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Lost In Mobile


The case for and against the Lumia 1020Shaun McGillWed, 23 Apr 2014 02:00:00 +0000http://www.lostinmobile.com/home/the-case-for-and-against-the-lumia-102052bd65a0e4b0aee2c11d35b4:52bd9eb3e4b09f4528ffce36:5352e4cce4b095a1b0b4d6d1 1020top.jpg

Like yesterday's article I have created a chart, but this time it is for the Lumia 1020.

lumiachart.jpg

As you can see there are 2 areas that receive exceptional ratings, the camera and the design, and these are important because they do make the phone stand out from the competition. The external speaker score is low and deservedly so because it is rather tinny and in a phone this big we should expect more. Also, the battery performance has been poor for me, but to be fair that could be down to the recent 8.1 update which appears to have lessened power performance for others as well.

Design is a controversial area because many people feel that Apple is the king of design, but time moves on and I am a firm believer that a phone should not be built with the materials Apple is currently using. We have fragile handsets that demand cases and which strangely do not feel great in the hand. The Lumia 1020 on the other hand feels exceptionally well crafted and is a joy to hold. The hump on the back does not get in the way for me apart from when trying to use it on a flat surface and the way the screen gently curves from the body is quite wonderful.

The Lumia 1020, like many other Lumias, is a class apart in terms of design and easily trumps any of the Android handsets and even the 5c and 5s with comparative ease, in my opinion.

I also prefer Windows Phone 8.1 to iOS 7.1, yes really, for many diverse reasons. It feels flat, much flatter than iOS, it uses the space available to it very well (some disagree on that) and it flows perfectly throughout the standard apps. It is a joy to use and has improved just enough to make it feel second nature and flexible enough in less than a days use. It is the perfect balance between Android and iOS and for me has become an environment I am more than happy to play with for hours on end. I notice it, but it isn't obtrusive.

The app situation on Windows Phone is not as bad as some make out, but there are problems. I can cover every iOS task, with the occasional compromise in experience, but the main point is that I can cover 'every' task. Actually, it isn't the main point because there are still some problems that could prove fatal for people like me who are considering the platform seriously. For example, I cannot find a finance app that doesn't crash, fail to calculate simple numbers properly or which is bereft of what should be standard features. It is a big problem for a platform that is aiming to be a clear third in the phone industry and it needs to change. The default Twitter app is acceptable, but is a compromise in many areas. To be fair, every Twitter app that is not Tweetbot is a compromise to me (Android suffers here as well) and there are other examples where the selection of apps is too narrow to give the kind of choice I am used to, or to be more accurate, the quality of apps I expect.

I will finish this series on the Lumia 1020 tomorrow, good for those of you already bored with it, but I don't see it leaving me anytime soon. There is a lot to like here.


The case for and against the Lumia 1020  Voir?

1020top.jpg

Like yesterday's article I have created a chart, but this time it is for the Lumia 1020.

lumiachart.jpg

As you can see there are 2 areas that receive exceptional ratings, the camera and the design, and these are important because they do make the phone stand out from the competition. The external speaker score is low and deservedly so because it is rather tinny and in a phone this big we should expect more. Also, the battery performance has been poor for me, but to be fair that could be down to the recent 8.1 update which appears to have lessened power performance for others as well.

Design is a controversial area because many people feel that Apple is the king of design, but time moves on and I am a firm believer that a phone should not be built with the materials Apple is currently using. We have fragile handsets that demand cases and which strangely do not feel great in the hand. The Lumia 1020 on the other hand feels exceptionally well crafted and is a joy to hold. The hump on the back does not get in the way for me apart from when trying to use it on a flat surface and the way the screen gently curves from the body is quite wonderful.

The Lumia 1020, like many other Lumias, is a class apart in terms of design and easily trumps any of the Android handsets and even the 5c and 5s with comparative ease, in my opinion.

