 920T

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In episode 48 of the AAWP Insight Podcast we start with some of Ewan's thoughts on the HTC 8X after a week away at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. We move on to discuss the price, positioning, an design of the recently announced Nokia Lumia 620. Alo hardware related is a quick mention of the Nokia Lumia 920T and China Mobile. Moving on to software, we cover AlphaJax's conversion to an Xbox Live title, updates to the Windows Store, Nokia Photo Beamer, and the usual app picks.

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AAWP Insight #47: WP8 Podcasting, Lumia 920 camera

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In episode 47 of the AAWP Insight Podcast we start with a discussion of HTC's custom software on its Windows Phone 8 devices, which both Ewan and Rafe find lacking. We move on to talk about the poor implementation of podcasting functionality in Windows Phone 8, and some possible work arounds and third party apps solutions. In the latter part of this week's episode Steve and Rafe share their thoughts on the Nokia Lumia 920 camera.

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AAWP Insight #46: Xbox Live Games and HTC 8X

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In episode 46 of the AAWP Insight Podcast we start with games related topics including the arrival of Words with Friends, Nokia's exclusive EA Xbox Live titles, and news of Black Friday discounts. The main topic of the podcast is the Windows Phone 8X by HTC 8X with Rafe and Ewan sharing their thoughts and experiences on this "signature" Windows Phone flagship. The main focus is on the hardware, but we do also mention HTC's software customisations.

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AAWP Insight #45: Angry Birds, Lumia 920, US pricing

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Episode 45 of the AAWP Insight Podcast sees a return to Internet tubes recording method, but it's still a Ewan and Rafe double act. We start with some gaming chat, looking at the arrival of three high profile titles on Windows Phone: Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Star Wars and Cut the Rope. We move on to answer a few listener questions about the Lumia 920, including some high points from our hardware review and US launch pricing. We finish, as is our custom, with two app picks.

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AAWP Insight #44: Windows Phone 8 launch

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Episode 44 of the AAWP Insight Podcast is something of a special edition, with Rafe and Ewan sitting down face to face to record their early thoughts on the Windows Phone 8 launch event, and Windows Phone 8 launch hardware. Ewan talks about the emotion in the message that Microsoft was presenting, and Rafe ponders whether this offers a way to break through into general consumer's awareness. There's also chat on each of the high end launch devices, and, for our UK listeners, some more commentary on the Lumia 920 exclusivity arrangements.

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AAWP Insight #43: Lumia 510, 125k apps

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In episode 43 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, Rafe and Ewan kick off by discussing the Lumia 510, Nokia's new low cost Windows Phone device. Ewan then talks about the potential issues around EE's LTE pricing and Lumia 920 UK exclusivity, while Rafe declaims on app numbers in a recap of our post of the 125,000 milestone. In the latter third of the podcast we answer a number of listener questions about QWERTY devices and the potential impact of a Surface phone. We finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #42: Nokia Q3, Xbox Music

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In episode 42 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start with a discussion of Nokia Q3 results, with comments on both Lumia shipment numbers and the overall financial numbers. We move on to talk about Xbox Music and discuss whether it will be competitive with other music services. In the latter half of the podcast we answer a number of listener questions (and ask for more for next week). We finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #41: Lumia 810, exclusives

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In episode 41 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start with a roundup of news item that caught our interest: the announcement of Angry Birds Star Wars, the release of Podcatcher, and news of an upcoming Windows Phone handset from TCL / Alcatel. That leads to a discussion on the importance of Windows Phone 7.5 / 7.8 handsets going into 2013. Our second main discussion topic is around the business case for operator handset exclusives, prompted by the announcement of the Nokia Lumia 810 for T-Mobile USA. We finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #40: Xpress, map platforms, WP8 launch

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In episode 40 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start with a look at the beta release of Nokia Xpress. Our main discussion topic is around maps platforms and how they extend far beyond apps on the smartphone. We also debate the impact of AT&T's Lumia 920 exclusivity, especially in the light of the wider availability of the HTC 8X. There's also room for the details of the Windows Phone 8 launch, 4G in the UK and Kantar market share data, before we finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #39: Samsung Omnia M and more

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In episode 39 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start by commenting on the Lumia 920 camera and the updated version of Nokia Reading. Our main discussion topic is around the Samsung Omnia M (currently being reviewed on the site), but we also talk about the unveiling of Windows Phone 8, and pricing information for Nokia's new Lumia devices. We finish, as usual, with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #38: Windows Phone 8 by HTC launch day

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In this special edition of the AAWP Insight Podcast its all about HTC. Rafe, Ewan and David discuss the launch of the Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC. The team run through the key device specifications and experiences, consider the importance of the focus on the audio and camera user experience, and offer their first opinions on the design and overall impact of HTC's "signature" Windows Phone 8 devices.

