Tag Archives: classic

Classic calculators refreshed in utility upgrade for Windows Phone

Published by at 12:28 UTC, September 3rd 2014

Previously ‘Casio’ and then ‘Nokia Scientific’, as prefixes, this utility has now settled on, simply, ‘Classic Calculator’ for its big new version 1.2. If, like me, you had an affinity for a specific calculator that got you through school, then take a look below and see if this rings any bells. And all on your Windows Phone.

From the current Store description:

Powerful simulator of the classic calculators for Nokia and Windows Phone terminals. With advanced features and very easy to use.

* Percentages
* Memories
* Trig functions in degrees, radians or grads
* Scientific.
* Skins
* Sounds
* Vibration

And, in case you’d been following this application through previous iterations, here’s what’s new:

  • Added a free calc version.
  • Key sound selection
  • New window with new changes info
  • Min key is fixed
  • Key sound is now on press tap
  • Added copy to clipboard

The end result is rather spooky to see on your phone screen, especially given the form factor similarities between these calculators and modern portrait-mode smartphones. 

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

The graphical maps/skins are impressive, and 99% of functions just… work, as on the original devices.

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

On the menu are links to all the other calculators and skins; (right) Hello Kitty, anyone?

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

Something basic and office-like, and something deliberately ‘cheap and Chinese'(!)

The developer does say that there’s still work to do, namely:

  • implement arithmetic precedence operators
  • fix grades button
  • fix parenthesis button
  • support for new screen resolutions
  • add new modes/skins

A terrific work in progress and a jolly useful trip down memory lane. You can grab Classic Calculator in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Apps
 

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All About Windows Phone

Classic calculators refreshed in utility upgrade for Windows Phone

Published by at 12:28 UTC, September 3rd 2014

Previously ‘Casio’ and then ‘Nokia Scientific’, as prefixes, this utility has now settled on, simply, ‘Classic Calculator’ for its big new version 1.2. If, like me, you had an affinity for a specific calculator that got you through school, then take a look below and see if this rings any bells. And all on your Windows Phone.

From the current Store description:

Powerful simulator of the classic calculators for Nokia and Windows Phone terminals. With advanced features and very easy to use.

* Percentages
* Memories
* Trig functions in degrees, radians or grads
* Scientific.
* Skins
* Sounds
* Vibration

And, in case you’d been following this application through previous iterations, here’s what’s new:

  • Added a free calc version.
  • Key sound selection
  • New window with new changes info
  • Min key is fixed
  • Key sound is now on press tap
  • Added copy to clipboard

The end result is rather spooky to see on your phone screen, especially given the form factor similarities between these calculators and modern portrait-mode smartphones. 

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

The graphical maps/skins are impressive, and 99% of functions just… work, as on the original devices.

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

On the menu are links to all the other calculators and skins; (right) Hello Kitty, anyone?

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

Something basic and office-like, and something deliberately ‘cheap and Chinese'(!)

The developer does say that there’s still work to do, namely:

  • implement arithmetic precedence operators
  • fix grades button
  • fix parenthesis button
  • support for new screen resolutions
  • add new modes/skins

A terrific work in progress and a jolly useful trip down memory lane. You can grab Classic Calculator in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Apps
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Classic calculators refreshed in utility upgrade for Windows Phone

Published by at 12:28 UTC, September 3rd 2014

Previously ‘Casio’ and then ‘Nokia Scientific’, as prefixes, this utility has now settled on, simply, ‘Classic Calculator’ for its big new version 1.2. If, like me, you had an affinity for a specific calculator that got you through school, then take a look below and see if this rings any bells. And all on your Windows Phone.

From the current Store description:

Powerful simulator of the classic calculators for Nokia and Windows Phone terminals. With advanced features and very easy to use.

* Percentages
* Memories
* Trig functions in degrees, radians or grads
* Scientific.
* Skins
* Sounds
* Vibration

And, in case you’d been following this application through previous iterations, here’s what’s new:

  • Added a free calc version.
  • Key sound selection
  • New window with new changes info
  • Min key is fixed
  • Key sound is now on press tap
  • Added copy to clipboard

The end result is rather spooky to see on your phone screen, especially given the form factor similarities between these calculators and modern portrait-mode smartphones. 

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

The graphical maps/skins are impressive, and 99% of functions just… work, as on the original devices.

