When it comes to Windows Phones, not many companies are working on releasing them recently. Even companies like Micromax in India tried their hands on selling a Windows Phone smartphone which really didn’t work out well. But just when we were thinking that there were no good Windows Phone devices in the market right now, Microsoft took things in their own hands and released the Microsoft Lumia 950XL which totally shocked the market and gave the Windows Phone enthusiasts around the world a new hope. But how does the new phone fair out in the real world? You will read about that and more in this post.
Design & Build
The one thing that you can never complain about any of the Windows Phone devices from Microsoft is the build quality and the same stands true for this phone as well. The build of the phone is solid while it feels really good to hold in hands.
The matte finish on the phone makes it easy to have a grip and removes some possibility of dropping the phone accidentally. The button placements are ergonomic and good which means you can easily reach the buttons even when you are holding the phone with one hand.
The power/lock & unlock button are placed on the right-hand side of the device and the volume rockers are placed above and below the lock button. The camera shutter button is placed on the right side of the device in the lower edge.
The Lumia 950 XL has a 5.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED display which comes with Nokia’s very own iconic ClearBack tech which means the display will be visible in a brilliant way in bright sunlight as well. To protect the display, Microsoft decided to add a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the screen to prevent it from minor scratches. The display overall looks really good and produces really nice colors. The brightness is good and the screen can be seen in any type of lighting. It is one of the best display you can find in the market.
Camera & Imaging
The camera on this phone is a 20 MP PureView camera which was developed by Nokia. The flash that comes on the phone is a dual tone, triple LED flash. The camera has its own physical shutter button which is not seen in many other phones nowadays. Anyway, coming to the image quality, the camera on this phone is definitely one of the best mobile cameras out there.
The lens used in the camera is a Carl Zeiss lens with a f/1.9 aperture which is coupled with Optical Image Stabilization which gives much better shots even when you have shaky hands. Images are stunning and the colors are reproduced in a really nice way. The camera is definitely one of the best points about the phone. The camera app on the phone is good and provides great functionality.
Hardware & Performance
The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is one of the most high specced Windows Phone that ever entered the market. This phone comes with a Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor along with 3GB RAM. The processor is an upgrade from the non-XL version of the phone as the non-XL version comes with Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor. Anyway, when it comes to storage, this phone provides 32GB of internal storage which you can expand up to 200 GB with a microSD card.
Thanks to the processor and RAM combination, Windows 10 performs really well on this phone and the interface is really smooth to navigate around the phone. The only downside is the number of apps you can choose from the Store which still have to be fixed by Microsoft. The phone does heat up a bit, but thanks to the liquid cooling, it cools down quite fast.
The phone comes with a 3340 mAh battery with Fast charging support. With moderate usage, the phone lasts for 1 day which is good enough for most of the users. For heavy users, the battery won’t last for an entire day but since it has fast charging support you can get upto 60% of charge in just 30 mins.
Windows 10 on Lumia 950 XL
The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL runs on Windows 10 mobile and it is a major refresh from Windows Phone 8.1 present on older phones. Not only does the OS provides new customization options, but Microsoft’s solution for developers to develop one app that will be able to run on both PC as well as Windows 10 on mobile is great and if implemented properly by Microsoft, can be used to revive the Windows Phone devices market again. We did face few bugs on the device like getting low storage popup even though we had 20 GB storage available and Wifi issues with the Windows Store.
Continuum & Display Dock
This phone can also double as a pocket PC when you connect it with a keyboard and a mouse using the Microsoft Display Dock. This very feature is known as Continuum and provides you a way with which you can use the Display Dock connected with the USB Type-C port with the phone and later connect the keyboard, mouse and display with the dock in order to use it as a PC. Basic functions like being able to browse the web, stream videos and even work on Microsoft Office is available but since it is not an x86 architecture device, you can’t use the PC apps and programs on the phone.
The phone is definitely great and one of the best phones Microsoft has released after aquiring Nokia’s devices portion. The phone comes with a good build quality and offers an impressive camera. The phone is powerful enough to handle heavy multitasking and gaming with ease. It is meant for the business users who are looking for a productivity device.