Just got yourself a brand new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone device? Whether it be a new Lumia 520, 920, 1020, 1520, or any other Lumia device available in the market, these tips and tricks we are about to mention are sure to make things a bit more convenient.
Whether you are new to a Nokia Lumia device or you are looking to expand your knowledge about your Windows Phone device, these five favorite tips and tricks of ours are sure to help. If you have a favorite tip or trick, share them via the comments below.
Typing faster with keyboard shortcuts
With this tip, you no longer have to press the numeric or punctuation buttons to enter their respective modes on the keyboard, only to find your desired key, then tapping the key you first pressed so you can return to the standard keyboard. Instead, press and hold the numeric or punctuation button and slide your finger over to the key you want to use and then release your finger to automatically snap back into the default keyboard mode.
This is especially useful for those who wish to type faster without having to navigate into different keyboard modes. If you love to text or write a long email on your Windows Phone device, this tip will definitely improve your productivity. Go ahead, try it out!
Translate text using your camera
Did you know that your Windows Phone device can also translate text using your camera? All you have to do is hit the Search button on your phone and select the eye icon. Position your Lumia over the text and select “scan text.” You can even translate the text you capture.
This is obviously a neat feature for those looking for a quick way to translate a menu or any other text using your Lumia smartphone.
Identify what music is playing
Windows Phone also allows you to quickly identify what music is playing (on the radio for example). All you have to do is hit the Search button on your phone and select the music note icon. Place your smartphone over the source of the music and Windows Phone will identify the track, the artist of the track, and offer you a link to the Windows Phone Store so you can purchase the track.
Switch between your apps
For those of you who tend to use more than one app at a time, this tip/trick will be useful. Press and hold the back button on your smartphone and you will be presented with the multi-tasking screen that allows you to quickly switch between apps. You can even return back to the home screen.
If you want to close an app, simply hit the “x” that is located at the top-right of each app.
Take a screenshot of your screen
If you are looking to show off your home screen or an app you have running, you can easily do so by taking a screenshot of your screen. All you have to do is quickly tap-hold the Window key while simultaneously pressing the power button. You will see a quick flash of the screen indicating that a screenshot was taken.
You can find your screenshot in the Photos app, under the Screenshot folder.
Now, these are just our top-five favorite tips and tricks for Windows Phone. There are plenty of more shortcuts and tricks to make your experience enjoyable. Lets hear your favorite tips and tricks! Post them in the comments below.
Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?
If a phone isn’t in the top 20 best phones in the world list, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving two hoots about.
Here’s a few handsets you might want to think about should none of the above tickle your fancy… although you’re clearly VERY hard to please:
Motorola Razr HD
A former top 20 resident the Motorola Razr HD is still a decent contender and has only dropped out of our best phones list due to newer handsets elbowing their way to the top.
While this phone lacks in some areas (let’s be honest: a dual-core processor doesn’t get anyone’s heart racing any more, despite being able to handle most tasks) it still has a clear screen, simple OS and a really strong battery at its heart.
Many will be taken by the almost stock Android platform it uses, and the fact it’s got an additional HDMI port means it’s easy to sync your phone up to a big screen – plus it doesn’t cost the earth.
Huawei Ascend Y300
Fancy stepping into the smartphone market but don’t want a phone that’ll cost you the earth? Then why not check out the capable Huawei Ascend Y300, yours for just £100.
At that price you’re not going to get any breakthrough technology, but with Android Jelly Bean, a dual-core processor and a 5MP rear camera it offers plenty for the first time user.
Nokia Lumia 720
The Nokia Lumia 720 is a great smartphone and though some may be put off that it’s rocking Windows Phone 8 over Android, if you’re in the market for a mid-range mobile this is certainly worth considering.
It is up against some tricky, and more established Android competition, but if you fancy taking the plunge for something new you can’t go wrong with the Lumia 720.
Everyone is going touchscreen these days, BlackBerry’s even got the Z10 and Z30 now, but for those of you still reliant on a physical keyboard to type the Q10 is one of the few options available to you.
While the Q10 may struggle to match the top end Android and iOS handsets in terms of features, apps and value, it does offer the best physical typing experience on the market – and for some that’s all they need to hear.
Huawei Ascend P2
The Huawei Ascend P2 is a highly capable smartphone and offers a strong line up of features and a decent level of specs – it just doesn’t excel at anything, or wow us with amazing features.
If you fancy a powerful handset on a budget then the Ascend P2 is a decent shout with a quad-core processor, 4.7-inch HD display, 4G connectivity and a 13MP camera.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
If you’re one of those people who plays by their own rules then you won’t be taken by any of the generic slabs of plastic and metal which are today’s smartphones – you’ll want something different, something out there, something a little bit off the wall. Meet the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom.
