Microsoft Lumia 950 XL: Is Windows Phone Back?

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL: Is Windows Phone Back?

I reviewed a Windows Phone once…it was different. Not particularly bad but not particularly good either. Unfortunately, in the world of Google and Apple, being king of good isn’t enough. Windows Phone had limitations but also some cool implementations. Now, Microsoft has had some time to distance themselves from the debacle called Windows 8 and the result is Windows 10 and a Windows 10 Mobile. The body for this new system comes in a couple different sizes but the largest is the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL. Does it repeat the sins of its predecessors or does it begin a new path? Let’s find out!

microsoft_lumia_950xl_camera-100620972-orig

Looks

The Lumia 950 XL is a software showcase, that’s made very clear. The design is bland and clearly an afterthought. It would blend easily with the low end Lumia smartphones made in the last year and as the premier flagship for the new Microsoft operating system, this is a mistake. Sticking with a plastic body, the Lumia 950 XL feels like those lower end phones and there’s no unique design cue here to differentiate it.OnePlus has proved good design can be found in less expensive phones so Microsoft has no excuse here.

In other words, if Microsoft wants to compete on the premium end of the smartphone market, they really need to make the effort. They know their competitors are putting out high quality, well designed devices, why wouldn’t they put some proper effort into the design of the Lumia 950 XL? At least the screen is amazing; QHD resolution makes the Lumia 950 XL a great device to use. Can’t complain about more pixels.

Lumia-950-XL-features-iris-jpg

What It Does

The Lumia 950 XL does step up its game with the internals. Expect a top end processor with plenty of RAM and internal storage. The removable back allows for battery switching and a micro SD card which are nice inclusions. And, in true Lumia fashion, the camera is pretty excellent.

Normally, I play nice by highlighting the good parts about the devices without languishing on the bad because it usually comes down your personal preference. However, in the case of the Lumia 950 XL, I cannot in good conscience gloss over the issues. Windows 10 mobile is no better than Windows Phone; it’s just different. Live Tiles are still here and are still awesome but Windows 10 Mobile is buggy and unpolished; simple things like consistent design language across native apps aren’t here which makes for a very ragtag feeling. On a cheaper device, this might be forgiven but on a $650, not so much. Stick to Android and Apple for now, Microsoft might figure things out eventually and I’ll be glad to give them another shot.

Weston is our professional gadget reviewer. Nothing thrills him more than being able to get his hands on the latest and greatest in electronics.
Join the Discussion

You Might Also Like

Envision Glasses use AI to help people with visual impairments with daily routines

Envision Glasses use AI to help people with visual impairments with daily routines

Using the power of artificial intelligence, Envision Glasses have arrived to assist those who have visual impairments as they navigate their daily routines. Today we’re digging into what they are and how they help those who need them. Let’s get..
Top board games of the week: Kalymba RPG, Kabuto Sumo Total Mayhem, Battlecrest, and more

Top board games of the week: Kalymba RPG, Kabuto Sumo Total Mayhem, Battlecrest, and more

We’re back with one of our favorite weekly lists of—drumroll please—top board games! That’s right, if you’re looking for a new round of tabletop gameplay, this one is for you. So what’s good to play with friends and family this..
Sticky notes meet the digital age with these physical QR code stickers

Sticky notes meet the digital age with these physical QR code stickers

Get your digital notes and reminders under control with the Keer digital sticky notes. Just place these physical QR stickers around your home or office for quick links to all the information you need. Your home and office are full..
Best office gadgets for small teams, startups & small businesses

Best office gadgets for small teams, startups & small businesses

Whether you run a vegan bakery or a company that builds AI software, you’re looking for products that can help you and your team serve your clients’ needs better. Well, we did the hard work for you and rounded up..
Weekend Digest: The ultimate Father’s Day gift guide for the superhero of your life

Weekend Digest: The ultimate Father’s Day gift guide for the superhero of your life

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and we know the drill. It can be a little tough to find an affordable gift for Dad he can actually use. Not only that, but if your father is the type to..
The most bizarre and futuristic tech gadgets we’ve seen in 2022

The most bizarre and futuristic tech gadgets we’ve seen in 2022

You can never be too sure what technologies companies will develop each year, but this year they look both strange and wondrous. From a nibbling cat robot to autonomous delivery trucks, the most bizarre and futuristic tech gadgets in 2022..