"Surprise me!"A few moments later, my Windows Phone will pick out a tune at random and grace my ears with something wonderful from my collection (or The Proclaimers). That's 'Hey DJ!' in action, allowing your voice to be used to play your music. It works, it's useful, and it's a great example of third party apps filling in usability gaps.
Recent Reviews - Windows Phone 8 - Page 39
Sharp eyed readers will have spotted that last week I was away from the All About offices, out and about in Amsterdam (covering the Junior Eurovision Song Contest). Spending a week in a foreign city, working in a situation where communication and access was vital, and the new HTC Windows Phone 8X in my pocket? All those factors added up to make for a real world test of this signature Windows Phone 8 device.
As part of our continuing review coverage of the new Nokia Lumia 920 (part 1 here), and following review part 2a, covering the stills camera functions, here's part 2b, covering video capture, another 920 speciality, thanks to the optical image stabilisation again, plus the unique Rich Recording system. It's fair to say that, again, while not being perfect, the Lumia 920's camera system is top of the heap among its Windows Phone, iOS and Android peers.
Last week's Xbox Live release, Turn N Run from Electronic Arts, is a platform game with a unique view on the world... a unique view that can change to give you a whole new set of platforms to run over. But is that enough to make up for some lacklustre design and slow gameplay?
In part 1 of our Nokia Lumia 920 review, Rafe presented a definitive look at the device's hardware, including an introduction to one of its unique selling points, the optically stabilised 'PureView'-branded camera. In this, review part 2a, I test the Lumia 920 stills camera over a wider range of conditions and critically assess its performance. Review part 2b will cover video capture to the same degree.
The majority of the software that comes bundled with the HTC Windows Phone 8X is, of course, Windows Phone 8, and the built in software that comes as part of the OS. What I want to talk about here is the extra software that HTC have included in this "signature" device. After the physical design of a smartphone, the second area that allows a manufacturer to stand out is in software. Can HTC make a play for the uniqueness of their phones through software?
While much of the media attention might be focussed on the Nokia Lumia 920, the other flagship smartphone is quietly gathering fans and network support. HTC are no stranger to Windows Phone, and have promised to put some significant corporate spending behind their Windows Phone 8 devices. Microsoft have anointed the HTC Windows Phone 8X as a signature Windows Phone device, to be used by themselves while promoting the platform. That's the handset we're going to look at now. Over the next few weeks we'll look at the HTC 8X in some depth alongside our coverage of the Windows Phone 8 platform.
Parking Mania is well known in the mobile world, having already existed in the iPhone and Android ecosystems and done very well, so it's only natural that it should appear on the 'third' ecosystem as well. It's a classic game scenario: part puzzle, part arcade and 100% frustration. It's also fair to say that if parking your real life car in a tight space is your idea of hell then it's probably a good idea to give Parking Mania a miss too!
So it's finally here. Zynga's board game with some eerie similarities to Scrabble has had a talismanic hold on mobile gamers since it took over Facebook. "Does it play Words with Friends?" has been a question many have asked. After all, if iOS and Android users can play their games on their smartphone, so should those of us with Windows Phones be able to. Now we can.
In this first part of our in-depth review coverage of the Nokia Lumia 920, Rafe Blandford looks at every aspect of the 920's hardware, from screen technology to camera to materials and dimensions. He looks inside the Lumia 920 too, covering processor and other electronics. In future review parts, coming soon, Rafe and other All About Windows Phone writers will tackle the Windows Phone 8 operating system, the specific Nokia additions and we'll feature and deliver verdicts on the 920's unique selling points, including the ground breaking OIS camera.