Is it a phone? Is it a camera? Well it’s kind of both. From the front it looks like another Samsung clone, but flip it over and there’s a whacking great optical zoom camera lens plastered on the back.
It’s big, brash and heavy and that will put a lot of people off, but it you want a device which can take some impressive pictures and make the odd phone call you may fall for the S4 Zoom’s… umm… charm?
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Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?
10. Nokia Lumia 520
The Nokia Lumia 520, much like its big brother the Nokia Lumia 620, is a jack of all trades and a master of none – although it really manages to make a good fist of everything it tries, for the low, low price tag it carries.
It looks good, it’s got a decent screen both in terms of size and resolution, it rarely stutters or slows down, it’s great for calls and messaging, reasonable for media and okay for photos.
To achieve a lower price point the 520 has had to strip away a few things – there’s no NFC, compass, camera flash or front facing camera here.
But on the other hand it’s also got a bigger screen, a larger battery, a sleeker, slimmer, lighter build and the same processor and RAM as the Nokia Lumia 620, so in many ways it’s actually better.
Combine that with a lower price tag and we reckon that this just might be the best entry level Windows Phone 8 handset that you can buy and certainly the best value.
The Nokia Lumia 520 certainly isn’t an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy beater – but it’s a superb Windows Phone device that you can pick up for under £100. If you’re a fan of a simple interface with some quality add-ons, then you should definitely look at Nokia’s latest attempt to win over the smartphone naysayers.
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Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?
15. Sony Xperia Z
The Sony Xperia Z is no longer the top dog for the Japanese firm since the Xperia Z1 (and now the Xperia Z1 Compact) has launched. But when it came out, the handset was definitely the most impressive the firm has launched either in its current guise or as Sony Ericsson.
You can see the Sony influence throughout the handset as it oozes quality and build from the large screen, which fits close to the edges of the bezel, to the intelligent camera that allows you to snap some really premium photos without needing to fiddle about with the settings.
And it’s water and dust resistant too, which makes it excellent for general life business. There’s a certain freedom that comes from knowing that the heart-stopping moment of your phone falling in a pint of beer is gone for good.
It’s also packing a microSD card slot in an nicely-thin chassis, for which we laud the phone even higher. Add to that the Bravia Engine 2, (which is as much as you need – the Z1’s Triluminous technology doesn’t really further the message much further forward.)
It doesn’t run the Snapdragon 800 processor, but it does have a good spec list and uses them well – a crisper video experience, a more powerful camera, being waterproof, expandable memory are all great elements.
While it doesn’t quite pack the clout of the phones from HTC and Samsung, the Xperia Z is a phone that says Sony is definitely back at the sharp end of the smartphone game.
It’s a shame it hasn’t dropped in price much since its successor appeared, but there’s still a lot of decent tech in a phone that really pushed things forwards in terms of waterproofing.
14. Sony Xperia Z Ultra
The Xperia Z Ultra is the kind of phone we love to take out for a spin once in a while: it’s so packed with tech, and is so light and thin, that we can’t help but laud it.
The camera is powerful, the waterproof shell impressive and the Snapdragon 800 chip is really strong. On top of that the large 6.4-inch screen is full of good Sony tech, and the IPS addition means it looks so much better than the Z and Z1.
Then again, this is a massive phone… so big, it’s even winning awards as a tablet. It’s really, really big, and you’ll need to want it rather badly to shell out the large amount of cash you’ll need to in order to own one.
The Xperia Z Ultra is one of those devices that makes you gasp. Partly because of its beautiful design and partly because its specs are so great. It’s a phablet, but Sony wants you to also remember it’s a phone.
The market is increasingly getting competitive and the Galaxy Note 3 is a strong challenger. But if you need something bigger, the race is strictly between the Xperia Z Ultra and the Galaxy Mega. And this wipes Samsung’s offering off the table.
13. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
The Galaxy S4 Mini takes the design language of the full-fat S4, and does well to shrink it down without losing the same ‘atmosphere’.
A vibrant screen, bright and clear enough, added to the fact it’s only 4.3-inches large, mean the S4 Mini is a lot easier to hold in the hand, and the camera is as powerful as we’d expect on a phone of this size and price point.
What you get with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a far better trade off of price and features than you got with the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, and a phone that sits very comfortably within the S4 range.
It’s got a lot of the S4 power at a lower price point, and while the S3 to S3 Mini divide was just too great in our eyes, the S4 Mini is a lot closer to its bigger brother.
It lacks the power of the main version, but strips out the right amount of stuff to still be desirable.
