MWC 2018 is coming, so what should we expect?

One of the largest tech shows, the Mobile World Congress 2018 will soon open its gates. Starting February 26, tech giants like Samsung, Sony, Huawei, and Nokia will gather in Barcelona to unveil some of the latest advancements in mobile tech.

MWC’s main focus is on smartphones, so what new and exciting mobile models are expected to make an appearance during the event? Continue reading below to make an idea of what’s coming in the upcoming weeks.

Samsung

Samsung will make a comeback at MWC 2018, after last year when it chose to skip the trade show and unveiled the Galaxy S8 during a separate event at a later date.

Well, this year Samsung will soon take the stage in Barcelona to unveil the next-gen Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. The company already confirmed the Unpacked event for February 25, through the invitations send to the media.

So a day before MWC 2018 officially kickstarts, Samsung will take the wraps off the new phones. We expect the devices to be an incremental upgrade over the Galaxy S8. The design is poised to stay pretty much the same, although Samsung has thankfully moved the fingerprint scanner to occupy the central position under the camera.

There’s also going to be a new Snapdragon 845 under the hood keeping the lights on, paired with either 4GB of RAM (for the Galaxy S9) or 6GB of RAM (in the case of the Galaxy S9 Plus).

As teased by Samsung’s own invite to the event, the two phones will be “all about the camera”, although only the Galaxy S9 Plus will benefit from a dual-camera arrangement, while the Galaxy S9 will take advantage of a single lens on the back.

Also expect the phones to include stereo speakers tuned by AKG, as well as IP68 water & dust resistance and wireless charging.

Sony

After launching the mid-range Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra and the low-end Xperia L2 at CES 2018, Sony is expected to concentrate on the premium category during MWC 2018.

Since Sony launched the Xperia XZ Premium during last year’s event, the company might as well stick with tradition and pull the wraps off the Xperia XZ Premium 2/Pro during the trade show next month.

According to recent leaks, the phone might arrive with a large edge-to-edge 5.7-inch 4K display and a reflective mirror-like back. Apparently, the device will have the fingerprint scanner built into the display and take advantage of a Snapdragon 845 processor, as well as 6GB of RAM, dual-cameras on the back, 128GB of storage and front-facing speakers. It’s also said the Xperia XZ Premium 2/Pro will also be the first Sony phone with a dual-camera setup on the back (18-megapixel + 12-megapixel sensors).

A 3,420 mAh battery, IP68 water and dust resistance and Android 8.0 Oreo are also said to be in the cards. And also an exorbitant price tag, one that will easily surpass the Galaxy S9’s.

Huawei

Rumors are conflicted when it comes to Huawei. The company has sent out invites for a press conference scheduled for February 25, 2018, during which some suspect Huawei will unveil the P20 flagship.

However, other sources claim the Chinese tech giant will be delaying the P20 announcement, because it wants to give the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro flagships more time to shine. Yet, we shouldn’t have to wait long for the triple lens camera flagship to make an appearance, as some sources claim the phone will be launched shortly after the Barcelona event.

As for MWC 2018, Huawei could have plans to unveil new tablets, smartwatches, and laptops during the trade show.

Nokia

Nokia made a big splash at MWC 2018 last year with its comeback handsets, so in 2018 the company promised to deliver something “awesome” during the event. According to recent reports, the Finnish company, now under HMD patronage is expected to launch the Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 7 on the Western market. Both these models already made a debut in China.

Additionally, HMD and Nokia might arrive in Barcelona with the intentions to debut the Nokia 9 – a new flagship which has been the topic of countless rumors in the past. Recent leaks have also revealed the possible existence of a high-end device carrying a total of five cameras reminiscent of the glorious Lumia 1020.

New budget models like the recently leaked Nokia 1 or Nokia 4 might also be in the cards during the Barcelona event.

LG

Last year LG’s G6 was one of the biggest smartphone announcements at MWC 2017, but this year there’s a very high chance its successor will not make an appearance in Barcelona. LG for its part says the flagship will launch “on schedule”, but gives no further indication of the exact date this is supposed to happen. The company’s statement merely states that the launch of the G7 will happen “when the time is right”.

