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Last Build Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 15:45:04 GMT

 



Review: Nokia 6

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:06:00 GMT

What's this? A review of a smartphone that doesn't run Symbian on AAS? And that doesn't run Windows 10 Mobile on AAWP? Actually yes - it's my first look at the new Nokia 6, running Android. And it's here because it's the return of the classic Nokia brand that I've written about so many times on these sites. The personnel behind it are mostly different, the OS certainly is, but is it worth casting a look in the 'new' Nokia's direction? Probably not, though hopefully this mini-review will be of interest. This Nokia is still designed in Finland, it’s still made like a tank, but the actual firm behind it is HMD Global and all the manufacturing is in China. So take the ‘Nokia’ branding with just a pinch of salt. There's little DNA here from the classic Nokia designs of the past, though some visual clues have been taken from phones such as the Nokia N9 (running Meego, so that's the fourth OS mentioned in the last two paragraphs!), Lumia 800 and Lumia 920.  As a smartphone, the ‘6’ is well styled, I was enormously impressed by how solid it is, with slab aluminium sides and polished chamfered edges. It's heavy too, at almost 170g, almost in phablet territory with a 5.5” screen. The fingerprint sensor, down the bottom, is 100% accurate, but the specification here means that it takes a second from placing your thumb to the Nokia 6 being unlocked and the display powered up. Is a second too long? Not for the target market, though anyone exposed to flagships (think iPhone 7, Google Pixel) will notice a difference. Around the perimeter is a welcome 3.5mm headphone jack, all metal volume and power buttons, a speaker aperture (of which more later) and... a microUSB charging and data port. That’s right - microUSB on a £200 smartphone in 2017, rather than the now ubiquitous USB Type C. It feels very out of place and my theory is that the Nokia 6 design was actually finalised at least 18 months ago, back at the tail end of 2015, when USB Type C was still only on flagships (the Lumia 950 and 950 XL famously launched with this, among the first smartphones with 'C'). The delays HMD Global faced getting the Nokia 6 to market have left it with this single anachronistic spec point. Most users won’t mind, of course, microUSB jacks and chargers are everywhere still - and, to be fair, it’s just about the only major disappointment in the Nokia 6. For the price. On the back is the reassuring ‘NOKIA’ logo, just as on the Symbian phones and Lumias of old, plus a very ‘Nokia’ vertical raised camera island. I suspect that the raising is purely cosmetic, since there’s no reason for this pretty average phone camera to need the extra thickness. I’ll come back to the camera later on. The display is IPS LCD and 1080p resolution. With the RGB stripe (i.e. all pixels represented, unlike on AMOLED screens), the screen is extremely crisp and decently bright, though I noted that contrast levels weren’t brilliant in the sun.  The top earpiece is used as a ‘tweeter’ and piped the left channel for any stereo audio. This is - absolutely - a hack of the highest order. The results when watching Netflix or similar are a definitely imbalance in the sound, with 90% of the volume coming from the bottom firing main speaker and 10% from the earpiece. Much of the time this doesn’t really matter, but just occasionally something’s supposed to be happening in the left channel in terms of music or effects and… you can hardly hear it. With proper stereo now on the HP Elite x3 and Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro (etc.) a mainly-right-channel hack just doesn't cut it. Still, for sat-nav, podcast and speakerphone use, the speaker combination is absolutely fine and pretty loud. Also on the audio front is a FM radio aerial built-in, not something you get on every phone nowadays, and indicating the Nokia 6’s potential markets, in countries where data isn’t ubiquitous and where FM radio is still a major source of news and enterta[...]



Looking back on 15 years of the megapixel race

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 06:57:45 GMT

I'm a sucker for smartphone retrospectives and also one for photography features. Put the two together and you've got a name-checking smartphone rundown from the last 15 years over on GSMArena that looks at how camera resolutions have changed in our phones. The highwater mark, of course, was the Nokia 808 PureView, from 2012, but the whole 'arc' is an interesting rogues champions gallery.

From the GSMArena post:

We've traced the rise of the cameraphone before, but since we're in a lull in the megapixel race, we wanted to look back and check the milestones reached along the way to the Nokia 808 PureView - the 41MP monster that (five years later) is still the phone with the highest resolution camera (and only matched by Lumia 1020 since).

