Devices Reviews

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Review

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL has got a stunning 5.7-inch Quad HD display coupled with a solid build and construction.

With Windows 10 mobile running the show, this device becomes a 2-in-1 device through the feature built-in to the OS called Windows Continuum.

Also, never underestimate the powerful engine under its hood — a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 at 2.0 GHz octa-core processor and is paired with 3Gb of RAM.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL

If you are concerned about its camera, this Windows device creates real beautiful images out of its 20MP rear camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and an opening of F/1.9. The front-facing camera can’t be left behind with 5MP and can take Full HD video and F/2.4 opening.

Unboxing

The packaging is an impressive premium-looking package that tells you immediately that you are spending your money on this expensive device.

Inside the box are accessories that you should find important — a standard wired wall charger with USB type C tip, a micro-USB type C cable, an earphone and the user manual.

You should know also that the Lumia 950 XL that ships in the Philippines is a dual nano-SIM which is accessible when you remove the back cover. A micro-SD support is also helpful and if you can find a 200G external card, you can stuff it there as additional storage.

Construction and design

I am hands down sold out with the build and design of the Lumia 950 XL. A well-built body that is worth every centavo you will spend is there. The buttons placement on the ride side of the device is kind of weird. On the lower left is a dedicated camera shutter button and on the mid part three-button which is equally confusing. The power button is sandwich by the volume rocker.

950 XL Philippines

The 20MP camera at the rear is really prominent because of its huge presentation. Up top is the 3.5mm audio port while on the opposite is the USB type C charging and data transfer port.

A Gorilla Glass version 4 is also in place to protect the screen of the Lumia 950 XL.

Lumia 950 XL Display and UI

The AMOLED paired with Clear Black technology by Microsoft presents a crisp and bright display on this device. An image preview is well appreciated on a 2560 x 1440 screen resolution and the viewing it on a broad daylight is not a problem because of the 518 ppi.

The animated tiled display of the Windows 10 mobile will distract you at times, but it can be useful for important notifications such as e-mail and other updates.

Microsoft Continuum

The Windows 10 companion enables the Lumia 950 XL to do a dual-role — a PC and a smartphone in one device. With Microsoft Continuum enabled, the device becomes a full productivity workhorse with a special dock that connects to an HDMI monitor. We’ve seen this feature demonstrated to us during the launch and on a separate event with Acer. Unfortunately, we were not able to use it in the actual world during this review because of the unavailability of the dock.

Performance

The specs under the hood of the Lumia 950 XL is the best in its class. It is a fast device snaps photos so fast, takes beautiful clear and crisp videos. Video and audio playbacks are loud and clear. Voice calls are crisp likewise. The only common issue is the lack of supporting apps in the Windows 10 mobile. I missed the usual fast updates I do with my Facebook apps. I also wonder why the Instagram app is still in Beta. The list goes on.

Lumia 950 XL Camera test

Like I said earlier, this device has a the best specs in its class. Now let’s take a look at the camera.

Using its automatic settings, you can produce really excellent photos out of the Lumia 950 XL.

Here are other sample shots and you be the judge.

With Lumia Create Studio app you can quick edit photos to make it more stunning.

Conclusion

Great build and very impressive specs coupled with the latest OS from Microsoft plus the integration of Continuum makes the Lumia 950 XL a promising device.

But as of this posting, that promise is still half-baked. Even if Continuum gets an upgrade, you can’t depend on it as a productivity device solely. On a wired connection, you practically can’t use the smartphone to do other tasks such as take phone calls and send SMS or Viber.

This device is not for me to use for a long time. Or should I say, I must spend more time to learn it so that I can fully appreciate it later on?

 

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