The good news is that even with the G7 delayed, LG might still have a new phone to show in Barcelona. According to a recent report coming out of The Korea Herald the company will introduce a new version of the V30 dubbed “V30+‘α’” which should come with enhanced AI features built around the Google Assistant.

HTC

HTC fans who were anticipating seeing HTC unveil a new flagship during the Barcelona tradeshow will most likely be disappointed.

According to rumors circulating online, the Taiwanese company may instead hold a separate event after MWC, possibly in March or April during which, it might unveil the HTC U12.

Leaks so far seem to suggest the phone will come with a modern bezel-less display with 18:9 aspect ratio with 4K resolution and a Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood.

ZTE

While ZTE is expected to launch the successor of the popular Axon 7, the Axon 9 sometime this year, the company is probably going to focus on the mid-range category at MWC 2018.

The yet to be released, Blade V9 model was recently spotted going through the FCC, fact which fueled speculation that the phone is set for a Barcelona launch.

The device should make a debut with a 5.7-inch 2:1 display at 1080p resolution, Snapdragon 450, dual-cameras (16-megapixel+5-megapixel), 13-megapixel front-facing snapper and a 3,200 mAh battery + headphone jack.

Motorola

Speaking of mid-rangers, last year at MWC, Motorola unveiled the G5 and G5 Plus models from this category.

Well this year, the company might come to Barcelona to unveil the successors of these phones. The G6 (not to be confused with the LG G6) and G6 Plus are expected to offer 18:9, 1080p resolution on 5.7-inch and 5.93-inch displays and Snapdragon 450 and 630 processors respectively.

This year a third model in the form of the G6 Play might be released. Info is pretty scarce on the said model, but according to leaks, it might arrive with a 5.7-inch display and a large 4,000 mAh battery.

ASUS

Based on a recent certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance, ASUS might be preparing to launch the Zenfone 5 and in all possibility, we might actually get to see it at MWC 2018.

We don’t have any additional details to share about the Zenfone 5, but given that the Zenfone 4 offers a large battery, dual-cameras and an affordable price tag, we expect its successor to follow the same lines.

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AndroidGuys

Store app updates point to zero-point Insider rings

week ago, we reported on the intention by Microsoft to stop compiling new Insiders ring development builds for Windows 10 Mobile. Effectively, from now on we just have the monthly security and bug fix updates for the OS. However, UWP application updates, not least for all Microsoft’s own applications will continue apace. And talking of app updates, the last few days have also shown another important trend moving away from Insiders builds – they’ve been used in the past to trial new versions of the likes of Skype, Outlook and Office apps, but it seems like these will now be pushed to production status handsets instead. And, curiously, only production.

Admittedly I’m conjecturing here, but I have a pretty major data point – the Microsoft Store application itself. The version number on my ‘Fast’ ring status handsets (shown below, left, on my Lumia 950 XL) is five builds (and two real world updates) older than the Store version on my (now) production status IDOL 4 Pro (below, right):

ScreenshotScreenshot

(The intermediate build was .13.0, in case you were wondering) Now, it’s true that there are no visible changes between the two minor versions, but there will have been bug fixes and it’s the cutting edge of the new trend, I think. 

My advice a week ago was to ‘Stop Insider builds’ on phones which had previously been left on the ‘Fast’ ring, if ony to hoover up new application updates, but it seems that this may not still be the best option. Leaving the Insiders programme on each phone may well result in newer applications and, hopefully, new features and less bugs. 

When you opt to ‘Stop Insider Builds’ (in Settings), the option to go for is ‘Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release’. This puts you back on track to pick up the monthly Windows 10 Mobile branch releases when they exceed the build number of whatever your device is currently on. And, yes, it lets the Store application know that your phone is now ‘production’ again, letting it pick up – ironically, in this case – a new version of itself!

Interesting times, though the pace of application development (if not the core mobile OS) is still impressive and not a day goes by without multiple app updates to core Microsoft phone properties.

Comments welcome – have you spotted any more major applications with newer versions on ‘production’ status phones than ‘Insiders’ devices?