The Audiovox PM8920 may have been the first to cross the 1MP line with its 1.3MP camera in 2004. Niche brands aside, Motorola brought out the 1000 series phones that same year - the touch-focused A1000, the E1000 bar and V1000 flip. The Windows-powered MPx220 also joined in.

Motorola A1000 • Motorola E1000 • Motorola V1000 • Motorola MPx220

Then in early 2005 Samsung unveiled the P850, a flip phone with a rotating screen and a 3.15MP camera. Sound familiar? You may be thinking of the Nokia N90 from a few months later and its 2MP camera (with Carl Zeiss optics). Before the year's end, the Nokia N80 matched Samsung at 3.15MP.

And then looking ahead further in the article:

There was a brief flirtation with 13MP by Motorola and Toshiba, but Nokia put an end to the debate in 2012 with, yes, the Nokia 808 PureView - one of the best cameraphones of all time.

Its monstrous sensor was 1/1.2", the biggest we've seen on a mobile device. To put that in perspective, the sensor was 3 times the size of a 1/2.3" sensor like the ones we see in the Xperia XZ Premium, Google Pixel and a few others.

The sheer size of the sensor meant that despite its massive 41MP resolution, pixels were still quite large at 1.4µm (the Nokia N8 was at 1.75µm pixels). But the genius of the phone was elsewhere - mature image processing and leveraging on that resolution to enable high-quality digital zoom for 8MP photos. Advanced image processing is at the heart of the best cameras today.

Nokia kept things going for a bit longer, in 2013 it came out with the Lumia 1020 (running Windows Phone). It kept the 41MP resolution, though it shrunk the sensor to a still huge 1/1.5" (pixel size went down to 1.12µm). However, megapixel counts dropped off quickly after that.

The rise of resolution according to tech and then the fall again as other methods of achieving results came into prominence (e.g. what I've dubbed PureView take 2) is fascinating.

Also of interest might be my own 'Top 10 phone cameras of all time', in which I put the Nokia 808 at no. 4 and the Nokia Lumia 1020 at no. 5. Interestingly, my no. 1, the Lumia 950, isn't mentioned at all in the source article, probably because it focussed (pun intended) on fine tuning the innovations from the previous few years rather than breaking new ground in terms of resolution or pixel size.

(image)




What's in Steve's must-have accessories toolkit?

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 07:06:00 GMT

Over the years I've reviewed dozens of smartphone accessories, maybe even hundreds. And I've reviewed a fair number formally here for AAS and AAWP. But, of this mass of plastic, metal and, often, lithium, which accessories really made the grade? Which ones do I personally carry around with me on any trip out of the house of more than a few hours? Here's a glimpse into my standard kit. Shown above really is my kit, it's the case I take more or less everywhere with me and the only difference is that: I've tied it for the photo! I've set the case code here to a dummy number to mask my real case unlock... I also often take either my Surface Pro (and Backlit Type Cover) or my Macbook, depending on where I'm going and what I'm doing - and these fit in the top document pockets of the briefcase. And their chargers would go in the main body if I was gone for longer than a day, of course. I've been asked numerous times what I really, truly use, so here it all is - I'll start with the stuff in front of the case - which normally goes in my wallet or in the case or in its document flaps, as appropriate. Working left to right: A short USB Type A to microUSB cable, Nokia-branded. Has never let me down, unlike many third party cables and adapters. Nokia knew how to build cables! A Tronsmart USB Type A to Type C cable (mainly because I lost my Microsoft ones!) An Olixar Wallet Ultra-slim stand - so slim I forget it's there, yet saves the day at least once a week! An Inateck Bluetooth keyboard - it's SO slim and yet SO useable. And no, I don't think you can buy them anymore, sadly. A microUSB to USB Type A (female) adapter - for plugging in flash disks to phones 'on the go', though I can't remember when I last actually did this! A multi-way USB Type A to microUSB/Type C/Apple 30-pin adapter. Just an extra option, and again it's small and light. Would be nice to have Apple Lightning on this too. I think this came with a power bank in the distant past! OK look, it's one of those lost Microsoft Type A to Type C cables after all - phew! Now for the case contents, and I'll try to work left to right again - you'll work out what's what! The AUKEY SK-S1, the best sounding Bluetooth speaker I've ever heard, bar none. It's biggish, but when you hear the depth to the sound, it's like having a hi-fi always with me. A Choetech USB Type C to HDMI adpter cable - not cheap, but a one-wire way to connect to Continuum (etc) displays. An old tin that's the perfect size for tiny things. So it's chock full of microSD cards, adapters, old SIMs, SIM tools, USB flash disks, and anything else that would otherwise get lost! My Marshall Mode in-ear headphones. Stunning bass and general fidelity, three way media controls, sturdy clip. Again, not cheap (£40?), but you get what you pay for. My Rolson Tradesman knife - cheap and yet very well made and simply to slot in new razor blades. Perfect for unboxing things?(!) A white 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable. Because you never know when Bluetooth is going to let you down and it's best to 'jack in'! Some emergency mundane things: rubber bands, a small notebook (for ideas?), paper clips, stapler, tissues, online banking access gadget. The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter - because you can't always have cables trailing across living rooms and offices! Perfect for Continuum stuff as long as you don't mind a little lag here and there... An Integral SD card reader. Especially useful for getting photos onto - and off - awkward laptops. A Tronsmart mains-to-dual USB Type A 36W fast charger - hasn't let me down yet when there are multiple phones or tablets to charge A cheap and nasty USB current meter - sometimes this seems invaluable, other times I'm not sure I believe its readings. But better than nothing. Shout out in the comments if you have something reliable that you can recommend. The AUKEY USB Type C Hub - it's a hard-wired Continuum dock that only weighs 50g - hit! And finally, in the case on the right, three p[...]



