With the launch of Lumia 950 XL, Microsoft has been successful in ushering in a new era of Window 10 for smart phones. As expected, the phone is stuffed with latest technology on offer. The 950 XL has a pin sharp high – res display, a powerful octa – core processor and a great 20 Megapixel camera. However, many things have been let down by the software. While Windows 10 for mobile is a refreshing change from iOS or Android, it is plagued by some issue that faced Windows 8 before it. Even now, the app store is woefully under stocked compared to Android and iOS. Besides, the app issue the Lumia 950 XL is a perfectly capable phone.
Being laser focused on productivity, Microsoft is in a better position than its rival in the phone space when it comes to the dreaded word: Phablets. At 5.7 inches on diagonal, it is definitely a two hander handset. Fortunately, Microsoft has made abundant use of the large screen using the extra room inside for some power packed hardware. Except for slightly different rear camera housing, the phone looks very similar to its smaller sibling, the Lumia 950. There is the same matte white or black polycarbonate shell along with the same array of volume, lock and camera shutter buttons along the right edge of the device. The bottom edge houses the same USB-C port as the 950.
Quite surprisingly, Microsoft opted for the same screen resolution within the 950 XL as the standard 950: 2160*1440 pixels. That makes for a lower amount of pixels per inch than the 950 at 518 pixels per inch versus 564 on the smaller phone. Microsoft has employed the same AMOLED technology underneath a sheet of corning gorilla glass 4. It is virtually impossible to discern any pixels from a normal distance. Thanks to the choice of panel tech, the screen is saturated with deep reds and blacks, but not overtly so. By no means, the casing is a deal breaker. It feels much easier to grip that is crucial for such a big phone and Microsoft did everything to make plastic look premium.
The camera is as good as it gets. It has got the pure view 20 Mega pixels shooter in the rear with triple LED flash, optical image stabilization and 4k video recording capability with Zeiss optics. In the front, there is the same 5 mega pixel camera, wide angle selfie snapper with 1080 p video recording. Lumia 950 XL is as punchy as smart phones get. Microsoft has made extra efforts to ensure the phone can push the 64 bit silicon to its limits: liquid cooling. Rounding out the spec sheet is a 32 GB onboard storage device, expandable by as much as 2 TB via micro SD card, two LTE antennas and Bluetooth 4.1. Powering all, there is a removable 3,340 mAh battery that can last for 75 hours of 3GB talk, 25 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and 11 hours of 1080 p video playback.
Overall, Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is a good possession to have. It is not likely to turn Microsoft’s fortune in the phone space single handedly. Nevertheless, it can show the partners how to make a Windows 10 mobile phone.