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All About Windows Phone

Store app updates point to zero-point Insider rings

week ago, we reported on the intention by Microsoft to stop compiling new Insiders ring development builds for Windows 10 Mobile. Effectively, from now on we just have the monthly security and bug fix updates for the OS. However, UWP application updates, not least for all Microsoft’s own applications will continue apace. And talking of app updates, the last few days have also shown another important trend moving away from Insiders builds – they’ve been used in the past to trial new versions of the likes of Skype, Outlook and Office apps, but it seems like these will now be pushed to production status handsets instead. And, curiously, only production.

Admittedly I’m conjecturing here, but I have a pretty major data point – the Microsoft Store application itself. The version number on my ‘Fast’ ring status handsets (shown below, left, on my Lumia 950 XL) is five builds (and two real world updates) older than the Store version on my (now) production status IDOL 4 Pro (below, right):

ScreenshotScreenshot

(The intermediate build was .13.0, in case you were wondering) Now, it’s true that there are no visible changes between the two minor versions, but there will have been bug fixes and it’s the cutting edge of the new trend, I think. 

My advice a week ago was to ‘Stop Insider builds’ on phones which had previously been left on the ‘Fast’ ring, if ony to hoover up new application updates, but it seems that this may not still be the best option. Leaving the Insiders programme on each phone may well result in newer applications and, hopefully, new features and less bugs. 

When you opt to ‘Stop Insider Builds’ (in Settings), the option to go for is ‘Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release’. This puts you back on track to pick up the monthly Windows 10 Mobile branch releases when they exceed the build number of whatever your device is currently on. And, yes, it lets the Store application know that your phone is now ‘production’ again, letting it pick up – ironically, in this case – a new version of itself!

Interesting times, though the pace of application development (if not the core mobile OS) is still impressive and not a day goes by without multiple app updates to core Microsoft phone properties.

Comments welcome – have you spotted any more major applications with newer versions on ‘production’ status phones than ‘Insiders’ devices?

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

All About Windows Phone

MWC 2018 is coming, so what should we expect?

One of the largest tech shows, the Mobile World Congress 2018 will soon open its gates. Starting February 26, tech giants like Samsung, Sony, Huawei, and Nokia will gather in Barcelona to unveil some of the latest advancements in mobile tech.

MWC’s main focus is on smartphones, so what new and exciting mobile models are expected to make an appearance during the event? Continue reading below to make an idea of what’s coming in the upcoming weeks.

Samsung

Samsung will make a comeback at MWC 2018, after last year when it chose to skip the trade show and unveiled the Galaxy S8 during a separate event at a later date.

Well, this year Samsung will soon take the stage in Barcelona to unveil the next-gen Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. The company already confirmed the Unpacked event for February 25, through the invitations send to the media.

So a day before MWC 2018 officially kickstarts, Samsung will take the wraps off the new phones. We expect the devices to be an incremental upgrade over the Galaxy S8. The design is poised to stay pretty much the same, although Samsung has thankfully moved the fingerprint scanner to occupy the central position under the camera.

There’s also going to be a new Snapdragon 845 under the hood keeping the lights on, paired with either 4GB of RAM (for the Galaxy S9) or 6GB of RAM (in the case of the Galaxy S9 Plus).

As teased by Samsung’s own invite to the event, the two phones will be “all about the camera”, although only the Galaxy S9 Plus will benefit from a dual-camera arrangement, while the Galaxy S9 will take advantage of a single lens on the back.

Also expect the phones to include stereo speakers tuned by AKG, as well as IP68 water & dust resistance and wireless charging.

Sony

After launching the mid-range Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra and the low-end Xperia L2 at CES 2018, Sony is expected to concentrate on the premium category during MWC 2018.

Since Sony launched the Xperia XZ Premium during last year’s event, the company might as well stick with tradition and pull the wraps off the Xperia XZ Premium 2/Pro during the trade show next month.

According to recent leaks, the phone might arrive with a large edge-to-edge 5.7-inch 4K display and a reflective mirror-like back. Apparently, the device will have the fingerprint scanner built into the display and take advantage of a Snapdragon 845 processor, as well as 6GB of RAM, dual-cameras on the back, 128GB of storage and front-facing speakers. It’s also said the Xperia XZ Premium 2/Pro will also be the first Sony phone with a dual-camera setup on the back (18-megapixel + 12-megapixel sensors).