PureView digital zoom is more common than you might think

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:03:00 GMT

Think back to one of the original tenets of Nokia's 'PureView' system, designed to accomplish lossless digital zoom using a high resolution sensor to 'smart crop' into, in a seamless way, exemplified in the Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020, but also found in the Lumia 930, 1520 and 950 range. Is this all patented, or can other manufacturers and developers leverage the exact same idea? In playing with my Android-powered ZTE Axon 7, I discovered that the exact same idea is already used when zooming on non-Nokia/non-Microsoft phones, and it works just as well. Who knew?I mention all this in case users of any of the above-mentioned handsets were thinking of moving to Android and worrying about missing this zooming aspect, at least. From my own article here: So I set the camera to take photos at 4MP in 16:9, a nice compromise between file size and resolution/detail. In fact, it's similar to what that old Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020 used to use. I wonder.... what happens if I zoom now on this Android phone? Will the 4MP image simply get blown up and blockily zoomed, or will the phone be clever enough to 'smart crop' into that high resolution sensor, just as the 808/1020 used to? So I did some tests. Here's a nice shot of some flowers, the original is at 4MP: And here's a 1:1 crop from that image at blog resolution: So a very tight crop and the resulting image is tiny, as you'd expect. Now, using multi-touch on the Android phone's Camera UI, I zoomed in to '2x' and took the photo again: A nice zoomed shot, but is this a genuine zoom, i.e. without loss? Let's now look at a 1:1 crop of the same detail as above: This is quite a bit more detailed, as you'd expect. You can read on in the full original article. Now, I can't guarantee that quality or indeed zoom factors will be as good on certain Android handsets as on the old Nokias, but I thought that other devices (can) behave in the same way was at least notable! PS. It's absolutely true that all of this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors on old and new phones and that you could just take full resolution photos all the time, but then you have to live with 20MP (etc) snaps all the time, where something much smaller would do, plus you also have to go back later and manually crop things.[...]



The GPD Pocket now available

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 08:25:47 GMT

It's not Symbian, it's not Windows 10 Mobile, heck it's not even Android, but the new GPD Pocket is now available (around £400) and offers a certain nostalgia for anyone brought up on Psion palmtops, Nokia Communicators and Windows Mobile clamshells. It's bigger, of course, but still miniscule compared to a traditional laptop. See the videos below.

WBI reports:

The mini-laptop GPD Pocket Windows 10 we talked about last February is finally available for purchase in some e-shops. After Win GamePad, a mini laptop Windows 10 dedicated to mobile gaming, the Chinese manufacturer GPD offers us another very interesting device, GPD Pocket. At the expense of size, this has technical specifications of all respect, better than many much more bulky PCs. It is a truly portable Windows 10 device...

