Mi­crosoft Lu­mia 950 XL

A NEW HOPE

HWM (Philippines) - - Test -

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.

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