A 3,420 mAh battery, IP68 water and dust resistance and Android 8.0 Oreo are also said to be in the cards. And also an exorbitant price tag, one that will easily surpass the Galaxy S9’s.

Huawei

Rumors are conflicted when it comes to Huawei. The company has sent out invites for a press conference scheduled for February 25, 2018, during which some suspect Huawei will unveil the P20 flagship.

However, other sources claim the Chinese tech giant will be delaying the P20 announcement, because it wants to give the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro flagships more time to shine. Yet, we shouldn’t have to wait long for the triple lens camera flagship to make an appearance, as some sources claim the phone will be launched shortly after the Barcelona event.

As for MWC 2018, Huawei could have plans to unveil new tablets, smartwatches, and laptops during the trade show.

Nokia

Nokia made a big splash at MWC 2018 last year with its comeback handsets, so in 2018 the company promised to deliver something “awesome” during the event. According to recent reports, the Finnish company, now under HMD patronage is expected to launch the Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 7 on the Western market. Both these models already made a debut in China.

Additionally, HMD and Nokia might arrive in Barcelona with the intentions to debut the Nokia 9 – a new flagship which has been the topic of countless rumors in the past. Recent leaks have also revealed the possible existence of a high-end device carrying a total of five cameras reminiscent of the glorious Lumia 1020.

New budget models like the recently leaked Nokia 1 or Nokia 4 might also be in the cards during the Barcelona event.

LG

Last year LG’s G6 was one of the biggest smartphone announcements at MWC 2017, but this year there’s a very high chance its successor will not make an appearance in Barcelona. LG for its part says the flagship will launch “on schedule”, but gives no further indication of the exact date this is supposed to happen. The company’s statement merely states that the launch of the G7 will happen “when the time is right”.

The good news is that even with the G7 delayed, LG might still have a new phone to show in Barcelona. According to a recent report coming out of The Korea Herald the company will introduce a new version of the V30 dubbed “V30+‘α’” which should come with enhanced AI features built around the Google Assistant.

HTC

HTC fans who were anticipating seeing HTC unveil a new flagship during the Barcelona tradeshow will most likely be disappointed.

According to rumors circulating online, the Taiwanese company may instead hold a separate event after MWC, possibly in March or April during which, it might unveil the HTC U12.

Leaks so far seem to suggest the phone will come with a modern bezel-less display with 18:9 aspect ratio with 4K resolution and a Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood.

ZTE

While ZTE is expected to launch the successor of the popular Axon 7, the Axon 9 sometime this year, the company is probably going to focus on the mid-range category at MWC 2018.

The yet to be released, Blade V9 model was recently spotted going through the FCC, fact which fueled speculation that the phone is set for a Barcelona launch.

The device should make a debut with a 5.7-inch 2:1 display at 1080p resolution, Snapdragon 450, dual-cameras (16-megapixel+5-megapixel), 13-megapixel front-facing snapper and a 3,200 mAh battery + headphone jack.

Motorola

Speaking of mid-rangers, last year at MWC, Motorola unveiled the G5 and G5 Plus models from this category.

Well this year, the company might come to Barcelona to unveil the successors of these phones. The G6 (not to be confused with the LG G6) and G6 Plus are expected to offer 18:9, 1080p resolution on 5.7-inch and 5.93-inch displays and Snapdragon 450 and 630 processors respectively.

This year a third model in the form of the G6 Play might be released. Info is pretty scarce on the said model, but according to leaks, it might arrive with a 5.7-inch display and a large 4,000 mAh battery.

ASUS

Based on a recent certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance, ASUS might be preparing to launch the Zenfone 5 and in all possibility, we might actually get to see it at MWC 2018.

We don’t have any additional details to share about the Zenfone 5, but given that the Zenfone 4 offers a large battery, dual-cameras and an affordable price tag, we expect its successor to follow the same lines.

