Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Review Round-Up

By on December 11, 2015 | 12:41 pm
December 11, 2015 | 12:41 pm
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL review round-up
December 11, 2015 | 12:41 pm

It’s no secret that Microsoft’s smartphone business has been struggling as of late. Although the company spent billions to buy Nokia’s hardware business, the market share of their Windows Phone operating system has stalled at a paltry 2.6% (as of Q2 2015). But Microsoft feels that it can turn things around with the launch of its Windows 10 operating system, with the mobile version of the OS adding plenty of handy features (such as Continuum which can turn your Windows 10 mobile into a desktop PC).

The first handset to get the Windows 10 treatment is the Microsoft Lumia 950, with the Lumia 950 XL being 5.7 inches. The premium handset has an octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a 1440 x 2560 pixels (~518 ppi pixel density) screen along with a 20 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front camera. Good specs on paper then, but what are the critics saying?

David Phelan, The Independent:

“This phone feels like a real break away from the Nokia-centric past for Microsoft. The arrival of Windows 10 across multiple platforms and the ability to use this phone as a decent computer will please many. But that apps Achilles’ heel has not gone away, at least not yet. The camera is great, with its good sensor, dedicated shutter button and fast launch. The display is attractive and the phone feels good in the hand.”

Chris Martin, TechAdvisor:

“The Lumia 950 XL is an attractive phone for those looking for Windows productivity thanks to features like Continuum and Universal Apps. It’s a good deal at the moment with the free Display Dock but he phone itself has nothing major going for it on the design front and simply offers a bigger screen and slightly better processor than the regular model. Overall, we’re not blown away with Windows 10 on phones with its bugs and lack of apps but it will be a solid choice for some.”

Alastair Stevenson, Trusted Reviews:

“If you liked Windows Phone then you’ll feel right at home with the Lumia 950 XL. It doesn’t offer the best design, but for Windows fans it will tick all the right boxes. However, for Android and iOS users it’ll be of little appeal. Microsoft is working hard to fix Windows 10 Mobile’s app shortage but, in its current state, the iOS and Android stores offer more variety and better quality services.

The Lumia 950 XL also isn’t the best value phablet out there. Google’s competing Nexus 6P serves up equivalent specs, a nicer design and a more developed app ecosystem while costing close to £100 less. For most people, I’d recommend opting for the Google phone.”

Todd Haselton, TechnoBuffalo:

“I was really, really, looking forward to the Lumia 950. It’s been a while since us Windows Phone fans had a flagship to toy with, and I was really excited to try Continuum and see what Microsoft has been up to. But now, after having spent the last few weeks with the phone, I’m actually pretty bummed out. The display, the camera, the battery life, all of that is just fine with the Lumia 950. Folks who know the app situation and don’t mind it, they’ll be happy with the hardware here, I think.”

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