  • Processor -  Intel Atom Z8750-x7
  • RAM -  8 GB
  • Internal Storage -  128GB
  • Display -  7Full HD 
  • Dimensions -  18 x 10cm , 7cm
  • Ports -  USB 3.0 , USB Type-C , HDMI
  • Input -  jack 3.5 mm
  • Battery -  7000 mAh
  • Operating system -  Windows 10 / Ubuntu 16 . 04

The Mini Portable Pocket GPD is available for purchase from Italy on Gearbest at a price of 437 € including shipping.

Looks very interesting indeed for road warriors everywhere, here's the product buy page. It's utterly traditional in one sense, mind you, it's just very small. We're expecting a 'Surface Phone' (or similar) to be smaller still but omit the physical keyboard in exchange for even more screen real estate, possibly using meshing dual displays.

Some video promos and demos of this new GPD Pocket, both from the IndieGoGo days:

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/49o4yco9cyY" width="853" height="480" frameborder="0">

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l52WQ5VXcm8" width="853" height="480" frameborder="0">




Screens and resolutions through the ages

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 08:57:00 GMT

This is the sort of feature I often create, but GSM Arena has done such a good job that I'll just link to them instead. They look at screen resolutions and sizes over the last decade - the trend is obvious, but it's always surprising just how far we've come.Of course, along side the increases are wholesale additions to what we use smartphones for. 'Smart' in 2007 meant Web browsing, email, music, photo sharing, etc. 'Smart' in 2017 includes paying for things, media streaming, live social activities, HD gaming, and more. Anyway, from the article: “The [2.8”] display truly looks larger than you might guess. The QVGA resolution stays the same and is adequate for providing great picture quality… “. It may seem like this statement is from another century, but it's just under 10 years old - from our very own Nokia N95 8GB review. And you can kinda see where we were coming from - the average screen in 2007 was 2.3" in diagonal and had less than 84,582 pixels at 171ppi density. And it got us curious so we decided to dig through our database and see how screens evolved through the years. We picked the 50 most popular phones for each year to analyze - those account for the vast majority of all sales and that way we avoid exotic devices skewing our stats. We chose 2007 as a starting point, the year Apple revolutionized the smartphone market by releasing its first iPhone. Back then the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen was considered huge and its HVGA resolution was close to the highest available - only devices like Nokia E90 and N800 had more pixels. The touchscreen revolution then quickly took over the mobile world and screens and resolutions started growing rapidly. In 2010 a couple of key launches happened and they sped up the process rapidly - Apple debuted the iPhone 4 with its Retina screen, while Samsung introduced the Galaxy S - a 4" WVGA flagship. The following year Samsung released the first Galaxy Note, which had a huge 5.3-inch screen of over 1 million pixels. At that point the 3.5" iPhone was already below average in size, but the Note got more ridicule for its size than praise. As phablets' popularity grew exponentially average screen size moved from 3.6" in 2011 to 5" in 2014. Even Apple couldn't resist joining the size race as the 4.7" iPhone 6 and 5.5" iPhone 6 Plus came to be. Resolution was growing even faster - by the end of the period Retina screens were only average in terms of pixel density. In 2015 Android flagships moved to QHD and we saw another huge spike in ppi. Sizes kept increasing as well and the average screen stood at 5.2 inches. And then everything changed when the mid-rangers attacked. Okay that might be an overstatement, but in 2016 mid-range handsets finally became good enough and they shot up in popularity, which explains the dip in the average resolution that year. There's more, including charts and tables, in the source article here.  The fashion in 2017 seems to be near bezel-less phones, made possible by virtual controls now being supported by most OS - we're getting ever closer to those Star Trek slabs of glass. Still, it's good to look back and I reckon that I've (mostly) owned or (in one or two cases just) reviewed all the handsets shown above. Heck, some are classics and they remain in my 'museum'! PS. Good to see the Nokia E90 and N800 get a mention, forgotten form factors and interfaces...[...]



Mini-review: AUKEY SK-S1, the 'Rolls Royce' of Bluetooth speakers?