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

On the menu are links to all the other calculators and skins; (right) Hello Kitty, anyone?

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

Something basic and office-like, and something deliberately ‘cheap and Chinese'(!)

The developer does say that there’s still work to do, namely:

  • implement arithmetic precedence operators
  • fix grades button
  • fix parenthesis button
  • support for new screen resolutions
  • add new modes/skins

A terrific work in progress and a jolly useful trip down memory lane. You can grab Classic Calculator in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Apps
 

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All About Windows Phone

The future of the Lumia 1020 – another sidelined classic like the 808?

A little history

We saw this in action for Nokia’s N93 – the original ‘transformer’ Symbian phone that could look like a regular T9 clamshell or a consumer camcorder at will. It tested well amongst geeks and camera phone enthusiasts but made no mark whatsoever in the consumer marketplace of the time (2006). The best-selling N95 escaped the ‘camera-centric’ tag because it had so many other innovations, of course, the integrated GPS, the GPU, the high quality stereo speakers, and so on.

The we run forward to the Nokia N82, from 2007/2008, the first smartphone with a Xenon flash, very definitely a ‘camera phone’ first and foremost. And still a device with just about the brightest Xenon illumination in the world, even after 7 years. But, despite appearing in High Street shops, it didn’t sell in huge numbers.

Repeat the process with the N86, the first High Street smartphone with an 8MP camera and still unique in having variable aperture, the first to use intelligent digital zoom when capturing video and to use a digital microphone. So many innovations, yet the N86 also failed to set the sales charts alight, this time in 2009.

Nokia N86 camera

Next in line, the aluminium-bodied N8, at the end of 2010, with 12MP and Xenon flash and a, for the time, huge sensor. Sales started off well, using the new GPU-accelerated Symbian^3 platform, but then Nokia’s Stephen Elop (prematurely) shot Symbian down on stage at MWC 2011 as part of the demonstration of support for Microsoft and Windows Phone, and the N8 never recovered.

Finally, on the Symbian front, we had the all-conquering Nokia 808 PureView, the result of five years of R&D, learning lessons from all the devices above, offering what’s still (by far) the largest camera sensor in any phone, with 41MP sensor into which users could ‘zoom’, digitally, without losing light or quality, and with hardware oversampling producing noiseless, pure images at lower resolution by default. Released in spring 2012, a full year after Symbian’s execution, it’s clear that the only reason this still made it to market was that so much work had already been done on the hardware and it would have been criminal to not at least shown it off to the world. At least, not without a Windows Phone version ready, something which was still a year away. As a result, in the world of 2012, with Symbian’s 360p screens seeming blocky compared to WVGA and 720p and with Android really taking off at the high end, and with Symbian utterly frowned on within High Street shops, the Nokia 808 PureView remained something of a cult hit only.

Lumia 1020 and 808 PureView

If there’s a common thread in all the above, it’s the inescapable conclusion that it takes time to create a really good phone camera. The space, weight and power constraints place extreme pressures on designers and in each case, by the time the phone hit the market, the underlying hardware was nearing the end of its relevance in the wider smartphone world. For example, the N82 was a full year after the N95 which had essentially the same internals, the N86 was a device and form factor from a bygone age even when launched, the N8 was legendarily delayed by up to a year, the 808 was borne into a completely hostile future.

And the same pattern applies to the Nokia Lumia 1020, headlined above. With ostensibly almost identical specifications to the mass market Lumia 920, it lagged the latter by almost a year. So, when eventually available, the chipset and internals were already nearing end-of-life, in terms of use in new devices. Again, the delay was almost certainly down to getting the camera working satisfactorily – again 41MP, like the 808, but this time doing everything in the main processor and an extra GB of RAM. The 1020 was well received by camera phone enthusiasts, and remains a benchmark device, though its shot to shot times are looking a little prehistoric in a world of 2.5GHz processors and monster GPUs.

Specs and the future

What, then, does the future hold for the Lumia 1020? There’s no doubting that it fared better, in terms of sales, than its Xenon-equipped, large-sensored 41MP ancestor, the Nokia 808, but with quite a few new software releases from Nokia/Microsoft explicitly saying that they’re only for the Lumia 1520 and 930, worries are starting to creep in for 1020 fans.