I also prefer Windows Phone 8.1 to iOS 7.1, yes really, for many diverse reasons. It feels flat, much flatter than iOS, it uses the space available to it very well (some disagree on that) and it flows perfectly throughout the standard apps. It is a joy to use and has improved just enough to make it feel second nature and flexible enough in less than a days use. It is the perfect balance between Android and iOS and for me has become an environment I am more than happy to play with for hours on end. I notice it, but it isn't obtrusive.

The app situation on Windows Phone is not as bad as some make out, but there are problems. I can cover every iOS task, with the occasional compromise in experience, but the main point is that I can cover 'every' task. Actually, it isn't the main point because there are still some problems that could prove fatal for people like me who are considering the platform seriously. For example, I cannot find a finance app that doesn't crash, fail to calculate simple numbers properly or which is bereft of what should be standard features. It is a big problem for a platform that is aiming to be a clear third in the phone industry and it needs to change. The default Twitter app is acceptable, but is a compromise in many areas. To be fair, every Twitter app that is not Tweetbot is a compromise to me (Android suffers here as well) and there are other examples where the selection of apps is too narrow to give the kind of choice I am used to, or to be more accurate, the quality of apps I expect.

I will finish this series on the Lumia 1020 tomorrow, good for those of you already bored with it, but I don't see it leaving me anytime soon. There is a lot to like here.

... / ... Lire la suite

(23/04/2014 @ 04:00)
'That thing'  Voir?

I keep thinking about my iPhone and the advantages of potentially having a larger screen, and then I think about 'that thing' that is always there within my vicinity and which is so unobtrusive.

The Lumia 1020 is a great phone with a decent large screen and the Note 3 is arguably even better for many tasks. The huge screen is a bonus that makes doing so many things easier and more enjoyable, but when I have used any phone that is larger than the iPhone 5s for more than a day it starts to get in the way.

There is no getting away from the convenience of a phone the size of the iPhone and how well it gets out of the way. For me the S3, S4, Lumia and so many other phones are always there, tricky to use one-handed and a general pain in the backside. The big screens are great, but the size of the phones is constantly apparent to me and 'that thing' suddenly becomes a thing that's in the way rather than somewhere near to me or in my pocket.

It's a conundrum and I can fully understand why Apple wants to keep the iPhone at the size it is. It is, let's be honest, the perfect size for most people to carry and for it not to get in the way. However, I can also understand the need for larger screens, even up to the Note 3 size, because they let the user do so much more in a better way.

That thing may get bigger over time, but I suspect I will lose something in the process.

... / ... Lire la suite

(23/04/2014 @ 03:50)
£120 for 128GB  Voir?

128gb.jpg

Back in February, Sandisk announced a massive 128 GB micro SDXC card to be used in this year

... / ... Lire la suite

(23/04/2014 @ 03:45)
How does the S5 compare with the 5s? Not very well...  Voir?

s5top.jpg

In other words, how does the Galaxy S5 compare to the iPhone 5S, Apple

... / ... Lire la suite

(23/04/2014 @ 03:30)
Better?  Voir?

The most striking thing about the video above is that Tim Cook is narrating it. Apart from that, it feels like a stop-gap promotional video by Apple while there is little else happening.

I know that this can be a quiet time, but it is just me who feels that the rest of the industry is speeding up and that Apple is not? I don't know if that's a bad thing or not, but it is noticeable.

... / ... Lire la suite

(23/04/2014 @ 03:00)
The case for and against the iPhone  Voir?

As you know I have been using the Lumia 1020 for the past few days and have been extremely surprised by many aspects of it. In the next article I will present the case for said Lumia, but at this time I would like to point out certain features of the iPhone 5s (and indeed the 5, 4s and 4) that stand out in comparison to any other smartphone I have used. These are the areas that Apple gets right time and time again and in which the competition almost always appears to falter.

The above chart shows what I feel to be accurate ratings for the main features of the iPhone, barring the screen which is too subjective in terms of size, type and resolution. Any bar that is green offers, for me, an experience which feels ahead of what I would reasonably expect in a smartphone and as you can see, the iPhone gets no greens at all. The external speaker is pretty decent in an understated way and outperforms most of the competition, which is a surprise given its diminutive size. The quality of sound through headphones is also very good and so is the design, but not one of them knocks me back and makes me think how amazing the phone is. I should also mention the low camera score. It's a decent camera, but there are more than a few competitors on the market that beat it quite easily these days in every area aside from speed.

