Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
A NEW HOPE
Microsoft’s latest offspring wears a 5.7-inch AMOLED screen with a 2560 x 1440 resolution featuring ClearBlack technology for improved sunlight visibility. Though it lacks some key features from previous Lumia flagships (like the ability to double-tap to wake and super sensitive touch) it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 and quadcore 2.0GHz Cortex-A57) for extra sleek phone usage, gaming, and entertainment.
In an iOS- and Androiddominated world, this smartphone’s interface may be unfamiliar to most consumers. But, despite our love for the aforementioned platforms, we find this Windows 10-run device to be user-friendly, especially when configuring its system to our own style. Though we may not be a fan of its overly simple physique, its minimalist UI design, QHD screen, and font readability make us consider this phone over its rivals.
Since Windows 10 walks into the OS market as the newcomer, some apps for the Lumia 950 XL are not yet available for download as of writing. During our initial test, we also encountered system issues with syncing to cloud accounts and a few software bugs, which we believe will be addressed once Microsoft rolls out the next system update.
The Lumia 950 XL’s exchangeable back cover exposes a 20-megapixel protruding rear camera, a replaceable battery, two nanoSIM card slots, and a microSD slot which can handle up to 200GB.
As we all know, most of the best smartphone cameras come from the Lumia series, and this phone does not fail to live up to that reputation. The 950 XL still has PureView, a program responsible for the Lumia’s optical image stabilization and reduced noise through lowlight conditions. In addition, it features a new authentication method called Windows Hello. This method scans your face and your iris through infrared LED for faster verification on the lock screen or mobile payments.
We were also impressed with the Battery Saver, which filters what apps should run in the background. You can disable apps to load when not in use, and stretch out the phone’s usage for a few more hours. At some point, though, the battery drains quickly, so we hope this battery inconsistency gets addressed soon.
Overall, the Lumia 950 XL is a statement phone from Microsoft. It clearly exhibits the potential of its series and OS to flourish in the near future. For now, it stays in the backseat in terms of stability due to some bug issues. And yet, this phone doesn’t deserve to be called a newcomer, thanks to its excellent features and high-powered performance.