The Nokia Lumia 530 is here - and, showing the long time scales upon which phones are developed, there's no mention of 'Microsoft Mobile' anywhere on the box - you actually have to remove the battery to see the first evidence of Microsoft's involvement in the hardware. It's the new bottom end of the Windows Phone range and in some ways it shows, but there's still plenty of value for money for buyers.
Recent Reviews - Hardware
File this absolutely under 'cool gadgets that you don't need but really, really want' - the Kickstarter-funded Torso has now hit production and I've been reviewing it in the context of AAWP and Windows Phones, almost all of which have their microUSB jack centrally mounted on their bottom face - happily, for the Torso's vision, as you'll see. Summary? It's a terrific little smartphone accessory, with only one main caveat.
The successor to the 'classic' Lumia 920 (see here for my comparison), the 930 had quite a lot to live up to - not least keeping Windows Phone competitive in a specifications arms war being waged by Android armies, led by the likes of the Galaxy S5 and LG G2/G3. The Lumia 930 does top the 920 quite comfortably (with one notable exception) and does bring Windows Phone up to the level of performance expected in 2014. Is it enough, though?
Yes, Rafe reviewed the Nokia Lumia 1520 'phablet' back at the end of 2013, but with what's almost certainly going to be the 'final' version of Windows Phone 8.1 now on the device (via the Developer Preview programme), I contend that it's high time the device was re-evaluated. Partly because the huge OS update transforms the device and partly because I wanted to have my say - not least because I've had six months of phablet use in the form of the popular Samsung Galaxy Notes to act as a reference point.
Originally an Indiegogo project, Shoulderpod has just released its first product, the S1, and I've been testing it with my Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020. It's a combined stabiliser/grip/mount - it's fabulously constructed and it works really well. Here's to better smartphone-shot video (and, of course, you might find my tutorial helpful!)
When launched a few months ago, we described the WP8.1-running Lumia 630 as 'the high point of the low end' in terms of positioning. As pricing is turning out in the UK, it's now available from under £10 a month on contract and under £100 on pay-as-you-go, making the 630 a firm contender for a budget/first smartphone and following on from last year's 520 and 620. It's solid, it's extremely functional and most (though not all) of the compromises needed to get down to this price seem to have been justified.
Regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of the Proporta emergency chargers, from the tiny credit card sized Pocket Power to the mighty Turbocharger 7000. But, of course, there are many other brands on the market, especially at the higher capacity end of the market. Which is why I've been taking a look here at the new 'Kinkoo Infinite One 8000mAh Portable Backup Battery Charger'. In white. And yes, the colour matters, as I shall explain!
The world of accessories fascinates everyone, of course, the drive to make everything smaller and smaller, yet still doing the same job. In this case, the ChargeKey microUSB, a full data and charging cable (i.e. all pins are connected through) that cuts bulk to the nth degree and fits nicely on a key ring. It's even shaped like a key and is a really neat accessory, albeit a little pricey.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 is, it has to be said, pretty good value - positioned in the burgeoning 'phablet' market (i.e. doubling as phone and tablet) and with relatively few compromises, it can be found in the lower half of the price scale (£238 SIM-free and delivered in the UK, for example). When you think of the converged capabilities and software package, the 1320's main competitors in the value money stakes are, appropriately, its own predecessors.
In this first look review we take an initial look at the Lumia 1320, Nokia's mid tier large screen (phablet) smartphone, which was announced at Nokia World in October of last year. The video-based review offers a tour of the device's key hardware features, commentary on component choice and performance, and discussion on Nokia's positioning of the device.