The combination of parts, however, come together well to produce a product that is highly capable in every area. A phone that beats the competition in most areas, but which does not excel with any particular feature. It is a curious mix of reliability, impressive performance and at times dullness which to be fair does make for what is probably the most usable and reliable phone on the market today.

The screen, which I ignored in the chart, is too small in comparison to much of the competition and is starting to look smaller by the day as other manufacturers find ways to eek out bigger screen from ever smaller form factors. It's great that the colour reproduction is so realistic, but ironically this also leads to an acceptance of the feature rather than amazement at how good it is. Give me a choice between the over-rich colours of the Lumia 1020 screen and the 5s and the former wins every time. The extra size also helps a lot and I suspect most of us now want to see iOS on a bigger phone screen.

Everything else is ahead with apps being the main advantage. If there is a major app released it will almost certainly be on Android and the iTunes app store is still by far the easier to navigate and the quickest at finding what you need.

There is a strong argument that Apple does not need to change much, but I think the time has come for a bigger phone and features that blow the user away. For all of the advantages good performance gives when every feature is good enough, the emotions exceptional features bring out are potentially worth more in the long run.

Is the iPhone the best smartphone in the world today? Yes it is. Is it the phone I enjoy using the most? No it isn't.

... / ... Lire la suite

(22/04/2014 @ 04:00)
The Chromecast  Voir?

My daughter loves our iPad mini. She uses it for watching Netflix, homework and for making funny hairstyles in Hair Salon 2. She isn't allowed to use it too much, but when she is allowed to watch Netflix I would rather she did so on a big screen.

She has a small HDTV in her bedroom and so I decided to buy her a Chromecast for the princely sum of £30. I plugged it in, flew through the setup process and she was streaming her favourite TV show in under a minute.

I was shocked, genuinely surprised, by how easy it was to set up and feel that the value here is extremely impressive for such a low price. If you have a TV with an HDMI port spare and want to connect an iOS or Android device to it wirelessly, this is a very good way to do so. Or a Chromebook, or a Mac with a variety of services including Netflix, BT Sport and so much more.

The Chromecast isn't quite an Apple TV, but it is more flexible, more open, much cheaper and genuinely brilliant. To say I am surprised would be a huge understatement.

 

... / ... Lire la suite

(22/04/2014 @ 03:30)
iPhone owners love the S5, or maybe they don't?  Voir?

According to a report in The Telegraph, more than a third (38% to be precise) of the users who upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S5 switched from an Apple iPhone. The data has been gathered from the mobile trade-in website CompareMyMobile.

The majority Apple users who made the switch to Samsung

... / ... Lire la suite

(21/04/2014 @ 21:09)
Vague, too general and not relevant  Voir?

I have been thinking about what to do with Lost In Mobile for some time now and, as some of you will know, I have attempted to stop running the site a few times over the years.

I am not going to stop writing about phones, but do realise that Lost In Mobile is not going anywhere at the moment and it finally dawned on me as to why. It is too general and will never appeal to enough people to generate the traffic needed to make it worth my time.

When people search Google or visit any site, they are looking for specifics and usually that will mean looking for information on a particular phone or platform when it comes to mobile. 99% do not want to read a random article about how mobiles work or my experiences because 99% of people are not invested in their phones or tablets that way.

I also feel that I don't give the site enough time to write long articles that are worthy of people's time. On average each long article takes between 5 and 10 minutes to think up and write, and that isn't good enough.

So, I am going to move to just one platform in the future and concentrate app and accessory reviews, hardware experiences, news and everything else to that one platform. I have a few articles already set to publish this week and so can spend time thinking about which platform to choose for the new site. It will be mobile, it will be comprehensive, but I can't say for sure at this time which platform offers the best opportunity for an attempt to make a profitable site which is worth spending time on every day. When I decide, I will let you know.

