Nokia Lumia 950 XL49399
Camera ( Rear )9/10
- - Display
- - Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- - 3GB RAM
- - 20 MP Camera
- - Triple LED Flash
- - Windows 10
- - Replaceable Battery
- - Expandable 200 GB
- - Iris Scanner
- - Plastic Body
- - Excel limitation
- - Protruding Camera
- - Limited Apps
- - Price
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Windows Phone first debuted five years ago, and it has been a constant waiting game for basic features and apps to appear. Windows 10 Mobile is Microsoft’s latest attempt to reinvent its mobile efforts. The Lumia 950 XL should be designed to make people ditch their iPhones, but most, including myself, won’t.
Lumia 950XL has a black plastic casing that’s not only boxy but very plain compared to the curvier and more colourful Lumias of years past. The only stylistic flourish is the attractive glass and metal frontage of the protruding camera lens. Unusually, there’s both a replaceable battery and a micro SD slot.
Unsurprisingly for a 5.7in phablet, this phone requires two-handed use unless you have massive paws. Single-handed use, especially if you have small hands, is out of the question.
In a Premium Smartphone, you do not expect such a design and material. The Lumia 950 XL design is simply boring, uninspired, plastic, and looks like a low-end Lumia that Microsoft has been throwing for the last fea years.
There’s a 5.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED display with Nokia’s iconic ClearBlack technology for better sunlight legibility. Microsoft has also added Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for added durability. The display is absolutely stunning, producing neutral colours and high brightness levels for almost any lighting conditions.
The Lumia 950 XL takes a little time to fully finish syncing with all the signed in services, during which you’ll have few slow-downs and unresponsiveness. However, give it a couple of hours and it just flies after that. It’s worth pointing out that we faced this because we signed into all our accounts like Microsoft and Google at the same time and there was a lot of data to sync from the cloud in our case. If you sign into your Microsoft account and there isn’t much to sync, you are unlikely to face this problem.
Native app performance and interface animations are fluid and quick as they have always been on Windows Phone. 4G works on either SIM slot depending on the one you choose for data. The phone does heat up, but thankfully, it cools down just as fast due to the heat-pipe (or liquid cooling) and the plastic body.
UI / Apps
Microsoft’s original plan was to support Android apps on Windows 10 Mobile, but that seems very unlikely now. Most of the third-party apps are just poor ports from iOS and Android, and lack key new features. The Twitter and Instagram apps are still depressing examples of the state of Windows.
The real star of Microsoft’s mobile show has always been its Lumia cameras. The Lumia 950 XL doesn’t disappoint here, but it’s not perfect. I’ve taken some great photos with it, but I’ve also taken some really bad ones. Microsoft still hasn’t perfected the software algorithms to comfortably take a photo with automatic processing to the point where I trust I can point and shoot.
The Rich Capture mode is probably the most impressive part of the camera. I’ve used it a lot, and it’s a great way to get good low-light images. Unfortunately, if you have a moving subject, such as a person or pet, it produces a lot of blurry images. Still, between Rich Capture and the extensive controls Microsoft offers in the camera app, you can get some really great results if you’re willing to put the time and effort into setting it all up.
Autofocus is still a little too slow, and High Res images take a while to process. The Carl Zeiss optics boasts of an f/1.9 aperture for the sensor and Optical Image Stabilisation.
Video recording goes up to 4K at 30fps but you can switch to various combinations of resolutions and frame rates. Quality of the recorded video is very good, even in low-light. You can add more shooting modes by downloading additional ‘lenses’ from the store. The front-facing camera is also quite good for selfies. The triple-LED flash is powerful and evenly lights you your subject, provided they are within reasonable distance.
Iris Scanner Security : Windows Hello
Windows Hello is Microsoft’s iris recognition security feature and even though the app is still in beta, it works surprisingly well. Setting it up is as simple as letting it scan your eyes and saving your iris pattern. You can redo this process under different lighting conditions to make the sensor more effective. It takes just a second or two to identify you under good light and a bit longer in low-light. It will even work under complete darkness with just the light from the screen illuminating your eyes, although you’ll have to hold the phone a bit closer to your face.
Most wonderful feature of Lumia is Continuum. Just to intrudce this feature : it lets you extend your phone’s display to a monitor or TV so you can see the display on a bigger screen. But there is a catch, Before you can use this feature, you will have to buy Microsoft’s Display Dock and Cable / HDMI Cable which starts from Rs. 5,999 ( Dock only, Cable charges extra ). The dock is weighted with a rubber base, so it doesn’t move about on your desk.
You can also plug in additional USB accessories to the dock and use a keyboard and mouse if you like or simply use the phone’s display as a trackpad.
Multiple apps can be opened and you can Alt-Tab ( like windows you can switch between applications ) between them but naturally only one instance is allowed at a time.
The phone put on a good show in our video loop test, lasting us 12 hours and 37 minutes. However, under regular, we noticed the battery tends to drain a lot quicker and just about manages a full day’s worth of usage. The phone comes with fast-charging support and charges from 0 to 50 % in just 30 minutes. Thanks to the Quick charge feature.
Another good point is – User replaceable battery.
It’s no surprise that the Lumia 950XL is essentially just a bigger version of the 950 with all the benefits and disadvantages that entails. The few people invested in Microsoft’s mobile operating system will love it, but there’s little in the hardware to attract new fans. The same applies to Windows 10 Mobile itself. The dearth of apps is a major problem and the operating system’s few distinctive features, Continuum and Windows Hello, aren’t yet polished enough to be real draws.
If Microsoft can improve on Design concept,and work aggressively towards apps, No two doubts, Windows phone may see a revival in 2016.