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AndroidGuys

Store app updates point to zero-point Insider rings

week ago, we reported on the intention by Microsoft to stop compiling new Insiders ring development builds for Windows 10 Mobile. Effectively, from now on we just have the monthly security and bug fix updates for the OS. However, UWP application updates, not least for all Microsoft’s own applications will continue apace. And talking of app updates, the last few days have also shown another important trend moving away from Insiders builds – they’ve been used in the past to trial new versions of the likes of Skype, Outlook and Office apps, but it seems like these will now be pushed to production status handsets instead. And, curiously, only production.

Admittedly I’m conjecturing here, but I have a pretty major data point – the Microsoft Store application itself. The version number on my ‘Fast’ ring status handsets (shown below, left, on my Lumia 950 XL) is five builds (and two real world updates) older than the Store version on my (now) production status IDOL 4 Pro (below, right):

ScreenshotScreenshot

(The intermediate build was .13.0, in case you were wondering) Now, it’s true that there are no visible changes between the two minor versions, but there will have been bug fixes and it’s the cutting edge of the new trend, I think. 

My advice a week ago was to ‘Stop Insider builds’ on phones which had previously been left on the ‘Fast’ ring, if ony to hoover up new application updates, but it seems that this may not still be the best option. Leaving the Insiders programme on each phone may well result in newer applications and, hopefully, new features and less bugs. 

When you opt to ‘Stop Insider Builds’ (in Settings), the option to go for is ‘Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release’. This puts you back on track to pick up the monthly Windows 10 Mobile branch releases when they exceed the build number of whatever your device is currently on. And, yes, it lets the Store application know that your phone is now ‘production’ again, letting it pick up – ironically, in this case – a new version of itself!

Interesting times, though the pace of application development (if not the core mobile OS) is still impressive and not a day goes by without multiple app updates to core Microsoft phone properties.

Comments welcome – have you spotted any more major applications with newer versions on ‘production’ status phones than ‘Insiders’ devices?

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

All About Windows Phone

Store app updates point to zero-point Insider rings

week ago, we reported on the intention by Microsoft to stop compiling new Insiders ring development builds for Windows 10 Mobile. Effectively, from now on we just have the monthly security and bug fix updates for the OS. However, UWP application updates, not least for all Microsoft’s own applications will continue apace. And talking of app updates, the last few days have also shown another important trend moving away from Insiders builds – they’ve been used in the past to trial new versions of the likes of Skype, Outlook and Office apps, but it seems like these will now be pushed to production status handsets instead. And, curiously, only production.

Admittedly I’m conjecturing here, but I have a pretty major data point – the Microsoft Store application itself. The version number on my ‘Fast’ ring status handsets (shown below, left, on my Lumia 950 XL) is five builds (and two real world updates) older than the Store version on my (now) production status IDOL 4 Pro (below, right):

ScreenshotScreenshot

(The intermediate build was .13.0, in case you were wondering) Now, it’s true that there are no visible changes between the two minor versions, but there will have been bug fixes and it’s the cutting edge of the new trend, I think. 

My advice a week ago was to ‘Stop Insider builds’ on phones which had previously been left on the ‘Fast’ ring, if ony to hoover up new application updates, but it seems that this may not still be the best option. Leaving the Insiders programme on each phone may well result in newer applications and, hopefully, new features and less bugs. 

When you opt to ‘Stop Insider Builds’ (in Settings), the option to go for is ‘Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release’. This puts you back on track to pick up the monthly Windows 10 Mobile branch releases when they exceed the build number of whatever your device is currently on. And, yes, it lets the Store application know that your phone is now ‘production’ again, letting it pick up – ironically, in this case – a new version of itself!

Interesting times, though the pace of application development (if not the core mobile OS) is still impressive and not a day goes by without multiple app updates to core Microsoft phone properties.

Comments welcome – have you spotted any more major applications with newer versions on ‘production’ status phones than ‘Insiders’ devices?

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

All About Windows Phone

Want to win a BlackBerry Motion? Here’s how to do it

TCL launched the BlackBerry Motion keyboard-less smartphone on the US market back at CES 2018. Well if you haven’t placed an order for the device yet, here’s your chance of getting the phone – for free!