... / ... Lire la suite

(20/04/2014 @ 22:01)
Vinyl vs CD  Voir?

vinylbox.jpg

On a theoretical level, there's just no reason it should be the case that vinyl sounds better. There are built-in problems with using vinyl as a data encoding mechanisms that have no CD equivalent. Vinyl is physically limited by the fact that records have to be capable of being played without skipping or causing distortion. That both limits the dynamic range

... / ... Lire la suite

(20/04/2014 @ 11:27)
When was the last time you used a paper map?  Voir?

A satnav does the navigational graft for you. Maps coax their readers into doing the lion's share of the work. They require an act of code-breaking to distinguish the symbols for railway embankments from gravel pits; club houses from cattle-grids; coppice from saltings. They demand close attention to variations in the landscape and navigational initiative. But, as abundantly generous recompense for such active exertion, the bird's-eye view grants the freedom to eschew efficiency, to choose one's own path, to wander, improvise and play among the hills. The freedom to get lost, and find oneself again. By stimulating and freeing the mind, the paper map is loved by poets, artists, hikers, historians, lovers, dreamers.

But, as sales of paper maps decline year-on-year, and usage of digital apps and devices rises, there is a sea change taking place in the way we consume and use geographical information. Could this mark the end of the map, and if so, should we be worried? More at The Guardian.

I haven't used a paper map in many years and remember the dark days of trying to work out the route to a meeting the night before, the dangerous leaning over to the passenger seat to check the map and all of the other hassle. GPS was and is the perfect technology for me.

So, when was the last time you used a paper map?

... / ... Lire la suite

(20/04/2014 @ 10:30)
8 things to hate about the Galaxy S5  Voir?

I just want to say I understand well that there is no such thing as the

... / ... Lire la suite

(20/04/2014 @ 04:00)
(20/04/2014 @ 03:00)
5s vs 1020 cameras: it's hardly a fair fight  Voir?

iPhone 5s is on the left, Lumia 1020 on the right. Both are slightly zoomed in & web quality does not help of course.

iPhone 5s is on the left, Lumia 1020 on the right. Both are slightly zoomed in & web quality does not help of course.

I have for a long time written about why I believe the iPhone 5s camera to be the best available in a smartphone. Not because of the quality and specs, but because of the ease of use and the ability to capture a decent shot time and time again.

How wrong I was.

After one morning taking snaps with the Lumia 1020, I can see why so many people jump about excitedly claiming it to be a wonderful thing. It truly is and has made me reassess me views on smartphone cameras. It is 2014 and the Lumia 1020 camera feels like the kind of camera we should be using and, dare I say it, the iPhone 5s camera feels poor in comparison.

The Lumia 1020 camera has been described as slow to use. Well, that is nonsense. It is slower than the 5s and some Android cameras, but we are talking a second or two between snaps. For the end results, that minor inconvenience is easily a price worth paying.

Taken using no special settings on the Lumia 1020, just the auto-mode.

Taken using no special settings on the Lumia 1020, just the auto-mode.

Zoomed in to highlight detail.

Zoomed in to highlight detail.

So far, I have managed to take shot after shot that are markedly better than on any other smartphone I have used and not one has been out of focus. I am finding the Lumia camera to be remarkably consistent when taking snaps in a variety of situations and I am already blown away by what I am seeing. It feels like a leap forward, a jump into the future which is something I have not experience in a long, long time and it feels good. Good, great even, to be excited by a phone and to realise that my head has been in the sand for a long time.

gall7.jpg
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gall1.jpg

... / ... Lire la suite

(19/04/2014 @ 18:22)
Still playing with Windows Phone  Voir?

1020yel.jpg

I now have a Nokia Lumia 1020 because I was so impressed with the Lumia 625, impressed enough to request a higher-end review model. I will be honest and say that the only real reason to test the 1020 is the camera which is what most reviewers talk about anyway when it comes to Windows Phone. If you read an example set of reviews of this phone, you would hardly believe there is an operating system behind the camera, or apps, or a phone at all, but there is.