Let’s look at the hardware across the Nokia’s (now Microsoft’s) Windows Phone range:

Chipset Devices Specification
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 520, 521, 620, 720 Dual-core 1GHz Krait, Adreno 305, 512MB RAM
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 625 Dual-core 1.2GHz Krait 200, Adreno 305, LTE, 512MB RAM
Snapdragon 400 Lumia 630, 635 (etc) Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7, Adreno 305, 512MB RAM
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 820, 920, 925, 928 Dual-core 1.5GHz Krait, Adreno 225, LTE, 1GB RAM
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 1020 Dual-core 1.5GHz Krait, Adreno 225, LTE, 2GB RAM
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 1320 Dual-core 1.7GHz Krait 300, Adreno 305, LTE, 1GB RAM
Snapdragon 800 Lumia 1520, 930 Quad-core 2.2GHz Krait 400, Adreno 330, LTE, 2GB RAM

The Lumia 1020 does stand out a little, amidst its peers, by having the extra Gigabyte of RAM, needed to handle the processing of the (up to) 38MP full resolution bitmaps internally, but the RAM will hopefully come in handy in helping ensure that the 1020 is less likely to be left behind when it comes time to update the Windows Phone platform again.

So far we’re seeing no device left behind by Microsoft, thanks in part to Windows Phone’s comparatively low hardware requirements – most of the work is in finishing code, adding functions  and fixing issues and compatibility, all without adding much to ‘bloat’. As a result, even the lowest Lumia 520 is getting the full Windows Phone 8.1, though some of the higher end camera-related functions are starting to come with some hardware requirements. Historically this has been done according to RAM, though with 2GB on board the Lumia 1020 should be good in this regard for another year or two at least.

Processor and GPU speed are more of an issue, with the latest features in Nokia Camera/Storyteller being limited to just the Lumia 1520 and 930 – at least in theory. ‘Living Images’ worked pretty well under the original Nokia Camera Betas on the 1020, so maybe these can be worked in again, in an update?

Certainly Nokia seems to have standardised on a ‘good enough’ 20MP cut down version of the PureView technology. Which is fair enough – and results are good – but it doesn’t stop the cameraphone geek in me wanting a third in the 41MP series. Is it just me?

OS updates

What of the core OS though – at what point will Microsoft start lopping off device compatibility? Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, rumoured to roll out to developers for early testing later this month (July), for eventual release over the air to consumers in November/December, is supposed to be a fairly minor update (by comparison to 8.0 to 8.1) and should also be available for all devices. 

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 is scheduled to be available for testing around the end of 2014 and is likely to include new features to support new hardware, and I’d expect much of the lower end of the current Lumia range to get this update but not the full feature set. 

Whatever comes after that is pure conjecture (Google ‘Threshold’ if you want more on the rumours) and depends very much on Microsoft’s ongoing plans to unify its platforms, but it’s a fair bet that Windows Phone 8.2 (or Windows Phone 9, or whatever it ends up being called) will be optimised for the Snapdragon 800 and higher. Will the Lumia 1020 be updated for this release? My guess is ‘no’, but with the extra RAM, who knows? It might go down to the wire and depend on how many 1020-owning enthusiasts there are in early 2015 at Microsoft!

Of course, it’s not all about the operating system and there are other ways for a classic smartphone to get sidelined. It happened to the Nokia 808 and it’s happening now to the Lumia 1020. First, sales of the device stop – it becomes harder and harder to find one for sale – perhaps to replace a broken or stolen device? And accessories become harder to find – in the 1020’s case there’s the Qi charging back shell and Camera grip. If you have a 1020 and want either of these, then you’ve probably already put things off too long. [In the 808’s case it was mainly the BV-4D battery, original replacements for this were/are like gold dust.]

Lumia 1020 in Camera Grip

So – the Lumia 1020 stands a chance of being updated for longer than its older sister devices, the 920 and 925 – but only a slender one. Having said that, the 1020 will, by the time WP9/Threshold/whatever hits, be two years old and will have enjoyed updates freely throughout that time, adding significant extra general functionality that certainly wasn’t there when customer bought the device.

Classic of tech engineering

The Lumia 1020, like the 808 before it, still has unique selling points (in terms of photo quality, reframing/zooming flexibility and low light shots of people), and it seems that we still have at least another year of updates ahead. So celebrate the 1020 and don’t give up on it. 

And don’t you dare sell the Lumia 1020. Those who sold on the Nokia 808 PureView have bitterly regretted it – these devices are classic of modern tech engineering.

