Review: The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Makes The Perfect Pocket Computer

Microsoft fans were thrilled when the first Microsoft Lumia entered the game as a phone with all the Windows features at a price that’s more affordable than the newest iPhones or Android phones. The Microsoft Lumia 550 is actually being offered for as low as $149.99 in the United States.

Their latest model, the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, didn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s been compared to an amazing little pocket computer.

All in all, ratings for the Lumia are generally high. It’s a fantastic Windows 10 Mobile device, but, as expected, it’s not meant to stand up next to Android and iOS phones.

The release of the Lumia 950 marks the arrival of Windows 10 mobile, something users have been waiting for for several months now. There are actually two versions: the 950 and the 950 XL.

As you can see, the phone is larger in size (The display is more than 5 inches.), but it's still compact, making it a useful device that's not too big to carry anywhere. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
As the name suggests on the XL, it’s a larger phone, but it also has a better chipset, phenomenal cooling system, and a larger, longer-lasting battery. The display on the XL is 5.7 inches, and is covered in Gorilla Glass for extra protection.

There are also 32 GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, and 3GB of RAM. It sports an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset with Adreno 430 graphics. The battery life in the XL is quite a bit better than the original model, at 3340 mAh. It also has the availability for a dual-SIM device.

The camera sets this phone apart from others of its kind. It’s a 20 megapixel BSI PureView rear camera, with a 5-megapixel forward-facing lens. These specs indicate that it’s one of the better smart phone cameras on the market.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Panos Panay shows off the exquisite rear-facing camera during the unveiling of the device. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

As mentioned previously, it’s one of the first phones to feature the new Windows 10 interface. Since Microsoft is the architect of the Windows series, it’s no surprise that the specs and software perfectly complement the Windows operating system. As long as you know how to operate Microsoft, you can get the most out of the little computer-like device with very little effort.

The insides of the phone look great on paper, but unfortunately, the build and design are somewhat lacking. Both the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL have a plastic cover that looks cheap and cracks easily. The casing also leaves some negative space around the display that doesn’t make sense, and is a little awkward. It’s not comfortable to hold, even though it’s very thin.

The spacing of the buttons on the side also leave something to be desired. The power button is actually located between the up and down volume buttons, which makes it awkward if you accidentally press the power button when you’re trying to adjust the volume.

The display, however, is noted to be exceptionally good. At 515 pixels per inch, the image is sharp and the colors are bright. It’s great for avoiding bright sunlight and glare. The colors are not always accurate, but most won’t notice thanks to the sharp imaging.

All in all, it’s a nifty little gadget. Most who’ve used the phone love it for it’s computer-like quality. It has a great keyboard for search or typing on the Microsoft Office apps. Word on the 950 XL runs quickly, and is almost as responsive as the application on a laptop. One of the most appealing aspects of this device is its ability to function as a phone and a computer in one little device.

Obviously, it’s not a computer. Most apps aren’t as speedy as you would see on a desktop, and they don’t offer the same features. There’s also not the same amount of flexibility within applications. But it gets the job done and comes in a compact little package that can be carried anywhere. Overall, the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, priced at $650, is a great device from Microsoft.

[Image via Andrew Burton/Getty Images]