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 14:17:56 GMT

Yes, yes, I've reviewed Bluetooth speakers in the past, most recently a rugged item from the same manufacturer, i.e. AUKEY, but the SK-S1 is different. In a world of Bluetooth speakers to provide decent audio from your smartphone, this one is the Rolls Royce. Far better sound, far louder, far better looking, yet with no sacrifice in playback time and little sacrifice in size. Meant to be together: the AUKEY SK-S1 and the Lumia 950 XL There's clearly some trickery going on here, because the effect of this 'Rolls Royce' speaker is that the whole chassis is aluminium, when in reality the huge grille, front and back, is aluminium-effect plastic. But don't hold that against the SK-S1 because the chamfered aluminium panel at the top adds a huge air of quality to proceedings on its own. And if all the grille was metal then weight would be another 20g or so. Not to mention the cost of drilling holes in that much aluminium! Regardless of the premium silver looks, what matters in any Bluetooth speaker is the sound, of course. I did note the cutaway diagram on the Amazon UK product page: If those speaker cones look like they mean business then that's because they do. Savour these specs: 8W per channel, with twin rechargeable cells inside in series, giving 7.4V at 2000mAh, with a typical playback time of around 8 hours and a typical volume of over 80dB maximum (at around 1m). So 16W total - and, ignoring that different manufacturers quote speaker power in different ways, once you get up in double figures you're talking about serious volume and fidelity. In this case, the acid test is listening. I hooked up my Lumia 950 XL (though any Bluetooth-capable smartphone will do here, of course) and played a variety of music types. As with other Bluetooth media solutions, the actual volume is a function of the volume setting on the phone and that on the speaker, i.e. the two are separate and get 'multipled' together. For most music types, I found that the volume output couldn't be kept at 100% on both, since the speaker was so loud that I was seriously worried about attracting the attention of all my neighbours and getting complaints! No, the speaker isn't pink - it's just shiny and reflective, and here it was in a bedroom with lots of pink around it!!! What's really impressive here isn't the volume though - it's the bass. With those serious speaker cones and with full reflex air movement out of the back of the SK-S1, the fulness of the bass is astonishing. In fact, never mind putting the AUKEY SK-S1 on a shelf or table - hold it in two hands on front of you and you can feel all the low end, vibrating through your hands and against your fingers from the back of the accessory. It's an amazing demo. The speaker's effective 4000mAh (at the more normal 3.7V) battery does take a while to charge up, at least 5 or 6 hours, so it's an overnigth job in reality. And it's via microUSB, which is a slight shame for anyone now standardised on USB Type C, though you of course get a charging cable in the box. In fact, you also get a line cable, 3.5mm to 3.5mm, in the box - and this means that you can dispense with the vagaries of Bluetooth encoding (aptX isn't supported, though A2DP HSP/HFP are) and simply wire your smartphone in, if needed. Controls are thankfully split out - previous AUKEY speakers have tried to combine volume with playback control, with disastrously confusing results. Here it's obvious what each button does: Priced at just over £30 at the moment, this is easily the most impressive Bluetooth speaker I have ever tried, yet is far from the most expensive. In fact, leaving aside the missing aptX (and aptX HD) support, this could be the bargain of the year in terms of (literal) bang per buck. In fact, as I write this, I'm working out how to make sure this makes it into my day to day gadget-bag - it's that good*. * I notice that it's running a 4.5 star [...]



Volterman: the trackable, thief-proof, smart wallet that charges your phone?

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 10:17:34 GMT

You know me, I can't resist gadgets, powerbanks, adapters. And I've spotted this 'Smart Wallet' concept over on Indiegogo - it's already funded, so will definitely happen now. Essentially it's a range of wallets with a wireless (and wired) power bank built in, with GPS tracking (should it get lost), and with a camera to snap whoever opens it when it's 'lost'. Is it pricey? Heck, yes, but it's also unique and perfect for that Christmas 2017 present, surely?

From the Indiegogo listing:

Volterman® is the World’s most powerful smart wallet with 5 smart functions: •

  • Built-in Powerbank (from 2,000 to 5,000 mAh) 
  • Distance Alarm 
  • Global GPS Tracking 
  • Worldwide WiFi Hotspot 
  • Thief Detection Camera

With all the tech inside, Volterman® is slim and lightweight made from premium quality materials.

I have some questions, not least about the standby drain of the integral gadgets. It's also claimed that the power bank can wirelessly charge from your phone, but that would assume that your phone also had Qi coils and support for this?

There are several variants, with different sizes and capabilities:

  • Volterman CardHolder
  • Volterman BiFold
  • Volterman Travel

(image) More over at the full Indiegogo introduction page.