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AAWP Insight #37: Windows Phone 7.8, Lumia 920 reaction

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In episode 37 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start by talking about some of the recent changes to the Windows Phone Marketplace, including the name switch to Windows Phone Store. We follow this up with a discussion of Windows Phone 7.8 and note the dividing line between platform and manufacturer supplied additions and updates. In the latter half of the podcast we talk about the reaction to the launch of the Nokia Lumia 920.

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AAWP Insight #36: Covering the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 launch

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A special edition of the AAWP Insight Podcast, as we dedicate the show to Nokia's launch of the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. While Steve, Ewan, and David, have been watching from afar, Rafe brings us his news and thoughts direct from New York. Topics covered in the podcast include hands-on first impressions of the devices, Pure View on Windows Phone, Pure Motion HD+ screen tech, wireless charging, and Nokia's location platform.

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AAWP Insight #35: Unity, stats, and Xbox

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In episode 35 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start by talking about the news that the Unity graphics engine is set to come to Windows Phone 8. We move on to talk about Windows Phone related statistics from Localytics, which leads to a conversation about what HTC and Samsung might need to do with their Windows Phone 8 devices. After an Xbox update from Ewan, we finish, as usual, with our app picks.

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AAWP Insight #34: Windows Phone 8 approaches

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In episode 34 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start with Rafe asking Ewan what he as been up to at the Edinburgh Fringe and whether his Windows Phone has been an able assistant. We then look ahead to the arrival of Windows Phone 8, with the first device announcement just weeks away, which leads to a discussion on Metro UI / Windows 8 Style UI and how importance consistency of experience across multiple devices will be. 

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AAWP Insight #33: Samsung Omnia M, Weather Channel

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In episode 33 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, Rafe and Ewan start by talking about the Samsung Omnia M, which will shortly be available in the UK. This leads to a more general discussion of the smartphone market and IDC's numbers for Q2 2012. We move on to discuss the availability of the beta version of Nokia's Counter and an Nokia exclusive update for The Weather Channel app. We finish with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #32: Nokia results, software updates

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In episode 32 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start by discussing financial results from Nokia and Microsoft, Steve shares news of the completion of Nokia's move to acquire Scalado imaging assets, Rafe talks about the latest update to Nokia Drive and David advises a closer look at SkyDrive terms and conditions. Our main discussion point is around the features and delivery of the Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh ("Tango") software update. We finish with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #31: Perceptions, Office 2013

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In episode 31 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start by discussing news of AT&T's Lumia 900 price drop and the importance of perception in media coverage. Rafe talks about the release of the Office 2013 Customer preview and the implications for Windows Phone of greater cloud integration. Ewan offers an opinion on the recently released Xbox Live title Mirrors Edge, an exclusive for Nokia devices. We finish with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #30: Tango updates, Nokia Drive

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In episode 30 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we open with a discussion on the release and availability of the Tango software update for existing Windows Phone devices. David talks about the return of MetroTube, Ewan covers app updates (Facebook, Kindle, WordPress, Twitter and Chickens Can't Fly), and Rafe shares his thoughts on Nokia's decision to give up Nokia Drive exclusivity in Windows Phone 8. We finish with an app pick from each of the team.

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AAWP Insight #29: Windows Phone 7.8

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In episode 29 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we continue our coverage of the news from the Windows Phone Summit. We talk Windows Phone 7.8 and ask whether this upgrade path (for existing Windows Phone 7.5 devices) is enough to keep consumes happy and if Microsoft could have done anything else. In the second half of the podcast, discussing Windows Phone 8 more generally, we touch on the launch hardware partners (Nokia, Samsung, HTC, Huawei) and discuss the positioning of the platform against its main rivals (RIM, iOS, Android).

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AAWP Insight #28: Windows Phone 8

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In episode 28 of the AAWP Insight Podcast, we start with a summary of Nokia's Windows Phone related strategy announcements from last week. Rafe and David then discuss the announcements of Microsoft's Surface tablets. But, the main portion of this, longer-than-usual, podcast is devoted to the Windows Phone Summit and Microsoft's preview of Windows Phone 8. We discuss the common core, new hardware support, the Wallet Hub, enterprise credentials, native code support, Internet Explorer 10, the new Start screen and more.

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