1020 and 808, all in white!!


All About Windows Phone

The future of the Lumia 1020 – another sidelined classic like the 808?

A little history

We saw this in action for Nokia’s N93 – the original ‘transformer’ Symbian phone that could look like a regular T9 clamshell or a consumer camcorder at will. It tested well amongst geeks and camera phone enthusiasts but made no mark whatsoever in the consumer marketplace of the time (2006). The best-selling N95 escaped the ‘camera-centric’ tag because it had so many other innovations, of course, the integrated GPS, the GPU, the high quality stereo speakers, and so on.

The we run forward to the Nokia N82, from 2007/2008, the first smartphone with a Xenon flash, very definitely a ‘camera phone’ first and foremost. And still a device with just about the brightest Xenon illumination in the world, even after 7 years. But, despite appearing in High Street shops, it didn’t sell in huge numbers.

Repeat the process with the N86, the first High Street smartphone with an 8MP camera and still unique in having variable aperture, the first to use intelligent digital zoom when capturing video and to use a digital microphone. So many innovations, yet the N86 also failed to set the sales charts alight, this time in 2009.

Nokia N86 camera

Next in line, the aluminium-bodied N8, at the end of 2010, with 12MP and Xenon flash and a, for the time, huge sensor. Sales started off well, using the new GPU-accelerated Symbian^3 platform, but then Nokia’s Stephen Elop (prematurely) shot Symbian down on stage at MWC 2011 as part of the demonstration of support for Microsoft and Windows Phone, and the N8 never recovered.

Finally, on the Symbian front, we had the all-conquering Nokia 808 PureView, the result of five years of R&D, learning lessons from all the devices above, offering what’s still (by far) the largest camera sensor in any phone, with 41MP sensor into which users could ‘zoom’, digitally, without losing light or quality, and with hardware oversampling producing noiseless, pure images at lower resolution by default. Released in spring 2012, a full year after Symbian’s execution, it’s clear that the only reason this still made it to market was that so much work had already been done on the hardware and it would have been criminal to not at least shown it off to the world. At least, not without a Windows Phone version ready, something which was still a year away. As a result, in the world of 2012, with Symbian’s 360p screens seeming blocky compared to WVGA and 720p and with Android really taking off at the high end, and with Symbian utterly frowned on within High Street shops, the Nokia 808 PureView remained something of a cult hit only.

Lumia 1020 and 808 PureView

If there’s a common thread in all the above, it’s the inescapable conclusion that it takes time to create a really good phone camera. The space, weight and power constraints place extreme pressures on designers and in each case, by the time the phone hit the market, the underlying hardware was nearing the end of its relevance in the wider smartphone world. For example, the N82 was a full year after the N95 which had essentially the same internals, the N86 was a device and form factor from a bygone age even when launched, the N8 was legendarily delayed by up to a year, the 808 was borne into a completely hostile future.

And the same pattern applies to the Nokia Lumia 1020, headlined above. With ostensibly almost identical specifications to the mass market Lumia 920, it lagged the latter by almost a year. So, when eventually available, the chipset and internals were already nearing end-of-life, in terms of use in new devices. Again, the delay was almost certainly down to getting the camera working satisfactorily – again 41MP, like the 808, but this time doing everything in the main processor and an extra GB of RAM. The 1020 was well received by camera phone enthusiasts, and remains a benchmark device, though its shot to shot times are looking a little prehistoric in a world of 2.5GHz processors and monster GPUs.

Specs and the future

What, then, does the future hold for the Lumia 1020? There’s no doubting that it fared better, in terms of sales, than its Xenon-equipped, large-sensored 41MP ancestor, the Nokia 808, but with quite a few new software releases from Nokia/Microsoft explicitly saying that they’re only for the Lumia 1520 and 930, worries are starting to creep in for 1020 fans.