Gentlemen’s Choice has partnered up with BlackBerry to let you win a free BlackBerry Motion Android handset. The contest is open worldwide and all you have to do to join is the following:

  1. Follow @gentlemenschoice and @blackberrymobile on Instagram
  2. Leave a comment in which you tag 3 friends
  3. Want an extra entry? Comment on this post with the name of a BlackBerry you once owned

If you wouldn’t mind winning a free BlackBerry Motion you have until February 02, 2018 to join the contest.

Don’t forget the Motion is the first BlackBerry smartphone to be water-resistant. The handset also comes boasting a 5.5-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution and a Snapdragon 625, aided by 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The Motion relies on a pretty impressive 4,000 mAh out of the box and has a physical home button with the company’s logo on it.

And even if the BlackBerry Motion ships out with Android Nougat out the box, the Oreo update is expected to arrive sometime later this year.

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AndroidGuys

Choosing a camera application for Windows 10 Mobile

I should preface this feature comparison by saying that I’m using the newish Alcatel IDOL 4S/IDOL 4 Pro as my test-bed. Anyone with a Lumia 950/XL is best off using the default Windows 10 Camera, since it ties into the oversampling hardware best (in my opinion), though most of the extras mentioned below also work on the 950 range. Any lesser Lumia phone is also best off sticking with Windows 10 Camera, since you’re probably not too bothered by imaging in the first place?

Anyway, some notes below are specific to the Alcatel phones, but don’t let that put you off, since the vast majority of features and options apply for these applications on any Windows 10 Mobile-running devices.

Let’s start with the UIs of the three contenders being considered here:

Screenshot

The familiar UI of Lumia Camera, or Windows 10 Camera, as it’s now known. Flick out from the shutter button to get the advanced rotary controls shown below, etc. Note also the panorama control in addition to the usual Stills/Video selection for the main action button.

Screenshot

The advanced controls flicked out, perfect for adjusting with your right thumb as needed.

Screenshot

1Shot UWP has a bare bones, but largely functional UI. From top left, clock-wise, a resolution/aspect ratio read-out and selector (of which more below), toggles and shooting/focus mode controls, Settings, stills and video selectors, and (bottom left) a read out of the current zoom factor. This last is especially useful once you’ve turned on ‘intelligent zoom’, since you can see the current zoom factor as you swipe up to zoom in. And, while doing so, the resolution figure top-left also reduces, showing how far you’ve cropped in on the sensor.

Screenshot

Turning on the optional ‘Advanced controls’ adds ISO, White Balance, Exposure Correction, and so on….

Screenshot

Tapping on the resolution read out/control directly gives access to this panel of options. The slightly odd staggering of 16:9 and 4:3 options here is due to the quirks of the Alcatal IDOL 4 Pro, but you’ll get the idea!

Screenshot

Meanwhile, in ProShot UWP, there are more settings pop-up panes and controls than usual, the learning curve is steep indeed. This pane, popped up from the bottom left, features the intriguing image source selection (I’m thinking that ‘RAW’ will give higher quality) and the option to change the JPG encoding factor (higher quality at the expense of larger JPG file size).

Screenshot

Then this DSLR-like rotary pop-up from the top right offers various sets of manual imaging controls, including HDR options and custom presets.

Screenshot

While a similar control at the bottom right gathers all the useful bits that aren’t anywhere else in the UI, such as light painting, video controls, and – here – detailed control over colour, sharpness and contrast in the saved JPG. Very detailed!

And now let’s break things down by feature set:

