On October 6th Microsoft announced their new flagship devices, the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL. Two days ago, I luckily was able to try them out both. In this post I’d like to share my first impressions of the Lumia 950 XL (note: The sample we got to try out was a prototype). I will divide this article into different categories – similar to my reviews.
Design & Build Quality
The first thing I noticed when I picked up the Lumia 950 XL is how thin and especially how unbelievably light (165g) the device is for its size. Overall I just was surprised by how compact the device is designed and I absolutely felt comfortable using the phone with one hand during the limited time I was able to try it out. The plastic back feels comfortable as well (similar to the 640 XL) but I have to say that my Lumia 830 feels more premium due to the metal sides. As far as design is concerned, I really like the back with the new Microsoft logo and the camera with its three flashes. The front is nothing special, although I was surprised how thin the bezels around the display are (especially on the bottom – thank you on-screen navigation bar!). I had both the white ad the black version in my hand and although I’m normally not a huge fan of white phones I have to say I also quite liked the white Lumia 950 XL. The buttons (power button, volume buttons, dedicated camera button) are very sturdy and have a great feedback – definitely better than on my Lumia 830. The strange layout of the volume buttons definitely will take some time to get used to. I hope I can get a review unit to have some more in-depth experiences with it.
The Lumia 950 XL’s display is really great. The resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels definitely gives you an incredibly sharp screen and you won’t notice any single pixel at all. Glance Screen is supported as you probably already know – something I don’t want to miss on my smartphone again. Double tap was either not turned on or it isn’t supported (which would be quite strange). Colors look nice and vibrant. Once again, I definitely need more time with the device to fully rate that display.
Of course, during the limited time I couldn’t test the battery.
I forgot to try out the speaker…
The camera app on the Lumia 950 XL is just amazingly quick – it launches very quick and taking pictures (also several pictures in one row) is really fast. The dedicated camera button is well-built and works just as expected. I wasn’t able to take an awful lot of pictures but in the very bad light conditions in the room, the camera took some promising pictures. Once again: speed is the keyword here 🙂
Of course the Lumia 950 XL runs a preview build of Windows 10 Mobile (I sadly forgot to check the version). During the time I used the device everything ran very smooth and fluid – just once the settings app crashed. Other than that, stability was good. Sadly, I didn’t see Windows Hello in action.
As expected, performance with the Snapdragon 810 and the 3 GB of RAM was great. Of course, I couldn’t test out any intensive game. Something I noticed: The back got slightly warm but definitely not annoyingly hot.
As mentioned many times during the article: I only spent a limited time with the Lumia 950 XL. Furthermore, you have to keep in mind that the device I used was a prototype. Overall, the Lumia 950 XL definitely is a nice flagship device – although I have to say so far it didn’t manage to convince me to buy one. What I like so far: The 950 XL is a compact, thin and light device. The camera seems to work very fast – a welcome change! Furthermore, I didn’t notice any stutters during my limited time.
I’m in talk with Microsoft and I hope I will soon get a review unit to further test out the 950 XL.