Let’s look at the hardware across the Nokia’s (now Microsoft’s) Windows Phone range:

Chipset Devices Specification
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 520, 521, 620, 720 Dual-core 1GHz Krait, Adreno 305, 512MB RAM
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 625 Dual-core 1.2GHz Krait 200, Adreno 305, LTE, 512MB RAM
Snapdragon 400 Lumia 630, 635 (etc) Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7, Adreno 305, 512MB RAM
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 820, 920, 925, 928 Dual-core 1.5GHz Krait, Adreno 225, LTE, 1GB RAM
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 1020 Dual-core 1.5GHz Krait, Adreno 225, LTE, 2GB RAM
Snapdragon S4 Lumia 1320 Dual-core 1.7GHz Krait 300, Adreno 305, LTE, 1GB RAM
Snapdragon 800 Lumia 1520, 930 Quad-core 2.2GHz Krait 400, Adreno 330, LTE, 2GB RAM

The Lumia 1020 does stand out a little, amidst its peers, by having the extra Gigabyte of RAM, needed to handle the processing of the (up to) 38MP full resolution bitmaps internally, but the RAM will hopefully come in handy in helping ensure that the 1020 is less likely to be left behind when it comes time to update the Windows Phone platform again.

So far we’re seeing no device left behind by Microsoft, thanks in part to Windows Phone’s comparatively low hardware requirements – most of the work is in finishing code, adding functions  and fixing issues and compatibility, all without adding much to ‘bloat’. As a result, even the lowest Lumia 520 is getting the full Windows Phone 8.1, though some of the higher end camera-related functions are starting to come with some hardware requirements. Historically this has been done according to RAM, though with 2GB on board the Lumia 1020 should be good in this regard for another year or two at least.

Processor and GPU speed are more of an issue, with the latest features in Nokia Camera/Storyteller being limited to just the Lumia 1520 and 930 – at least in theory. ‘Living Images’ worked pretty well under the original Nokia Camera Betas on the 1020, so maybe these can be worked in again, in an update?

Certainly Nokia seems to have standardised on a ‘good enough’ 20MP cut down version of the PureView technology. Which is fair enough – and results are good – but it doesn’t stop the cameraphone geek in me wanting a third in the 41MP series. Is it just me?

OS updates

What of the core OS though – at what point will Microsoft start lopping off device compatibility? Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, rumoured to roll out to developers for early testing later this month (July), for eventual release over the air to consumers in November/December, is supposed to be a fairly minor update (by comparison to 8.0 to 8.1) and should also be available for all devices. 

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 is scheduled to be available for testing around the end of 2014 and is likely to include new features to support new hardware, and I’d expect much of the lower end of the current Lumia range to get this update but not the full feature set. 

Whatever comes after that is pure conjecture (Google ‘Threshold’ if you want more on the rumours) and depends very much on Microsoft’s ongoing plans to unify its platforms, but it’s a fair bet that Windows Phone 8.2 (or Windows Phone 9, or whatever it ends up being called) will be optimised for the Snapdragon 800 and higher. Will the Lumia 1020 be updated for this release? My guess is ‘no’, but with the extra RAM, who knows? It might go down to the wire and depend on how many 1020-owning enthusiasts there are in early 2015 at Microsoft!

Of course, it’s not all about the operating system and there are other ways for a classic smartphone to get sidelined. It happened to the Nokia 808 and it’s happening now to the Lumia 1020. First, sales of the device stop – it becomes harder and harder to find one for sale – perhaps to replace a broken or stolen device? And accessories become harder to find – in the 1020’s case there’s the Qi charging back shell and Camera grip. If you have a 1020 and want either of these, then you’ve probably already put things off too long. [In the 808’s case it was mainly the BV-4D battery, original replacements for this were/are like gold dust.]

Lumia 1020 in Camera Grip

So – the Lumia 1020 stands a chance of being updated for longer than its older sister devices, the 920 and 925 – but only a slender one. Having said that, the 1020 will, by the time WP9/Threshold/whatever hits, be two years old and will have enjoyed updates freely throughout that time, adding significant extra general functionality that certainly wasn’t there when customer bought the device.

Classic of tech engineering

The Lumia 1020, like the 808 before it, still has unique selling points (in terms of photo quality, reframing/zooming flexibility and low light shots of people), and it seems that we still have at least another year of updates ahead. So celebrate the 1020 and don’t give up on it. 

And don’t you dare sell the Lumia 1020. Those who sold on the Nokia 808 PureView have bitterly regretted it – these devices are classic of modern tech engineering.

1020 and 808, all in white!!


All About Windows Phone

Windows Phone head to head: the classic Lumia 920 versus the new Lumia 930

Published by at 11:46 UTC, July 15th 2014

As the model numbers attest, the new Lumia 930 is in many ways a follow-up to the classic old 920 – everything’s integral, no covers needed, specs here are higher in every way yet without increasing dimensions unduly. Here’s our definitive comparison – what would an existing 920 owner gain by upgrading to the much newer handset?

