Lumia phones have been losing market share left and right, but the worst and most damaging blow came from Microsoft itself expressing its disinterest. The primary job of Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL is to demonstrate Windows 10’s prowess on a phone. It will definitely be a great option for those already invested in Windows or Microsoft ecosystem, but as market stats establish, there aren’t many of those users around. So what about the rest?  Microsoft hopes Continuum will be incentive enough.

Key Specifications and features:

Phone Lumia 950 Lumia 950XL
Display 5.2-inches  QHD display with 564ppi 5.7-inch QHD ddisplay with 518ppi
Processor 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm 808 Snapdragon 64-bit 1.8GHz 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor
RAM 3GB 3GB
Internal Storage 32GB 32GB
Software Windows 10 Windows 10
Primary Camera 20MP Zeiss, f/1.9, OIS, triple LED natural flash 20MP Zeiss, f/1.9, OIS, triple LED natural flash
Selfie Camera 5MP wide-angle 1080p 5MP wide-angle 1080p
Dimensions and Weight 145 x 73.2 x 8.25 mm, 150g 151.90 x 78.40 x 8.10, 165g
Battery 3,000mAh (removable) 3340mAh (removable)
Price 43,699 INR 49,399 INR


Polycarbonate build, but feels great
The Lumia 950XL includes a 5.7 Inch QHD display, which very much has that explicit wow factor and requisite sharpness you would expect from flagships. There is a Gorilla Glass 4 shield on top to preserve and protect all that glory. Talking of design, those already acquainted with Lumia phones will find themselves in familiar territory.

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The handset is quite narrow, which also makes it easily manageable. Long pressing the start button also sets in one-handed mode for convenient usage.

On the rear side, the 20 MP Pureview camera module stands out and dominates. A dedicated camera-key is also present. Since most modern flagships use metal and glass, the choice for polycarbonate might seem unappealing, but when held in hand, this wasn’t something that put us off. The USB Type C port on the bottom clarifies that Lumia 950XL is up to speed with current gen devices.

Lumia 950XL Photo Gallery

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Windows 10 and Continuum

So yeah, the Microsoft Lumia 950XL is polished and comes loaded with top-notch hardware, but the main story here is the software. The whole idea is to get Windows 10 on as many devices as possible and remove all distinctions between Windows 10 for PC and Windows software for phone.

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This will allow Microsoft to focus more on Windows that works for it (The desktop one), and cash that success in the mobile domain. This also results in a fascinating concept – continuum.

You can now connect your Windows 10 running phone to any large display using Microsoft’s own display dock, ( It will be available for free if you pre-book Lumia 950XL before 11th, but will cost 5,999 post availability date), and use it as your PC. You can also connect peripherals like keyboard and mouse.

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We tried the feature and for office apps it works flawlessly. The interface is akin to Windows 10 on desktop but there is no clear picture yet on what apps are supported besides office apps. Continuum means your phone can double as a PC, but that is not all there is to it. It allow you to seamlessly connect your phone to a larger display. You can play a movie on your phone on the big display and simultaneously use your phone to do something else.

Apart from Continuum, Windows 10 on mobile isn’t a major deviation from Windows 8.1 on phone. The settings menu is re-organized and the interface feels fresh, but in essence it felt the same.

UI Gallery

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Windows Hello Instead of Fingerprint Sensor

Lumia 950XL incorporates an Iris scanner for convenient unlocking, which Microsoft calls Windows Hello. You will need a PIN or pattern as backup option while setting Windows Hello. It didn’t seem as gimmicky as it should have.

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It requires an additional camera and IR sensor on the front (which are completely inconspicuous), which means other manufacturers launching Windows 10 phones might not be as enthusiastic about implementing this. We have to say, Microsoft’s demonstration at the event was impressive. However, we reserve our verdict until we test it personally. For now, the feature is still in beta.

Camera  

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Nokia has a legacy of great camera phones and looks like it has successfully passed on all trade-secrets to Microsoft. Of course it is too soon to give any sort of verdict, but we liked what we saw.

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The rear mounted 20MP camera can record 4K videos and has a large 1/ 2.4 Inch sensor. The front 5MP camera can also record 1080p videos.

Conclusion

We liked our first tryst with Lumia 950XL and it indeed felt like a good phone. BUT,we have had similar feelings for other Lumia devices in the past, but none proved compelling enough to end users. Microsoft even restricted itself to mere budget devices for a couple of years. At 50K price, Lumia 950XL might not be any different.

Nevertheless, it makes for an interesting demonstration of what Windows on a phone can do, and we feel that is all Microsoft expects it to do, apart from being a treat for already convinced Windows phone loyalists.

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