12. Nokia Lumia 1520
The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a trailblazing 6-inch smartphone that forges a path for Windows Phone 8 into true high-end territory. And what a swathe this oversized phablet cuts – it’s huge.
The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a well put together smartphone with Nokia’s typical build quality.
Its 6-inch 1080p display is a thing of beauty, and is a great way to watch videos and view photos on the go.
Nokia has produced another excellent camera phone here, learning lessons from the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Nokia Lumia 925 to produce a very well balanced snapper.
However, there’s also no denying that this is a ridiculously large phone, and whipping one out in public will be as embarrassing as it is tricky to wield for those who appreciate a little subtly and mobility from their phones.
Then there’s that age old problem of the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem, which still lacks apps, not to mention a video store to fully capitalise on that cinematic screen
The Nokia Lumia 1520 is an absolute beast of a phone that we suspect only the large-handed and generous pocketed will be able to live with day to day.
Those who accept the challenge will find the most capable Windows Phone 8 device yet, with top-of-the-range specs that include a stunning 1080p display and a superb 20-megapixel camera.
It’s not quite the Windows Phone phablet we’re waiting for, but it’s a massive step forward.
11. Sony Xperia Z1
The Sony Xperia Z1 is another powerhouse of a phone. With a 20.7MP camera with G Lens technology, the ability to withstand rain, snow and sand and a superfast Snapdragon 800 processor running the show, it’s clearly a great handset to have around.
It also comes in a variety of funky colours, has a pleasing build quality that helps justify the higher price to a degree and basically offers the best of the Sony brand in a smartphone.
We do have a few reservations insofar as the Z1 doesn’t really carry the mantle the Xperia Z created; it’s got a massively uprated camera and screen technology, but neither particularly wow.
Don’t think that this is anything less than a leading phone from Sony. It’s just that the added thickness to accommodate the camera doesn’t impress enough to plop it into the top five, nor the sub-par screen, and after the really great showing from the Xperia Z, we were a little disappointed.
However, the slick interface that make Android feel more simple, the fun Walkman and Movies app and the overall power and battery life make this a really nice phone that once again shows Sony knows how to make a smartphone.
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Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?
What’s the best mobile phone? Our verdict on the best smartphone/best phones – constantly updated
We’ve all got at least one mobile phone each, right? We’ve probably got about three or four nowadays, and that counts giving your old Nokia 3310 to your Mum a few years ago.
But while you used to be able to just bank on the new Nokia or always get the next Sony Ericsson because it had a half-decent camera, there are now so many great options out there from loads of manufacturers.
The trouble is, how do you decide which is the best one for you?
Well, this is where we make it easy. Because here we have our continually updated comparison of the top 20 best smartphones currently adorning phone emporiums up and down the UK.
The last update saw the HTC One maintain its place at the top of the charts, holding off multiple challenges from Nokia, Samsung, LG and Sony (namely the Galaxy S4) – showing the smartphone market still has a fair few players.
But the HTC One is nearly a year old. That’s an age in smartphone terms, and Apple’s in there too, doubling down by bringing out a phone at the same price (the iPhone 5C) and pulling no punches with the supercharged iPhone 5S, so where have both landed in our top 20?
But it’s by no means a ‘can Apple topple HTC’ kind of race – as HTC has created a cheaper version of the One (the HTC One Mini, of course), LG’s gone all out with the aptly named LG G2, and even Sony is continually pushing the smartphone envelope with the all new small-yet-powerful Sony Xperia Z1 Compact – so who knows who will be number one these days?
If that still doesn’t help, well, there’s always our extensive mobile phone reviews pages as well – or check out our personally crafted smartphone buyer’s guide:
Here are our rankings for the best mobile phones around, currently available in the UK.
20. Samsung Galaxy S3
With the Samsung Galaxy S4 (and friends) now launched, the S3 has predictably fallen down the rankings thanks to there being a better phone to recommend.
But don’t worry: the S3 is still a strong phone: it’s got loads of features we want and more, and raised the bar once again in terms of what consumers should be expecting in terms of battery life, processor speed and media management.
Would we recommend you buy one if you’re hankering for a spot of Samsung? Yes, but only if you’re trying to save money, as the S4 is a much better version of this phone indeed.
Price isn’t the only reason the Samsung Galaxy S3 is worthy of consideration though. Smart Stay, Super AMOLED HD screen, up to 128GB storage, Music Hub, removable battery, quick camera; for the price, this phone still delivers in ways that many others on the market can’t.
If you’re after a decent slab of Samsung tech, the Galaxy S3 is an OK choice. It’s getting on a bit, hence the slip down the rankings.
Samsung faced an almost impossible task in trying to create a worthy sequel to the Galaxy S2, and while this is an older model, it’s still worth a look.
19. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Many (including us, we admit) were not convinced when the original Samsung Galaxy Note launched. Who on earth would want something so big to make their calls and surf the internet, even with a glorified stylus? Cue awkward silence.
Millions of you, it would appear. The Galaxy Note sold by the bucketload, so how do you follow that up? With something better, of course – the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which has shifted 20 million units worldwide, and now is the elder statesman thanks to the new Galaxy Note 3 appearing.
Still a strong and eye-catching device, the Galaxy Note 2 is well-connected, and thanks to that increased screen size (up to an eye-bulging 5.5-inches), is, among many things, a quality media player.
Samsung has achieved something special here, because it has made the Galaxy Note 2 bigger than the original, but pulls it off so that you don’t notice it too much and anyway, it’s the features that make it so amazing.
Air View, Multi-window, a dock that can turn it into a fully-fledged computer – it’s all here, people..
As a phone, it’s big, but once you get over that, if you can, it’s great. As a PMP, it really does excel, but there are better options on the market (Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra, for instance).
Ultimately, there’s no getting away from the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a niche device. But it does almost everything it sets out to do perfectly, with grace, class and maximum functionality.
With a lower price, it’s still powerful enough to last for at least a year or two, so we have no qualms recommending it as a viable option for your next phone.
18. Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
Want the Samsung Galaxy S4 but are too worried about dropping it in the bath or flinging it into a sand dune? Well, you can either not do either of those things, or buy the Samsung Galaxy S4.
With a powerful IP67 water and dust proof case the Active is far more hardy than a lot of the top end devices currently on the market.
The only other handset which can match the rugged credentials of the S4 Active is the Sony Xperia Z, (and Z1 successor, of course) although those being covered in glass front and back makes them feel far more fragile.
While the 5-inch display may not sport the Super AMOLED technology of the S4, the full HD resolution still makes for an excellent visual experience which is only really bettered by its namesake, the LG G2 and the HTC One.
If you’re in the market for a super powerful smartphone which you can take on extreme activities, swimming and in the bath then sure the Galaxy S4 Active is the best around, although that’s a pretty limited market.
And hey, chuck it in a bucket of water and your mates will be seriously impressed (honest).
We’ve only got this phone so far down on the list as we don’t think huge amounts of users will be desperate to add the heft to an S4 to make it a bit more life proof, and that isn’t going to be something most people will worry about.
But if you want the security of a phone that can withstand a few knocks but doesn’t scrimp on the specs or usability, then you could do a lot worse than checking out the S4 Active.
17. Nokia Lumia 925
Simplicity is the key here, the Lumia 925 does the basics well, from contact integration and calling, to web browsing and messaging. The camera is market-leading, and offers excellent performance from low-light to jumpy videos.
The 8.7MP PureView camera on the back of the Lumia 925 is actually one of the best we’ve used, and for anyone looking to get a top end cameraphone: you need to seriously consider this Nokia, although a glut of handsets (Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, HTC One, LG G2 and iPhone 5S) have all stepped up their game significantly to offer strong camera experiences too.
The 4.5-inch display is also a good’un, crisp and clear it makes watching movies, surfing the web or Facebook stalking an enjoyable experience, thanks to the PureMotion HD technology on offer.
And you can even use it with gloves on… what more could you want? You’re right: hologram messages. But they don’t exist yet.
The Nokia Lumia 925 is a worthy ambassador for Windows Phone 8 and probably a strong part of the reason Microsoft decided to acquire the Finnish handset division.
It’s not got the clout to take on the likes of the HTC One and Galaxy S4 just yet, but it’s still a great choice if you’re not sold on Android or iOS but don’t want to give up a powerful phone.
16. iPhone 5C
What’s this? A new iPhone not making it into the top five? Wait… not even the top ten?
Well, you can’t really blame us. This isn’t a new iPhone – it’s last year’s device in brand new package with more colours to choose from.
There are more LTE bands to choose from too, which is important to UK buyers as it means it can give superfast speeds from all the networks.
It’s still a really rather good phone, with the Retina display still giving market-leading colour reproduction, a strong camera and the best App Store around.
We’ll be honest: this is the place the iPhone 5 would have occupied since it’s been usurped by the iPhone 5S.
This is, in our eyes, essentially the same phone with a new skin. There will be loads of people looking to buy it simply because the iPhone now comes in pink or green, and to those we say: look at the Lumia range. Nokia’s been doing the same thing for years and at a much, much cheaper price point.
The iPhone 5C is the same as a every phone from Apple: too expensive for what it is, but if you’re desperate for such a device from the Cupertino brand then this is still a strong handset to plump for.
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