Lumia 930 and 920!

Of course, newcomers to the newly promoted, shiny Lumia 930 will just see the outrageous colours, the promotions, and so on. But AAWP old hands will know the 930’s predecessor, the 920, very well indeed. This was a classic Windows Phone, eulogised by me here, and with the 930 now in for review it’s fascinating to see what’s changed and (hopefully) improved across the board. 

930 and 920 in overcast sun

Testing in overcast sunlight, the CBD LCD and AMOLED screens perform very similarly….

So, in advance of my full Lumia 930 review, here’s a tabular comparison of specifications, impressions and performance, along with some comparison photos – the two do feel very similar in the hand…

Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 930
Date first available November 2012 July 2014
Current price (SIM-free in the UK, inc VAT) £250 £420
Dimensions 130 x 71 x 11 mm  137 x 71 x 10mm
Form factor, weight Polycarbonate shell, convex Gorilla Glass front. Weight is 185g  Aluminium frame, convex Gorilla Glass. Polycarbonate rear insert (for RF antennae). Weight is 167g
Operating system, interface Windows Phone 8.0 but Lumia Cyan update available over the air in the next month Windows Phone 8.1 Lumia Cyan
Display  4.5″ (768 x 1280 pixels) IPS LCD display with ClearBlack Display polarisers, true RGB, excellent in sunlight, Glance screen notificatons possible (though with some battery drain since the backlight is needed).  5.0″ (1080 x 1920) AMOLED with ClearBlack Display polarisers, excellent in sunlight. Glance screen not currently possible due to hardware technical limitations. I’m hoping that at least a ‘peek’ mode is enabled in a future software update!
Connectivity Quad band GSM, Quad band 3G, pentaband LTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, integral wifi tethering, NFC Quad band GSM, Quad band 3G, up to pentaband LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac
Processor, performance Good, dual core 1.5GHz Krait processor, limitation is Windows Phone’s own transitions in terms of UI speed 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM, As fast as the Lumia 1520, with same caveats over Windows Phone transitions
Capacity 32GB internal storage, non-expandable, mounts as a disk and MTP device under Windows 7 and Windows 8, but not for Macs and other desktop OS. 32GB internal storage, non-expandable, same as for Lumia 920
Imaging (stills, good light) Good 8 megapixel stills from a BSI 1/3″ sensor with ‘PureView phase 2’ optical stabilisation(OIS) on the whole camera assembly. LED flash. Dedicated camera button and a variety of camera ‘extras’ built-in. 21MP PureView oversampling 1/2.5″ BSI sensor, flexible software control over settings, dedicated camera shutter button and launch key, 2x lossless digital zoom, OIS. Great results, even zoomed or reframed. The larger sensor and oversampling mean that the 1520 produces better results in poor light, too.
Imaging (video) Excellent 1080p capture with the same optical stabilisation working to eliminate camcorder hand shake. ‘RichRecording’ included, but only in mono. 1080p video capture, with 3x lossless zoom during recording and OIS helping, especially while zoomed. Four HAAC microphones mean perfect audio capture in stereo and with appropriate directional cancellation.
Music and Multimedia Loudish mid-frequency mono speaker, average quality, A2DP, 3.5mm jack, DLNA. Decent mono speaker, quieter than the 920’s, I’d say – probably the same component as in the 1520. 3.5mm headphones (not included in the box)
Gaming  An average selection of games, with the oddity that some of the early WP classics are no longer available! (e.g. Tiger Woods PGA) Same. Disappointing overall, though I still have some WP game favourites.
Navigation  The HERE Maps/Drive suite is unrivalled, with the 100% offline routing and maps that don’t expire. Plus live traffic, good public transport advice and innovative ‘live sight’ functions Same. Excellent!
Battery, life  2000mAh, sealed in, microUSB or Qi wireless charging. Sealed 2420mAh battery, easily gets through the day. Plus Qi wireless charging top-ups again.
Applications and ecosystem  Windows Phone now has just about every mainstream app covered, with great strides in the last few months. Niche/boutique apps are often an issue, though… Also anything to do with Google services! Same. Either satisfactory or frustrating, depending on what you want to run!
Upgrades and future It’s not clear yet whether the 920 will get Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 at the end of 2014. I’d hope so – it has the necessary RAM etc. The 2GB of RAM and chipset here should see the 920 updated well into 2015 and even 2016.