After a mere 24 hours I must say that I find the Lumia 1020 experience most fulfilling, and by association Windows Phone 8.1. I installed the latest software update as soon as I received the phone and it really is something to behold. The flexibility of the home screen is now quite impressive and with just enough personalisation to make it sit nicely between the rigidness of iOS and the chaos that is Android. Microsoft is quickly getting this area right and the feeling flows throughout the system. Put simply, it is a joy to use and feels like a phone should to me. Don't get me wrong, I am not jumping to Windows Phone or anything, but as an OS it really has nailed the user experience for touch, gestures and whatever other movements your fingers can make with a phone.

The 1020 itself is incredibly well built and feels solid as a rock. I even like the bold yellow colouring. The silly hump at the back is a pain in the backside when trying to lie the phone on a flat surface, but of course we all know why it is there. It's there to power the camera which I have not had much time with yet, but I will update on the photography features at a later date.

I won't be writing a review of this phone as that would be silly so late in the game, but I will have a shot at comparing it to the competition in terms of hardware and software. A Galaxy S5 is also sat on my desk and I must say that in the short time I have played with it, I have been completely nonplussed by the experience. It feels like every Galaxy that has come before it albeit with some improved specs and there really is little to like in my opinion. Sometimes phones need to be about the emotions they bring out and the 1020 does a much better job of clinging to me than the S5, and dare I say it the 5s.

There are problems, lots of little issues that make transferring content a pain, and lots of misses in terms of apps, but if you are willing to bend there is a lot to like here. I'm going to take my time with this one and see if I can find enough advantages over the 5s to make me think hard. The better screen and sound quality are the first two I spotted, but there is a long way to go and so we will see what happens.

One thing I am sure of is that Microsoft is on a roll at the moment in many different areas and that things are starting to bunch up in the smartphone market in particular. It is still all about Apple and Samsung (Google?), but I for one would like to see a third contender doing some damage and first impressions of the Lumia 1020 and Windows Phone 8.1 suggest that many of the building blocks are already in place and working well. More another day...

... / ... Lire la suite

(18/04/2014 @ 21:49)
The longest app?  Voir?

What app have you used regularly for the longest time? I had to think about this and I believe it to be Pocket Money which I have used for at least 4 years now every single day.

... / ... Lire la suite

(17/04/2014 @ 04:00)
Mac Desks  Voir?

Nice desks and all that, but I am convinced I would likely hate most of the people who work this way. It suggests more of a focus on the look than what actually happens on the keyboard. In other words, false.

... / ... Lire la suite

(17/04/2014 @ 03:00)
The 1648 emoticon  Voir?

A dedicated poetry reader appears to have discovered a smiley face in a poem from 1648, a find that would extend the pre-history of the emoticon back by about 200 years.

Editor Levi Stahl, publicity manager for the University of Chicago Press, was taking in some poems by Robert Herrick when he noticed a rather unusual typographic formation in the second line of the poem "To Fortune."... More at The Atlantic.

Not completely convinced, but sort of impressed.

... / ... Lire la suite

(16/04/2014 @ 18:13)
The subscription society  Voir?

What if you only had to pay for coffee once a month? With a new app, there's a way to do that. Called Cups, the app sells monthly subscriptions for unlimited coffee from a few dozen independent coffee shops around New York City. $45 a month gets you as much brew, drip, filter, pour-over, and filter coffee as you can handle. Tea's included too. If you need espresso (and who doesn't?) the subscription jumps up to $85 per month. That gets you any size espresso, americano, cappuccino, latte, macchiato, and iced coffee you want. The only restriction is you have to wait 30 minutes between cups

... / ... Lire la suite

(16/04/2014 @ 18:08)
The best in the world?  Voir?

What phone to you believe to be the best available at this time? The iPhone 5s? Galaxy S5? HTC One (M8)? Let us know and please include your reasons for believing it to be the best.

I am obviously going for the 5s for many different reasons.

... / ... Lire la suite

(16/04/2014 @ 04:00)

Dernière mise à jour : 22/04/2014 @ 12:54

 
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