  Windows 10 Camera  1Shot UWP  ProShot UWP
Links In device Last covered here Last covered here
Resolutions offered in 4:3 and 16:9 1  21MP and 16MP 21MP and 10MP
[plus 18 other (lower) resolutions
in each aspect ratio]
21MP and 10MP 
Zoom facilities Mainly digital, with PureView zoom in lower resolutions on some Lumias Optional PureView zoom ‘intelligent’ on all phones, up to (e.g.) 4x on 21MP phones, outputting down to 1.5MP All digital, up to 4x, but interpolating full resolution
Oversampling (PureView) 2 Yes No No
Self timer 2, 5, 10s 2, 10s 1, 3, 10s 
Maximum (creative) exposure 1 up to 0.6s up to 0.5s up to 0.5s
HDR modes Auto-HDR/Rich Capture advanced blending and processing on the Lumia 950/XL, plain HDR toggle on other phones Included in range of scene modes 6 HDR and Auto-HDR, simple bracketed shots combined 
JPG encoding quality adjustment None None Four steps from 90% to 100%, plus three quality presets for video capture
Time lapse facility 2, 5, and 10s intervals, have to manually end sequence 2s and 10s intervals, can pre-set duration 5 From 3s to 24 hour intervals, can pre-set duration
Focussing Automatic, spot-tapped, or manual Automatic (continuous), spot-tapped, or manual Automatic (continuous), spot-tapped, or manual 4 
Extra photographic features Panorama stitching mode  Flip controls for left handers Custom settings presets; detailed control over contrast, saturation, sharpness; light painting mode with ‘infinite’ shutter’; noise reduction filter with two presets; monochrome mode
Max video capture resolution 1 2160p, 30fps 2160p, 30fps 2160p, 30fps
Stabilisation 1 Digital, on 1080p or less  Digital, on 1080p or less  Digital, on 1080p or less 
Audio capture Stereo Mono Mono, ‘VU’ sound level meter displays audio in real time 
UI learning curve Simple Moderate Hard
Application stability 3  100% 70%  90% 4

Notes:

1 on the Alacatel IDOL 4 phones
2 on the Lumia 930, 1520 and 950/XL, in 5MP or 8MP modes, purer output pixels from oversampling the higher resolution sensor, etc.
3 looking at crashes during weeks of testing
4 only one repeatable crash scenario (manual focus) on my test IDOL 4 Pro
5 in theory, though I couldn’t figure out how to get it working!
6 though not working on my test IDOL 4 Pro

If you’re expecting me to pronounce an outright winner then it has to be the stock Windows 10 Camera application – it’s rock solid and has everything most people need, plus it usually pulls the best images out of the best camera hardware (e.g. Lumia 950). But 1Shot UWP is well worth keeping around for its intelligent (smart cropping) zoom and ProShot UWP has a number of subtle tricks up its sleeve, with minutely detailed tweaks to capturing images.

In short, I keep the stock application as my default, and I’ve bought the other two to ‘have up my sleeve’ when needed. Your comments welcome though – what do you use?

PS. The ‘stability’ row above is interesting – camera applications are very demanding on RAM, plus they’re not trivial to program in the first place. Put all this together and 1Shot and was prone to crashing on my test device, while ProShot wasn’t crash-free, especially when using the manu focus facility. Oh well.

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All About Windows Phone

Choosing a camera application for Windows 10 Mobile

I should preface this feature comparison by saying that I’m using the newish Alcatel IDOL 4S/IDOL 4 Pro as my test-bed. Anyone with a Lumia 950/XL is best off using the default Windows 10 Camera, since it ties into the oversampling hardware best (in my opinion), though most of the extras mentioned below also work on the 950 range. Any lesser Lumia phone is also best off sticking with Windows 10 Camera, since you’re probably not too bothered by imaging in the first place?

Anyway, some notes below are specific to the Alcatel phones, but don’t let that put you off, since the vast majority of features and options apply for these applications on any Windows 10 Mobile-running devices.

Let’s start with the UIs of the three contenders being considered here:

Screenshot

The familiar UI of Lumia Camera, or Windows 10 Camera, as it’s now known. Flick out from the shutter button to get the advanced rotary controls shown below, etc. Note also the panorama control in addition to the usual Stills/Video selection for the main action button.

Screenshot

The advanced controls flicked out, perfect for adjusting with your right thumb as needed.

Screenshot

1Shot UWP has a bare bones, but largely functional UI. From top left, clock-wise, a resolution/aspect ratio read-out and selector (of which more below), toggles and shooting/focus mode controls, Settings, stills and video selectors, and (bottom left) a read out of the current zoom factor. This last is especially useful once you’ve turned on ‘intelligent zoom’, since you can see the current zoom factor as you swipe up to zoom in. And, while doing so, the resolution figure top-left also reduces, showing how far you’ve cropped in on the sensor.

Screenshot

Turning on the optional ‘Advanced controls’ adds ISO, White Balance, Exposure Correction, and so on….