Naturally, there's a promo video too, deliberately cheesy and fun(!):

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WrslPHiz2mI" width="853" height="480" frameborder="0">

I'm looking forward to reviewing at least one of these variants in due course.




ZEISS returns to Nokia, abandons Microsoft

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 11:12:12 GMT

Totally off-topic for AAS and AAWP in a sense, because the end products won't be 100% relevant, but the news is very definitely of interest, with Carl Zeiss (later renamed just ZEISS) producing the award winning optics for every Nokia flagship from the early 2000s onwards, and ending with the last Microsoft Windows-running phones, the Lumia 950 range, at the end of 2015. And now ZEISS is back with 'Nokia' - not quite the same Nokia that had its Devices division bought up and then eventually gutted by Microsoft - but the Nokia name, even on Android OS, is notable and the presence of a ZEISS collaboration is a good sign that the company is back on track. 

[Update] In addition, announced on Twitter, was that (no surprises, but...) there will be no more Microsoft branded devices with ZEISS optics - the original licensing deal, inherited with the Nokia purchase, has ended. See below for the full tweet.

[Update]

See Rafe's full feed for all his tweets, the selection above aren't even half of what he's posted during the last week. Rafe will be back on the AAWP podcast in the coming week, where I hope to hear more about the latest trends in mobile, plus we can chat about the latest Windows mobile stories.

I'd also like to mention friend Leigh Geary's YouTube channel for Coolsmartphone, in which he takes several HOURS (really) to walk through just about every stand in every hall in the show. Wow. Respect. Go check it out the walkthroughs here and here.




Anatomy of a camera phone photo #3: 1870s Clock

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 07:05:00 GMT

My series 'Anatomy of a Lumia photo' (here's #1!) has proved popular, even though I used the HP Elite x3 instead for #2 and even though I'm gradually widening out the title! Anyway, here goes another, reverting back to the Lumia 950 XL again - light is again one of the key themes. As it should be for anyone with a keen shutterbug eye!(I widened out the title so that I could include AAS readers too - after all, there's nothing here that's platform-specific!) Let's start with the final shot: You can download the original of this here, it's an 8MP (oversampled) PureView photo, straight from my Lumia 950 XL. The story behind this photo starts with a 140 year old pendulum clock that my family has had in its possession for five generations. The detailing is exquisite and, on the whole, the clock even works well, losing just a minute each day. My photo above (hopefully) artily shows some of the finest detail, gets over the personality of the clock, along with some stunning colours from the gold surrounds. But. The clock is tucked away in a corner of a living room, where it's almost always in shade - yet for half an hour a day in the winter, if the sun's out, the low down rays pierce the living room windows in such a way as to (gloriously) illuminate the clock and its face, here. Given that the sun's rarely out in the UK winter, I'd say that the opportunities to even take this shot were rare. Which means that you have to seize the opportunity. How many times has your own eye been caught by something fantastic lit by the sun at a particular angle and yet you moved on with your busy life and didn't stop to capture the moment, the detail? (Oh, and the clock can't be moved, otherwise it will stop working and need repairing - in case you were wondering!) So the clock was lit up by the winter sun and I headed over to snap it. Here's the boring first cut: All very unremarkable - it's just a clock, old but dustry and the colours don't pop on screen as much as they were doing to my eyes. Plus I hate vertical photos (most of the time) and yet the shape of the clock seemed to leave me no alternative. My eyes were drawn to the painted detailing on the clock face though, so I went in closer, this time in landscape aspect ratio: There's more of a 'glow' this time, but there's still lots wrong. There's too much wasted frame/resolution, the clock just looks wrong (square on) without the rest of its body, and the slightly dusty cover glass was dimming the detail on the face itself.  My solution was to get in even closer. I opened up the glass cover (to stop reflections and eliminate the dust!) and deliberately angled my Lumia 950 XL to skew the angle in a way that the clock face could be seen with maximum quality and detail and fill up as much of the frame as possible. Success - without the cover glass in the way, the Lumia 950 XL camera was seeing the colours as they really were, glowing in the sun. I should emphasise that the shot here is direct from the Lumia - there's no post processing whatsoever: I was really pleased by the result - it's a colourful and vivid memory to share around and a testament to the skill of the clock makers in 1870-something! As with other photos in this series, I share all this merely in the hope that my thought processes in approaching a subject might inspire you to think along similar (or cleverer) lines.[...]