Back in July last year - so about eight months ago, I reviewed the Lumia 930, fresh out of the box, with a few glitches, with Lumia Cyan and in - ahem - bright orange. Quite a bit has changed since that time, both on the device and in the industry as a whole. Plus it's a whole lot cheaper. With all that in mind, using a few bits from the original review where appropriate plus 80% that's brand new, I wanted to re-review the Lumia 930 in March 2015. Yes, it's not perhaps the flagship that Windows Phone needs as a 'hero' device, but it's currently incredible value at just over £300 SIM-free in the UK (for example), around £150 less than when it launched.
Recent Reviews - Windows Phone 8 - Page 8
The idea of overlaying text and graphics onto what your camera sees and then sharing the result isn't new, of course. Only recently, I reviewed InstaWeather Pro, for example. Momento+ is a commercial ($1) application that aims to provide templates for all occasions and certainly has its attractions, even if it's ultimately not as flexible as most users would like.
Having already reviewed the Billy 4's big bother device, the Billy 4.7, the smaller, cheaper, more lowly specified device is always going to seem like an anti-climax. And, in truth, much of what was said about the 4.7 is also true here, but in miniature. What of the Billy 5S LTE? We're working on getting that one in, too....
Let down by stability issues galore on anything less than a 2GB RAM flagship, PhotoLab is nevertheless an interesting application that goes beyond the usual image filtering to provide combinations and controls that will genuinely fire the imagination. Now if only the developer had programmed in a 'save' function before any final export... Gah!
You've got to feel sorry for utility developers on any platform. An OS comes out, has a few holes, third party developers plug them and then the OS itself starts to fill out and the holes are mainly gone, along with the developer's potential market. Anyone making a file manager is particularly vulnerable, as evidenced by Microsoft's own 'Files', released for free (and then built-in) for all Windows Phone 8.1 devices. So... can Folders Pro here do anything to convince me that it's worth a quid? Actually, yes.
We've seen this style of mobile application before, of course, on most mobile platforms - overlaying weather information onto a photo showing what you see, but InstaWeather Pro seems to have taken on the mantle of front-runner, by virtue of the quality and number of graphical skins available. Given the overlap between smartphone nuts and weather geeks, I'd expect more than a little interest here too...
You'll remember that I recently went on a quest to find a source of the in-ear, stereo 4-pole headphones that ship with the best Lumia handsets? I came up trumps, with the replacements costing only around £6, but the quest itself made me aware of how generally unsatisfied I was with the audio quality at this end of the headset market. Hence this review, taking the next rung up the quality ladder with the new ROCK JAW Arcana v2 - with good results.
Personal money management applications. I know them well. I even wrote the manual for one of the world's best, back in late 1990's. I've reviewed many since then and yet, despite having four separate accounts, I've never - to this day - ever managed to get to grips with using an application to help me keep things tallied up. Can Monetal on Windows Phone help? Not really - but it's a polished attempt.
You'll recall that the world of Windows Phone podcatchers is a little crowded? My own round-up ran to about 5000 words and had to be split into two parts! Well, we now have yet another challenger, in Podcast+ Pro, currently free (though claimed to revert to commercial at some point) - it learns a lot of tricks from other clients, adds a few UI twists of its own and largely manages to get close to the top of the pile.
One of the peculiarities of the Windows Phone lockscreen system is that you can only really have one set of overlaid details (e.g. weather or social or Bing image, etc.) at a time. In other words, you have to choose. Awesome Lock mainly takes away that pain by providing multiple data sources within its own custom lockscreen environment. It's a trifle garish at times in terms of set-up, but it does work and you can see why this has become many people's default lockscreen on the platform.