Lumia 930 and 920

You’d think that the materials differences should make the Lumia 930 and 920 feel different in the hand, but the similarity in size means that they actually feel quite similar. I do prefer the metal and flat edges of the newer device overall. If not the SHOCKING orange colour! (Others are available, of course.)

Comments welcome if you’ve owned (or even currently still use) the Lumia 920 – is the 930 enough to make you upgrade? The device certainly seems to be a natural successor to the Windows Phone 8 stalwart.

My answer? It’s not completely clear cut, but if you don’t mind the loss of Glance screen (i.e. the always on clock/notifications icons, which arguably were a little bit of a misfit on the LCD-screened 920 anyway) then the 930 is definitely worthy of a look – the specifications are genuinely improved across the board, not least the higher spec camera. Although you won’t notice much difference in day to day use, heavyweight operations like complex web browsing and anything intensely graphical will be faster (I’ll do some benchmarks in the full review) – and most of all, the display and chipset are modern enough to mean that you’ll continue to get Windows Phone updates for several years.

930 and 920, no Glance

No Glance on the 930, sadly. Bah, humbug!!

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Platforms: General, Windows Phone 8
Categories: Comment, Hardware
 

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All About Windows Phone

DartsMatch a perfect recreation of classic arrows

Published by at 14:11 UTC, May 12th 2014

It’s a sign that a simulation gets things spot on that you start to play and score exactly as you would in the real life game. In this case, DartsMatch, which seems to model my own inaccuracies and darts deficiencies perfectly. A variety of AI opponents, enjoyable animations and pacing, free to download, what’s not to love?

The ‘free’ bit refers to the persistent, always-there banner ad at the bottom of DartsMatch throughout play, which is fair enough – the developers need an income. But in this case I really, really wanted to pay to make the ads go away. DartsMatch is a top notch title, built on the award winning Unity engine and deserves a menu option or in-app purchase to remove ads. I don’t even care how much it is – just take my money.

From the Store description:

Game on! Focus, concentration, a steady finger, big scores and crowd-pleasing finishes is what’s needed to beat a number of tough computer opponents and your Facebook friends in ‘Darts Match’, the most lifelike darts application on the market. 

Played on an officially approved PDC/Unicorn dartboard and in a pub-style atmosphere, ‘Darts Match’ offers a natural throwing action in a range of popular darts formats, perfect for both the avid darter and novice. 

-Challenge your Facebook friends in games of 501, 301, or Round the Clock. 
-Play classic games of 501, 301, and Round the Clock against a range of computer opponents at difficulty levels easy, medium and hard. 
-Determine the number of sets and legs played. 
-Customise your darts in the darts store with a choice of flights, shafts and barrel. 
-Perfect your throwing arm in practice mode. 
-Improve your throwing accuracy with a game of round the clock. 
-Records three-dart averages, checkout percentages, number of games won and total number of 100+, 140+, and 180 scores. 
-Suggested checkout finishes. 
-PDC/Unicorn approved dartboard. 
-Realistic caller and crowd sound effects. 

Here’s DartsMatch in action:

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In addition to the ad, there’s a heavy push to sign up via the bundled game network or with Facebook, playing against friends – the aim here is to go viral! Here I’m going for ‘Solo’, playing against the in-game AI opponents though….

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There’s a range of abilities – I found my perfect match on ‘Medium’, which gave me a real challenge… (right) throwing darts is easy – but hard to master. In the game, I get about the same accuracy as in real life – i.e. not much!

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The three most popular pub variants, all here for your enjoyment. (right) the Unity engine enables fancy 3D views after each turn, all neatly rendered and animated in real time.

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Left, you can just see the dart in flight (against the top of the board), right, the dart has landed. The throwing action is intuitive and well done.

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I won! (right) The ‘Store’ option isn’t – surprisingly – a plea for money, but a chance to freely change all aspects of your darts, in terms of cosmetics…

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Working my way through the AI opponents…. (right) Note the helpful suggestions at every stage, bottom of screen, as to how to get ‘out’ from your current score….

Highly recommended – developers, stick in an IAP for the ads – please. In the meantime, you can download DartsMatch for free here, to see if you agree with me!

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Games
 

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