Screenshot

Tapping on the resolution read out/control directly gives access to this panel of options. The slightly odd staggering of 16:9 and 4:3 options here is due to the quirks of the Alcatal IDOL 4 Pro, but you’ll get the idea!

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Meanwhile, in ProShot UWP, there are more settings pop-up panes and controls than usual, the learning curve is steep indeed. This pane, popped up from the bottom left, features the intriguing image source selection (I’m thinking that ‘RAW’ will give higher quality) and the option to change the JPG encoding factor (higher quality at the expense of larger JPG file size).

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Then this DSLR-like rotary pop-up from the top right offers various sets of manual imaging controls, including HDR options and custom presets.

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While a similar control at the bottom right gathers all the useful bits that aren’t anywhere else in the UI, such as light painting, video controls, and – here – detailed control over colour, sharpness and contrast in the saved JPG. Very detailed!

And now let’s break things down by feature set:

  Windows 10 Camera  1Shot UWP  ProShot UWP
Links In device Last covered here Last covered here
Resolutions offered in 4:3 and 16:9 1  21MP and 16MP 21MP and 10MP
[plus 18 other (lower) resolutions
in each aspect ratio]
21MP and 10MP 
Zoom facilities Mainly digital, with PureView zoom in lower resolutions on some Lumias Optional PureView zoom ‘intelligent’ on all phones, up to (e.g.) 4x on 21MP phones, outputting down to 1.5MP All digital, up to 4x, but interpolating full resolution
Oversampling (PureView) 2 Yes No No
Self timer 2, 5, 10s 2, 10s 1, 3, 10s 
Maximum (creative) exposure 1 up to 0.6s up to 0.5s up to 0.5s
HDR modes Auto-HDR/Rich Capture advanced blending and processing on the Lumia 950/XL, plain HDR toggle on other phones Included in range of scene modes 6 HDR and Auto-HDR, simple bracketed shots combined 
JPG encoding quality adjustment None None Four steps from 90% to 100%, plus three quality presets for video capture
Time lapse facility 2, 5, and 10s intervals, have to manually end sequence 2s and 10s intervals, can pre-set duration 5 From 3s to 24 hour intervals, can pre-set duration
Focussing Automatic, spot-tapped, or manual Automatic (continuous), spot-tapped, or manual Automatic (continuous), spot-tapped, or manual 4 
Extra photographic features Panorama stitching mode  Flip controls for left handers Custom settings presets; detailed control over contrast, saturation, sharpness; light painting mode with ‘infinite’ shutter’; noise reduction filter with two presets; monochrome mode
Max video capture resolution 1 2160p, 30fps 2160p, 30fps 2160p, 30fps
Stabilisation 1 Digital, on 1080p or less  Digital, on 1080p or less  Digital, on 1080p or less 
Audio capture Stereo Mono Mono, ‘VU’ sound level meter displays audio in real time 
UI learning curve Simple Moderate Hard
Application stability 3  100% 70%  90% 4

Notes:

1 on the Alacatel IDOL 4 phones
2 on the Lumia 930, 1520 and 950/XL, in 5MP or 8MP modes, purer output pixels from oversampling the higher resolution sensor, etc.
3 looking at crashes during weeks of testing
4 only one repeatable crash scenario (manual focus) on my test IDOL 4 Pro
5 in theory, though I couldn’t figure out how to get it working!
6 though not working on my test IDOL 4 Pro

If you’re expecting me to pronounce an outright winner then it has to be the stock Windows 10 Camera application – it’s rock solid and has everything most people need, plus it usually pulls the best images out of the best camera hardware (e.g. Lumia 950). But 1Shot UWP is well worth keeping around for its intelligent (smart cropping) zoom and ProShot UWP has a number of subtle tricks up its sleeve, with minutely detailed tweaks to capturing images.

In short, I keep the stock application as my default, and I’ve bought the other two to ‘have up my sleeve’ when needed. Your comments welcome though – what do you use?

PS. The ‘stability’ row above is interesting – camera applications are very demanding on RAM, plus they’re not trivial to program in the first place. Put all this together and 1Shot and was prone to crashing on my test device, while ProShot wasn’t crash-free, especially when using the manu focus facility. Oh well.

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